Enrolling in CDL training in New Jersey is the first step in applying for a commercial drivers license. Not only will you learn all the information and skills needed to pass your CDL exams, but most CDL prep schools offer job placement assistance to help you advance in your career. While the benefits of formal training are nothing short from positive, it is important that you find a program that fits your licensing needs and schedule.

Additionally, truck driving school can be a costly venture. Finding a CDL school that offers financial aid or financing options is pertinent when enrolling in a program that requires you to take time off from work. No matter the class license, it is best to find a school that offers CDL classes in the classroom and behind-the-wheel. Read the following sections below to learn more about the different CDL programs available in New Jersey.

What is CDL training in New Jersey?

CDL training in New Jersey provides you with the knowledge and hands-on instruction needed to pass the general written knowledge exam and road skills exam. While the NJ CDL handbook and regular driver’s education may help you with some of the exam questions, truck driving school will provide you with the advanced skills needed to safely operate a commercial vehicle. The type of training you will need will ultimately depend on the type of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) you plan to drive.

The most common type of training, Class A CDL training, teaches you how to drive any combination of vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) at or above 26,001, inclusive with a towed vehicle that has a GVWR at or above 10,000. Class B CDL training teaches you how to drive a vehicle more than 26,000 pounds while hauling a load less than 10,000 pounds.

While a Class A license permits you to drive all vehicles under Class B and C licenses, Class B training is generally cheaper and takes less time to complete. You may benefit from Class C CDL training if you need to operate a vehicle carrying 16 or more passengers or transport hazardous materials.

Is CDL school required in New Jersey?

CDL school is not required by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) or the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. However, it is highly advised to complete CDL training before taking your CDL exams.

Completing a course will help you become proficient in commercial driving so that you can operate and handle a CMV in various weather conditions and traffic situations. These are highly desirable skills preferred by professional trucking companies. In fact, many companies require that job applicants provide proof of formal training.

Curriculum of New Jersey CDL Classes

Truck driving school is comprised of both in-classroom and behind-the-wheel instruction. Each portion of the program is intended to prepare students for both written and road exams. While students must be knowledgeable and well-versed on the rules of commercial driving, they also need to be able to apply their skills in various traffic situations to avoid accidents as well as receiving NJ traffic tickets.

In-Class Instruction for the CDL Written Test

The in-class portion of CDL school generally covers all the information needed to pass the CDL general knowledge test. While some of this information can be found in the NJ commercial driving manual, classroom instruction delves into these topics much more.

Along with other eager students, you will study the basic concepts and laws of commercial driving. Furthermore, you will take practice exams and complete classwork that will help you retain the type of questions and answers found on the CDL written test.

By enrolling in formal training, you will receive valuable insight from experienced, licensed professionals who have most likely been in the industry for several years. While CDL training online does exist, it is very limited and does not compare to the learning achieved in a small, interactive classroom environment. In the classroom, you may prepare to pass the following exams:

  • CDL general written test
  • Double- and triple-trailer test
  • Passenger transport test
  • Tanker test
  • Hazardous materials test
  • Airbrakes test

Behind-the-Wheel Instruction for the CDL Driving Test

During field training, you will prepare for the next CDL test by practicing behind the wheel of a large commercial vehicle. After obtaining your commercial learners permit (CLP), you will need to apply everything you have learned in the classroom on the road. With an experienced instructor, you will learn how to perform a variety of maneuvers, including backing up, turning and parking.

You will learn how to drive in multiple areas and scenarios, including urban areas, on the highway and in traffic. Similar to completing practice tests in the classroom, you will most likely run-through the CDL driving test with your instructor. Many schools are even considered third-party testing sites, meaning you can practice exactly how the school administers the test. This can be beneficial, as you must take the test in the vehicle type of the CLD Class for which you are applying.

If you do not have a registered commercial vehicle with the state-requirements for auto insurance, then you will not be able to take the test and, therefore, receive your license.

How long is CDL training in New Jersey?

The duration of CDL training in New Jersey can vary depending on the school and the exact training program you are enrolled in. Generally, the longest course to complete is a 160-hour Class A CDL training course. While Class B and C classes are quicker to complete, the length of your training can also depend on whether you are a full-time or part-time student.

Best CDL Schools Near Me in New Jersey

Fortunately, finding a CDL school in New Jersey is not difficult with so many training programs available. When researching “truck driving school near me”, there are a few things you should look out for. While a high-quality, reputable program with the appropriate class training is a given, you also want to consider location, schedule availability and training costs. Once you have found a school that is best suited for you, the road to success is wide open. Take a look at some of the best CDL schools in New Jersey including:

  • Ideal Driving School. With 21 years in business, this CDL school provides first-rate bus and truck driving training. You can learn how to safely operate a bus, school bus, Class A tractor-trailer or a Class B straight truck vehicle weighing more than 26,000 pounds. There are schools located throughout several counties in Northern New Jersey. For Class A CDL training, there are a variety of training packages available, ranging from as little as $725 to as high as $4025. These packages include road training, training videos and road tests.
  • EZ Wheels Driving School. This truck driving school offers training for those looking to obtain their Class A, Class B and Class C CDL license. Additionally, these classes teach students everything they need to know to obtain their CDL endorsements. In training, students will first study and prepare to pass the theory tests. After passing these exams, students will begin viewing instructional videos and driving lessons. EX Wheels offers government funding and guidance in obtaining a CDL job.
  • Express Driving School. With two convenient locations in Harrison and Plainfield, this CDL training school offers a wide range of courses that fit your budget. You can learn how to operate tractor-trailers, straight trucks, dump trucks and buses. Express Driving School offers both Class A and B training as well as training for passenger and school bus endorsements. No matter your age or native language, this school promises a personalized training program to ensure that you are ready for your CDL exams.
  • Jersey Tractor Trailer Training. Receive high-quality training at this truck driving school located in Lyndhurst. There are a variety of CDL Class A and B classes available for those who need to drive an automatic or manual transmission tractor. Additionally, the school offers a free CDL permit class with no obligation to take the course. If you are underemployed or out of work, then the school offers Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act grants. There are also courses tailored to Spanish-speaking students and women drivers.

Benefits of Completing New Jersey Truck Driving School

Although not required, New Jersey truck driving school is essential in passing your CDL exams. While classroom time will prepare you for the CDL written exam, vehicle training will allow you to enter the high-demand industry with prior experience. Most CDL jobs prefer or require that job applicants have formal training behind-the-wheel.

One of the perks of enrolling in CDL school is that most programs provide CDL job placement, connecting you with the industry’s major players or smaller, local employers. Not only will you be road-ready in just a few weeks, but you can also land a job by the time you graduate.

CDL Training Costs in New Jersey

CDL training cost in New Jersey can vary depending on the type of class license and how extensive a course is. While a road training course can cost around $700, a program with in-class instruction and behind-the-wheel-training can cost up to $6,500. Keep in mind that most schools offer financing options, government grants and scholarships. These CDL training costs do not typically include licensing fees or the expense for the mandatory DOT physical exam for CDL credentials.

Additionally, there are jobs that offer paid CDL training. Not only will these employers cover the costs of training, but you will also get paid while training for CDL. Consider applying for CDL jobs that provide this incentive before enrolling in a CDL program. You can also enroll in a school that offers job placement assistance, which can lead you to the right employer. Some of these employers may reimburse you after you have completed formal training.

How to Self-Prep for New Jersey CDL Exams

In addition to the tools and study material provided in CDL school, there are resources available for you to self-prep for your CDL exams. Read over and create a study guide using the NJ CDL handbook, containing information and questions that may be on the written knowledge test. Topics you may be tested on include vehicle inspection, basic control of your vehicle, driving at night and more.

Additionally, there are practice tests and study guides available on third-party websites online. Taking a CDL practice test that replicates the actual exam can allow you to assess your current comprehension of the material. Tracking your score and progress will give you an idea of how much more you need to study. Once you have reached a passing score, you will be ready to take your exams.

Last updated on Friday, February 28 2020.