Every year, local drivers use Rhode Island CDL training to prepare for the commercial driver license application process. Through CDL school, students are able to gain the knowledge and skill needed to pass the required tests and safely get behind the wheel of a commercial vehicle. Anyone who wishes to operate a commercial vehicle must carry a valid CDL at all times. In order to obtain this type of license, drivers must pass several written knowledge tests, followed by an on-road test.

RI truck driving school courses are provided at several private locations throughout the state. The Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) does not regulate the amount of training that drivers need before they take their CDL exams. As such, the length and content of each course vary by the facility. These programs can offer a wealth of benefits to graduates. By enrolling in a professional CDL prep course, drivers can gain vital experience both on and off the road as well as job opportunities with top trucking companies.

What is CDL training in Rhode Island?

CDL school is a valuable opportunity for drivers who want to learn how to operate a commercial vehicle. Truck driving schools help interested applications prepare for a professional career, as driving a commercial vehicle generally requires more knowledge and skills than driving a personal vehicle. As a result, drivers must apply to obtain CDLs on top of their regular RI driver licenses.

There are several types of CDLs available to applicants and each one corresponds to a different classification of a vehicle. Therefore, CDL training and preparation often varies according to the classification and endorsements each driver needs. The following is a breakdown of the different CDL classifications:

  • Class A: Class A CDL training focuses on vehicles that tow a specific weight. In particular, this type of CDL is needed for vehicles of more than 26,000 pounds while towing at least 10,001 pounds. Drivers with a Class A are permitted to drive vehicles of other classes as well, with the proper endorsements.
  • Class B: Drivers obtain Class B CDL training in order to operate vehicles of a certain weight as well. This classification applies to vehicles that are more than 26,000 pounds but towing no more than 10,000 pounds.
  • Class C: This CDL classification covers commercial vehicles that do not fit into either of the previous categories. In most cases, this includes vehicles carrying hazardous materials or at least 16 passengers.

Is CDL school required in Rhode Island?

There are currently no CDL training requirements in RI. In order to earn a CDL, applicants must meet other various qualifications. This includes holding a valid state driver’s license for at least two years, meeting the age limit, submitting verification documents and passing all necessary tests. Depending on the type of CDL and endorsement that is sought, multiple tests are often required. Applicants are required to complete each exam with a score of at least 80 percent in order to receive a CDL.

Though CDL classes are not mandatory, it is highly encouraged due to these extensive testing requirements. Through CDL training courses, drivers obtain the hands-on experience and knowledge that is necessary to pass all of their exams with ease. Likewise, professionally trained drivers are less likely to receive traffic tickets in Rhode Island or a driver’s license suspension because they are aware of the state’s traffic laws for commercial drivers. Furthermore, those who choose to enroll are more likely to find secure jobs and become successful commercial drivers.

Curriculum of Rhode Island CDL Classes

In a training course, CDL prep is designed to cover each part of the commercial driving exam. Applicants are required to pass the CDL written knowledge test as well as a driving skills exam in order to qualify. It is not possible to obtain a CDL without passing every part of the exam. With this in mind, it is important for drivers to receive sufficient instruction both in the classroom and behind the wheel.

In-Class Instruction for the CDL Written Test

Driving schools do not generally offer CDL training online because each course dedicates a significant amount of time to hands-on experience. As such, CDL preparation for the written exam is provided in a classroom setting instead. Depending on the type of CDL you want, you may need to prepare for more than one written exam during your course. For example, a Class A CDL requires an air brakes test and a combination test. A CDL general knowledge test is required for any license classification.

Each exam is administered as an online CDL test at the DMV headquarters located in Cranston, RI. Completing a training course is a vital part of your preparation. If you fail any of the written exams, then you must wait a minimum of five business days to take the test again.

The written test is also occasionally referred to as the CDL permit test. This is because once you answer the CDL permit test questions, you are issued a permit to practice operating commercial vehicles with a licensed driver present. You must obtain this permit before you can move on to the driving skills test.

Behind-the-Wheel Instruction for the CDL Driving Test

The Community College of Rhode Island is responsible for administering the driving skills test for applicants. This driving portion of the CDL test is also divided into several different phases. To pass the CDL driving test, you must successfully complete each phase in the order they are administered. Failure to pass each of the three parts means that you must apply to take the test again at a later date.

In order to ensure that you are fully prepared, professional training courses allocate time to each portion of the test, including:

  • The pre-trip inspection.
  • The vehicle control skills test.
  • The on-road driving test.

How long is CDL training in Rhode Island?

Since there is no established standard, each truck driving school is able to structure its own program. As a result, CDL class length often varies and largely depends on the intensity of the coursework. The average class tends to stretch over four to five weeks. More intensive classes can last up to eight weeks.

During that time, instructors generally split the course between coursework and time behind the wheel. Significant time is also dedicated to the pre-trip inspection to ensure that students understand and are able to perform the necessary safety checks. There are also some more simple CDL prep courses, which can be completed in a few hours and may be beneficial as refresher courses if you need to complete the CDL renewal process by retaking certain exams.

Best CDL Schools Near Me in Rhode Island

“Where is the best truck driving school near me?” is an important question for all interested applicants to consider. It is vital that drivers choose the right CDL program and course to ensure they receive the proper training and instruction. For this reason, the following list covers some of the top local training programs for residents:

  • The New England Tractor Trailer Training School (NETTTS) provides training for Class A and Class B CDLs. Students spend several dozen hours learning from instructors both inside the classroom and in industry-standard trucks. Once a driver completes the course and passes the official written exam, NETTTS lends a qualified vehicle that meets the state’s registration and auto insurance requirements for the driving test as well.
  • Teamsters 251 Drivers is recognized as one of the best CDL schools in RI partially due to its connection with the Teamsters Union. Students are able to become a part of this strong labor union in addition to receiving industry-level training. This facility is also partnered with several local trucking companies, which enables students to get in contact with top employers right away.
  • The Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) offers short test prep CDL courses for both the written and road tests. These courses range from two-and-a-half to five hours for a relatively low fee when compared with more intensive programs. This facility also administers the official CDL road test for residents.

Benefits of Completing Rhode Island Truck Driving School

CDL programs provide many benefits for drivers who are looking to start their career in the commercial driving industry. The most basic CDL classes help lay the foundation that drivers need to pass their exams and receive CDLs. They also allow students to gain valuable hands-on experience in a commercial vehicle. This helps them to prepare for various situations they may encounter while out on the road.

These courses also play a pivotal role in helping students to secure positions with reputable trucking companies. Employers who offer CDL jobs often prefer candidates who received this type of training. Some companies even offer to reimburse new employees for the cost of program tuition and licensing fees.

In addition, certain training programs also offer CDL job placement services to graduates. These programs work to form partnerships with local trucking companies in order to connect employers with qualified students.

CDL Training Costs in Rhode Island

The CDL training cost to enroll in a program is determined by a number of factors. These factors tend to include the length and intensity of the program offered. In general, the average price for one of these local courses is around $7,748. This covers the cost of instructors as well as the materials needed to create an effective course. While this price is relatively steep, it is also possible for drivers to get free CDL training or receive reimbursement from their employers.

Some companies allow their employees to get paid while training for CDL privileges. These companies hire drivers and allow them to complete their training during their first few weeks of employment. Some company paid CDL training also allows new hires to receive tuition reimbursement after the fact. Many employers are willing to fund training in order to ensure that each driver meets adequate knowledge and safety standards.

Note: Keep in mind that CDL training costs typically do not include licensing fees and the cost to complete the mandatory DOT physical exam for CDL credentials.

How to Self-Prep for Rhode Island CDL Exams

Beyond CDL training programs, there are a few other resources available for drivers who need additional help preparing for the CDL exams. For example, many third-party websites offer a free CDL practice test for drivers to take. These exams are designed to mirror the official written test. The questions provided on these practices tests can create a CDL study guide that is personalized and customizable. This allows drivers to focus on particular areas of difficulty and direct their studies as needed.

The official CDL handbook is also a valuable tool for drivers. The DMV provides this commercial driver manual for free at local DMV office locations and online. It covers everything drivers need to know about operating a commercial vehicle legally within the state, including safety procedures and testing requirements.

While a CDL book and practice test are both important resources for drivers, they cannot serve as a replacement for training courses. It is only through these courses that drivers can gain the extensive preparation needed to enter the commercial driving industry.

Last updated on Wednesday, May 1 2019.

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