New Hampshire CDL training is a great way to ensure that you pass your exams and obtain a high-paying truck driving job. Although it is not state-required, most CDL jobs prefer hiring applicants who have completed training before applying for a commercial drivers license position. In fact, many companies will pay for CDL classes upfront or reimburse you after you have completed a program.

Enrolling in a CDL school sets you apart from other qualifying drivers and provides you with the knowledge and skills you need to excel at your job. You will develop a high level of skill needed to safely operate a large, heavy-weight truck in a variety of traffic situations. Not only does truck driving school teach you commercial driving techniques and pertinent road rules, but it also helps you perfect your resume and can even provide job placement assistance. Read the following sections below to learn more about the different CDL prep schools in New Hampshire and the benefits they offer.

What is CDL training in New Hampshire?

Unlike regular driver’s education, CDL training in New Hampshire teaches already experienced drivers the advanced skills needed to maneuver an oversized and heavy loaded truck. The goal of a truck driving school is to help experienced drivers pass all CDL tests needed to pursue into a professional career. These careers can vary depending on the type of training and class license a driver obtains.

Class A CDL training is the most common type of training, teaching students how to drive any combination of vehicles with a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 pounds or more and a towed vehicle heavier than 10,000 pounds. Class B CDL training teaches students how to operate a commercial truck with a GCWR greater than 26,000 pounds and a detached towed cargo vehicle that does not exceed 10,000 pounds. CDL Class B jobs typically include tow trucks, dump trucks and delivery trucks.

Those enrolled in Class C CDL training will learn how to drive a vehicle other than those qualified under Class A and B that can transport over 16 passengers or hazardous materials. Students must consider any additional endorsements needed when enrolling in a school. This may include an S endorsement to become a school bus driver or an N endorsement for tank vehicles.

Is CDL school required in New Hampshire?

While CDL school is not required in New Hampshire to take your CDL exams, many jobs require formal training or experience behind the wheel. This means, if you have completed a CDL prep course, then the chances of you obtaining a truck driving job is much higher.

Additionally, completing a program increases your chances at passing your CDL exams on the first attempt. Keep in mind that a defensive driving education course may be required after obtaining your CDL if you are unable to adhere to road laws in New Hampshire.

Curriculum of New Hampshire CDL Classes

CDL classes typically consist of in-classroom instruction and behind-the-wheel instruction. While one is meant to cover the written knowledge test, the other covers the road skills test, which will determine how well you operate a commercial vehicle.

In-Class Instruction for the CDL Written Test

To pass the CDL written test on the first attempt, it is best to complete in-class instruction at a truck driving school. In the classroom, you will learn a variety of lessons related to commercial driving, including road laws, proper signals on the road, map reading and trip planning logs.

Ultimately, you will gain the knowledge needed to pass the CDL general knowledge test and obtain your commercial learner’s permit (CLP). If you are obtaining a special endorsement, then you will learn all you need to know to take the appropriate exams. These exams may include the following:

  • Passenger Transport
  • Hazardous Material
  • Tanker
  • Doubles and Triples
  • School Bus Endorsement
  • Airbrakes

Unfortunately, you cannot find CDL training online. However, most schools offer an array of classes during the weekdays and weekends in the day and evening.

Behind-the-Wheel Instruction for the CDL Driving Test

After you have completed the in-class portion of CDL prep, you will most likely have your permit, allowing you to drive alongside a licensed instructor. You must carry your permit for 14 days before applying for your license. This means you must apply what you have learned in the classroom behind-the-wheel of a large commercial vehicle.

In addition to the written CDL test, you will be expected to complete a pre-trip inspection test, off-road skills test and on-road skills test. This three-part CDL driving test is pertinent in receiving your commercial driver’s license. If you do not pass one part of the test, then you will not be able to move onto the next.

With the help of CDL training, you will be more than capable of passing these exams. You will learn a variety of exercises including how to move your vehicle forward, backward, turning and parking. Additionally, you will learn how to drive on the highway, curves, grades, rural roads and multi-lane streets. Likewise, formal training can help you avoid learning how to reinstate your license after a suspension by giving you the knowledge needed to avoid traffic violations.

How long is CDL training in New Hampshire?

CDL training is usually full-time, intensive programs that require complete dedication. This means you may be unable to work until you obtain your license. Finding out how long a program lasts can help you plan accordingly and take time off or choose a program that works around your schedule.

Generally, a full-time Class A CDL training program can be completed in 160 hours, five days a week in seven weeks. Class B CDL training programs are typically shorter and can be completed in as little as two to three weeks depending on the school.

Best CDL Schools Near Me in New Hampshire

Looking for a “truck driving school near me”? Look no further than your nearest community college offering CDL classes on both classroom work and vehicle training time. You can receive college credit while training for your CDL exams or you can enroll in a private truck driving school that specializes in commercial driving. Check out the best CDL schools in New Hampshire below:

  • Commercial Driving School of New Hampshire – This truck driving school offers classes for Class A and B licenses as well as CDL refresher courses. In the Class A CDL training program, you will complete 66 hours in the classroom, 64 hours of yard skills and 30 hours of field training. These classes are available during the week and weekend for $6,500. If you are worried about the costs of training, then this program works with NH and MA Employment Security, GI Bill, FEMA, the Medallion Fund and more to alleviate the cost of tuition. Upon graduation, you will be provided with jobs leads to begin your professional truck driving career as soon as possible.
  • Lakes Region Community College – Located in Laconia, this CDL school has a seven-week Class B CDL training program that focuses on classroom work, vehicle inspection, pre-trip planning and more. Students learn how to maintain daily logs as well as handle and document cargo. Upon completion of the program, students will be able to complete their CDL testing onsite. Unlike other community college courses, this class is non-credit meaning that a college application and fee is not required. In addition to this CDL prep course, there is a CDL A to B upgrade class that prepares students for the Class A CDL exam. These courses are rated an affordable price with tuition ranging from $2,200 to $4,200.
  • White Mountains Community College – This CDL school consists of both classroom work and behind-the-wheel training time with professional, experienced instructors. Students learn how to trip plan, handle and document cargo and maintain daily logs. Additionally, the program provides students with simulation training for a variety of vehicles, including snow plows and fire trucks. For those who need extra practice, the college offers tutoring at the Academic Success Center. Students will receive college credit and financial aid for these CDL classes as well as job-seeking assistance.

Benefits of Completing New Hampshire Truck Driving School

Completing a New Hampshire truck driving school increases your chances of passing all of your CDL exams. Many of these schools also offer CDL job placement assistance before, during and after the program has been completed. In fact, there are jobs that will hire you during training and reimburse you for the cost of tuition after you have graduated.

Most CDL jobs require applicants to have some sort of formal training to qualify for a truck driving position. Those who do not would still prefer an applicant who has completed training over an applicant who has not.

CDL Training Costs in New Hampshire

The NH CDL training cost can vary depending on the school, its curriculum and the length of its program. When researching schools, you may notice that most Class A CDL training costs about $4,000 to $7,500. These courses typically include both classroom instruction and vehicle training as well as job placement assistance. Furthermore, most schools provide textbooks and a vehicle for you to train in. These are all expenses to take into account when deciding on a CDL school.

In some cases, you may get paid while training for CDL, as there are many jobs that will pay for training upfront or reimburse you for the costs after the program has been completed. Additionally, most schools provide financing options for tuition and government grants and/or loans through financial aid. However, financial options for training may not be applicable for licensing fees such as the expense to complete the DOT physical exam for CDL credentials.

How to Self-Prep for New Hampshire CDL Exams

If you are hesitant about enrolling in CDL school, then there are still ways you can prepare for your CDL exams on your own. You can find a CDL practice test online or in books found at your local library. These practice test questions mimic questions from the general written knowledge test and other endorsement exams.

These answers can also be found in the New Hampshire CDL handbook, which can be found online. Once you have obtained your CLP, it is important that you get adequate practice behind the wheel with a licensed commercial driver. If you do not know a CDL holder, then consider enrolling in a CDL school that focuses primarily on field training.

Last updated on Friday, February 28 2020.