Commercial Driver Education in Vermont
A resource for vermont CDL drivers, with trucking schools, application information, and more.
Vermont CDL drivers education information. Trucking schools, colleges, the application process and more explained here.
For commercial vehicles, like a truck, tractor-trailer, or school bus, a commercial drivers license is necessary. It is not obligatory to complete a commercial driver’s education course in order to get your commercial driver’s license (CDL) in Vermont. However not technically mandatory, commercial driver’s education is really necessary to understand the intricacies that you need to have in order to get a CDL and to drive a commercial vehicle successfully.
FEDERAL REGULATIONS FOR COMMERCIAL DRIVING
Federal regulations for commercial driving are identical for all states in the US. The regulations are administered by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) outlining standards for driver safety and the general public.
STATE REGULATIONS FOR COMMERCIAL DRIVING
The state of Vermont requires you to successfully complete certain tests to obtain your CDL before you can legally drive a commercial vehicle. The exams vary on different CDLs and the amount and type of endorsements on it. The exams that you need to clear to conform to state regulations are the written knowledge test, the Air Brake Inspection test, and the road exam. Apart from these driver exams, the test vehicle also has to undergo an examiner inspection. For all the requirements go to our application page.
Vermont has also adopted the U.S. Division of Motor Vehicles Hazardous Materials Regulations which includes the mandatory training and testing of commercial drivers who transport hazardous materials.
Drivers who apply for a CDL in order to drive school buses require an additional school bus endorsement on their CDL which should note that it is legal for them to drive 15 or more people beside themselves. The school bus endorsement requires drivers to clear a special knowledge test based on driving safety, passengers and school buses. The knowledge test must also include an air brakes section if there are air brakes on the school bus. A skills test must be completed.
CERTIFIED TRUCK DRIVING COURSES IN THE US
In The US, truck driving courses are certified by a single organization, The Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI) in Alexandria, Virginia. Though PTDI certification is not mandatory, it indicates that the school maintains good training standards for truck drivers, since PTDI certification is based on the driving skills that the school teaches the driver, the theoretical knowledge about truck driving that they offer, and their curriculum.
There are three types of training schools for truck driving:
- There are the private schools which are run by privately owned establishments like corporate houses. Their main aim is to train people to join the truck driving industry which has a high level of demand. Their programs are typically of a good standard.
- There are public schools run by the government which offer training through classes in specific colleges or institutes at lower cost.
- In house programs – these are training programs offered by individual companies themselves set up to train workers for their company. These programs can vary and usually typecast workers for that company only.
If a school is PTDI certified, it has to meet the PTDI standards. This includes providing 44 hours of driving experience and a standard curriculum that not only gives the basic training for getting a CDL, but also includes a variety of other topics that the trainee should know about in order to safely and successfully get a CDL as well as to operate a truck.
FINDING A GOOD TRUCK DRIVING TRAINING PROGRAM
A good first step in finding info is look at program brochures or catalogues. Most decent school will present everything that is offered from the course, in the booklet. It should outline the following:
- the school and its involvement with truck driving training – how it will help you with the licensing and eventual recruitment assistance.
- the facilities it offers and the codes of conduct that it follows.
- the courses that are offered and the process for admission to the school.
- the cost of the course as well as costs associated with getting the CDL.
- what the refund police is in case you have to leave the course.
- what the evaluation method is, i.e. grading, graduation.
DURATION OF TRAINING
The length of commercial education programs offered by various school is different as there are no set standards for the same. An established program will mention the duration in details on their brochure, clearly detailing how many hours are spent in actual driving and how many in the classroom. The training given behind the wheel is the most important part of this training program. PTDI standards stipulate 44 hours of driving experience and 104 hours classroom and lab time. This standard is good to use when selecting programs.
As per expert opinions, to be able to drive a truck safely, it is important for the trainee to undergo at least 4-6 weeks of training, with classes everyday. Some high quality schools offer longer programs to give more time to individual driving experience and classroom attention.
GRADUATION AND PLACEMENT AFTER TRAINING PROGRAM
Private training programs and public training programs typically have a diploma or certificate at the end of the program. When carriers and trucking companies hire new drivers, they almost always prefer students who have such a certificate/diploma since that is proof of the students having completed the basic hours of training. Insurance companies also use this diploma for their premiums. Programs that are done by companies themselves, in house, typically do not offer a diploma, and give the employee less options for mobility.
A mark of a good school is their process for helping graduates find jobs upon or before they enter the workforce. Many schools will offer presentations and interview fares with industry professionals.
Placement rates are given by some schools outlining what the rate of employment is for graduates upon completion of the course. They aim to increase these rates through interview and resume prep and networking. Some programs offer lifetime placement assistance.
- Since training schools are evaluated on the basis of their placement rates, it is important to complete a commercial driver’s education program from a good school before you apply for a CDL. This ensures that you become a safe driver and are also able to get a good job.
- See CDL Basics.