CDL Training in Oklahoma
Local drivers rely on Oklahoma CDL training programs to prepare to pursue a commercial drivers license (CDL). In order to apply for a CDL, all applicants are required to pass a series of written exams and driving tests. By enrolling in a CDL school, drivers can obtain all of the knowledge and experience needed to pass these exams easily. These schools are located throughout the state and offer a variety of programs for different CDL classifications.
Truck driving school is often extensive, requiring drivers to complete their training over the course of several weeks. As a result, these courses are often pricey. Fortunately, they can also help drivers enter the commercial driving industry. Many trucking companies hire from within these training programs. Some even agree to cover tuition costs or provide paid in-house training for new employees. Overall, training courses provide drivers with valuable CDL prep to ensure that they excel during their tests as well as in their careers.
What is CDL training in Oklahoma?
A CDL school is a program that allows drivers to enroll and receive extensive training in proper commercial driving techniques and regulations. The overall aim of these CDL classes is to prepare drivers to enter the commercial driving industry and receive their CDLs. All drivers are required to hold a valid CDL in order to legally operate any commercial vehicle. When applying for a commercial drivers license in Oklahoma, applicants must pass both knowledge and skills tests administered by the Department of Public Safety (DPS).
There are several types of CDL classes available to help drivers pass these tests with ease and find positions in this career field. These options correspond to the different types of CDLs available for drivers to obtain. The DPS offers three different classifications of CDL for applicants to choose from, including:
- Class A. This type of CDL is required for drivers who want to operate vehicles towing trailers more than 10,000 pounds with a combined gross weight rating of more than 26,000 pounds. Class A CDL training helps drivers learn to successfully maneuver vehicles towing trailers.
- Class B. Class B CDL training allows drivers to learn how to operate vehicles towing 10,000 pounds and less with a total gross weight rating of more than 26,000 pounds.
- Class C. This classification is for commercial vehicles that require a CDL endorsement and weigh less than 26,000 pounds.
Is CDL school required in Oklahoma?
Enrollment in a professional OK truck driving school is not a requirement for drivers to obtain a CDL. Applicants can voluntarily participate in any local course offered or choose to study for their exam on their own.
Although it is not mandatory, every driver can benefit from taking one of these courses. According to the DPS, formal training is the best way to become proficient in commercial driving techniques and prepare for the state exams. Instructors provide vital CDL prep for both a permit and a full license as well as hands-on experience that students need to become professional truck drivers.
To do so, classes cover a wide curriculum over the course of a few weeks. Likewise, being proficient in local driving laws and practices can help drivers avoid having to learn how to reinstate a suspended drivers license later from incurring too many violations.
Curriculum of Oklahoma CDL Classes
The complete CDL state exam consists of multiple parts. Overall, it is divided into a CDL written test and a driving skills exam. Both of these tests require extensive knowledge regarding commercial driving practices and safety procedures.
As a result, proper CDL prep is the key to passing and earning your CDL. CDL training programs are designed to cover both aspects of the test, so it is important to learn what you can expect during your course.
In-Class Instruction for the CDL Written Test
Courses do not offer CDL training online, so drivers must attend classroom sessions each week to learn about the written portion of the exam. Instructors guide students through all of the knowledge required to become successful commercial truck drivers. These courses are highly comprehensive and include information on how to operate vehicles with different endorsements. This is because the official written test consists of several different parts.
The first portion is the CDL general knowledge test, which covers basic driving techniques and rules. Additional testing is needed for drivers who want to add endorsements or remove airbrake restrictions on their CDLs. In order to prepare students for the official written exam, most training programs include an online CDL test on the last day of the course.
It is important to note that the written test is also sometimes referred to as the CDL permit test. This is because once drivers successfully answer all written CDL permit test questions, they receive their CDL permits. Drivers must then hold this permit for at least 14 days before moving on to the driving portion of the CDL exam.
Behind-the-Wheel Instruction for the CDL Driving Test
The driving portion of the CDL test is also made up of several different components. After an applicant holds a CDL permit for 14 days, he or she must schedule and complete each part of the driving skills test. This includes the pre-trip inspection, the control skills test and the road test.
CDL classes cover each of these elements to ensure that students are fully equipped with the knowledge they need. Applicants must pass each step in order to move on to the next one. For example, those who fail the pre-trip inspection cannot take the controls skills or road test. Each portion of the driving exam covers different elements, as follows:
- The pre-trip inspection – Drivers must know all of the necessary safety checks they need to complete before getting behind the wheel.
- Control skills – This is also sometimes referred to as maneuverability. Drivers must know how to park their vehicle in various positions, which includes parallel parking and straight line backing.
- Road skills – Road skills covers various situations that drivers may encounter on the road.
How long is CDL training in Oklahoma?
Since CDL school in OK is not required, there is no standard course length. Instead, each CDL training program designs its own courses and aims to provide comprehensive instruction. As a result, course lengths tend to vary between three and five weeks. Some programs measure their courses in days or hours as well. This is because the typical course is separated into different parts, in order to cover both the written and driving portions of the testing requirements.
Drivers can expect to receive at least 40 hours of driving time regardless of which truck driving school they enroll in. The rest of the time is dedicated to in-classroom study, observation and preparing for the pre-trip inspection.
Best CDL Schools Near Me in Oklahoma
Drivers wondering, “How do I find a truck driving school near me?” can find programs in several locations. Courses like these are typically offered at local community colleges, technical schools and private training companies. Some commercial trucking businesses also offer training programs to their employees. Below is a list of some of the best CDL schools in OK:
- Central Tech Truck Driver Training is a popular program for aspiring drivers. This company offers a Class A CDL training course in which students can earn a certification in addition to their license. The program also works with dozens of trucking companies and boasts a 97 percent placement rate for graduates. Discounts are available for veteran applicants.
- Caddo Kiowa Technology Center (CKTC) offers a quality CDL training program with a hazmat endorsement option as well as several other opportunities for training. CKTC also offers courses such as School Bus Certification, Log Book Training and Load Securement Training. Students can apply for tuition assistance to help cover the cost of this six-week program.
- Oklahoma Truck Driving Academy is a company that offers an intensive CDL program over the course of four weeks. Drivers study everything from the CDL basics and endorsements, to trip planning and map reading.
- CDL University provides students with top-of-the-line training equipment, during its 20-day course. This includes quality simulators, to ensure that drivers get additional practice behind the wheel. Small class sizes allow students to get as much one-on-one training as they need before they graduate.
Benefits of Completing Oklahoma Truck Driving School
Participation in CDL classes creates a wealth of career benefits for drivers. Commercial driving involves more skill and experience than driving personal vehicles. As such, it is harder to obtain a CDL than it is to get a standard Oklahoma driver license. Drivers who take advantage of training programs are more likely to pass these exams because they receive extensive guided instruction. However, the benefits do not end once drivers receive their CDLs.
The experiences obtained in these programs can help drivers enter and excel in the commercial trucking industry. Training programs help their students find CDL jobs once their training is complete. Many companies offer CDL job placement services to match students up with a professional trucking company. They guarantee that students will find permanent well-paying positions straight out of the program. Some even have exclusive partnerships with top trucking companies in the area.
CDL Training Costs in Oklahoma
The price to receive professional CDL training is not cheap. Many private training programs charge students tuition, typically between $3,400 and $4,800, although some programs have higher fees. While the high CDL training costs might steer you away from enrollment, there are ways to obtain training without breaking the bank.
As an example, some companies accept government grants such as the GI Bill, to help veterans earn a CDL. It is also possible for drivers to receive free CDL training if they apply with the right company. However, the cost for the DOT physical exam for CDL applicants may be separate, as it is not part of the training but rather the licensing fee.
Company-paid CDL training is an option that many of the best trucking employers offer. These companies choose to invest in their employees in order to ensure that they have the most qualified drivers in the industry. In some cases, drivers can even get paid while training for a CDL if their trucking company offers their own training program.
Drivers receive on-the-job training during their first few weeks with the company until they are ready to apply for their CDLs. Most of the trucking companies that pay for CDL training offer permanent positions to students once their training is complete.
How to Self-Prep for Oklahoma CDL Exams
Study resources like a CDL practice test and driving manual are also available for drivers to take advantage of at any time. Outside of formal training, CDL applicants can also prepare for the written test on their own with these study aids.
Many third-party companies offer a free CDL practice test online for this purpose. Drivers can take these practice tests as many times as they want to learn which areas require additional studying time.
The DPS highly recommends that all drivers review the entire CDL handbook, which is available for free as well. This commercial driver license manual covers every aspect of CDL regulation and requirements, including information on the necessary testing.
The handbook is available online or at their nearest DPS facility. Drivers can even create an effective CDL study guide when they combine the practice tests and the handbook. Along with professional training, these tools can ensure that every driver is fully prepared to apply for a CDL.