You may consider signing up for CDL training in Wisconsin if you want to obtain your commercial drivers license with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). While the department does not require that you complete specialized CDL prep before attempting to take the knowledge or skills tests, this type of training is usually helpful if you want to pass the exams on your first try. A CDL school in WI is also useful after you have obtained your commercial license permit (CLP) because you can utilize a commercial vehicle and a licensed commercial driving instructor to assist you in learning how to safely operate the vehicle.

A truck driving school is also beneficial if you want to earn your CDL because most schools offer job placement services to graduates who complete the program. These services can be crucial if you are looking for a commercial driving job in the state but are not sure where to start. Since there are many schools that offer different programs, it is important that you know which CDL class you need to earn and that you find a course that works well with your schedule. To learn more about the CDL classes that are offered and how attending a course can help you in passing the necessary CDL exams, review the information provided below.

What is CDL training in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin Class A CDL training can assist you in learning safe driving techniques and studying the commercial driver’s handbook to ensure you can pass the mandatory exams to obtain your CDL quickly with the DMV. You should consider signing up for a CDL class that focuses on earning a Class A credential if you plan on applying for a CDL in WI to drive a combination vehicle that weighs more than 26,000 pounds and tows a vehicle that is more than 10,000 pounds. Most aspiring truck drivers earn their Class A CDLs to commercially drive semi-trucks.

You should sign up for Class B CDL training in WI if the commercial vehicle you plan to drive is more than 26,000 pounds but the towed vehicle is less than 10,000 pounds. You may also be focused on obtaining a Class C CDL if the vehicle you plan to drive weighs less than 26,000 pounds. Keep in mind, if you plan to transport more than 16 passengers or hazardous materials, then you are also required to obtain an endorsement on your license.

CDL prep classes are catered toward one specific class of CDL. Therefore, it is important to first choose the commercial driving career you are aspiring to achieve and locate a school that offers that type of course.

Is CDL school required in Wisconsin?

You are not required to complete CDL training in Wisconsin before you attempt to take the knowledge or skills exams with the DMV. However, most CLP holders sign up for training after successfully completing the CDL written test for their permits so they can practice their driving skills with experienced instructors before making a DMV appointment to take the skills test. Classroom instruction is also helpful for potential CDL holders so they can study road laws and other concepts that are covered on the knowledge tests.

Curriculum of Wisconsin CDL Classes

WI CDL school offers extensive instruction on local road laws and the safe operation of commercial vehicles. Most schools provide this education to students with both in-class instruction and behind-the-wheel training.

In-Class Instruction for the CDL Written Test

To prepare for the Wisconsin CDL written test, most schools will provide students with in-class instruction. During this time, experienced instructors explain the material in the commercial driver handbook to ensure students understand:

  • State road laws.
  • How to read road signs, including height or size restrictions.
  • The proper handling of emergency situations, such as tire blowouts.
  • The process for documenting time logs or accident reports.

While CDL training online is not offered for these courses, some schools may provide online study resources, such as videos or practice tests. Students can utilize these resources to study at home and increase their commercial driving law knowledge.

Behind-the-Wheel Instruction for the CDL Driving Test

Since the WI CDL test includes a road skills exam, CDL courses also provide one-on-one driving time with experienced commercial drivers/instructors. Once a potential student earns his or her CLP, he or she can complete this behind-the-wheel instruction. It is an important component to the CDL course because it can:

  • Increase the aspiring CDL holder’s confidence behind the wheel.
  • Teach the student how to safely operate the commercial vehicle.
  • Ensure the student can handle driving the commercial vehicle in a variety of situations.

Before sending a student to take the Wisconsin CDL driving test, an experienced instructor will practice the exact maneuvers and skills that are covered on the exam.

How long is CDL training in Wisconsin?

WI truck driving school usually takes four to eight weeks to complete depending on the course schedule you can follow. However, your course’s length can vary depending on the type of education you need. For example, if you are interested in taking a CDL class to assist you in preparing for your knowledge exam to obtain your CLP, then you may only need a few sessions.

However, after you earn your CLP, you may need to sign up for CDL classes in Wisconsin that include in-class instruction and behind-the-wheel training before taking the other mandatory exams and skills tests to obtain your CDL. This training can take several weeks to complete. Your CLP is only valid for six months after it is issued, so you must sign up for behind-the-wheel instruction within this time frame.

Best CDL Schools Near Me in Wisconsin

When looking for a school in your area, you can begin by searching for a, “truck driving school near me in WI.” This search may produce many results, so it is important to narrow it down to schools that offer the program you need and that can fit into your schedule. According to past student reviews and success rates, some of the best CDL schools in Wisconsin include the following:

  • Kotra Driving School – You should only consider enrolling in this school if you plan to earn your Class A CDL to drive a combination or straight truck. It offers several class options, including a 160-hour course, an extensive 240-hour course, a 120-hour upgrade course and a quick 40-hour knowledge refresher course. A refresher course can be beneficial before renewing your CDL in WI.
  • Diesel Truck Driver Training School – With student housing, financial aid options and employment assistance, this school is dedicated to ensuring you have everything you need to obtain your CDL. You can choose from an extensive CDL program or a quick basic skills program. Some CDL prep courses are provided periodically at no cost.
  • 160 Driving Academy – This school offers CDL courses that will help you earn your Class A CDL. You can sign up for additional education that will assist you in completing the classes necessary for your Hazardous Materials or Passenger endorsements. The academy is known for its high student success rate and helpful CDL job placement You can complete all 160 hours of education in four weeks if you follow the class schedule.

Benefits of Completing Wisconsin Truck Driving School

If you are unsure how to find CDL jobs in WI after you have earned your license, then attending a school is usually a helpful way to ensure employment. Most schools have good relationships with local commercial driving companies, so you can easily meet potential employers that may be hiring.

In addition to CDL job placement, you can ensure you know the material well and feel comfortable operating a commercial vehicle by completing courses before attempting to take your DMV exams. You will be more likely to pass these exams successfully on your first try, which can save you time and money.

CDL Training Costs in Wisconsin

You may be concerned about the CDL training cost in Wisconsin since extensive courses may cost $4,000 to $5,000 to complete. However, keep in mind that many of these schools offer financing options including student loans or payment plans.

There are also grants available to veterans or other qualifying students hoping to earn their CDLs. However, you should inquire if loans and grants are also available for the mandatory DOT physical exam for CDL credentials or if you will need to pay out of pocket.

You may qualify for paid CDL training in WI if your current or prospective employer has a program in place to help you earn your CDL. If you are currently working in the commercial driving industry or you have a job lined up, then ask your employer about paying for your CDL courses before you take the DMV exams.

How to Self-Prep for Wisconsin CDL Exams

You can find a CDL practice test in Wisconsin on the mobile phone application provided by the DMV. This smartphone app allows you to complete a practice exam that is similar to the knowledge test you will need to pass to obtain your CLP.

Additionally, you should study the WI CDL handbook closely before attempting to take any of the DMV exams. The manual also provides you with information on what to expect throughout the skills test and the documentation you will need to present to the DMV before obtaining your CDL.

Last updated on Friday, February 28 2020.