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Trucking School FAQs - Questions and Answers

These FAQs aim to provide comprehensive information to individuals interested in pursuing a career as a professional truck driver and help them make informed decisions regarding their training options.

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What is a truck driving school?

A truck driving school is a specialized program designed to train individuals to become professional, commercial truck drivers. Within these schools, experienced professionals (teachers/instructors) guide students in their preparation for the commercial driver's license (CDL) test, which they must pass in order to obtain their commercial driver's license and be eligible to operate large commercial trucks in the United States. Some trucking schools offer Class A CDL training, some offer Class B CDL training, and some offer both. Roehl Transport offers a step-by-step guide to getting your Class A CDL and a step-by-step guide to getting a Class B CDL.

Does every truck driving school train people to get their CDLs?

It’s important to know that you can get a CDL from a carrier or school as long as they are on the training provider registry with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) (learn more about the Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) mandate ). Make sure the CDL training program you are considering in the registry.

Can you get a CDL without going to a truck driving school?

Yes. From company training to company-sponsored CDL training, there are options to get a CDL without going to a truck driving school (though many company sponsored CDL training programs are run through truck driving schools, and in some cases, a trucking company may actually own the truck driving schools that they send candidates to). If you are asking yourself if you can get a CDL without going to school, you may want to review this blog post CDL School: Answers to Commonly Asked Questions and this one

It’s also important to understand that Roehl's training program is not a truck driving school at all. Roehl offers an on-the-job CDL training program that helps trainees to earn their CDL while they work for Roehl. When you start the program, you become a full-time employee of Roehl. Instead of paying tuition, you'll be getting paid while you learn!

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How much does truck driving school cost to attend?

The average cost of attending a truck driving school can vary greatly depending on several factors such as location, duration of the program, and the type of training provided. Generally, the cost can range from $3,000 to $8,000 for a basic program that lasts around 3-4 weeks. However, some programs can cost up to $10,000 or more for advanced training that includes endorsements and specialized skills.

Do I have to attend CDL A training near me?

You do not need to find CDL training near you. Recent improvements in how states share licensure information means you can often train for your CDL further away – so you can choose the program that works best for you. You might want to keep in mind that expenses for truck driving school may go beyond tuition. For example, some students attend truck driving school far from their own homes and must pay for lodging and meals during that time.

Roehl offers CDL training in multiple locations around the United States, and if you are accepted into Roehl’s Get Your CDL Program, Roehl will provide lodging and most meals during the three-week program. And, because you are hired on your first day of training, instead of paying for a CDL, you’ll be paid while you get your CDL.


Will I get paid while attending CDL school?

In most cases, the answer is no. Some programs may provide a per diem or other honorarium (that’s often charged back to you, if it’s a company sponsored program). Amazon’s Career Choice Program offers training while you are still employed with Amazon – meaning you’re working your job AND going to CDL school.

If you are accepted and attend Roehl's CDL training program, you will be paid as an employee of Roehl – your job is literally to train for the skills you’ll need to get your CDL!

How long is truck driving school?

A typical truck driving school can last up to six weeks, depending on the program and whether you're attending it part-time or full-time. Some community college programs are much longer. This involves training in a classroom and then driving with an instructor on the road. Unless the school is local, students must stay in a hotel or lodging nearby and pay for meals.

Roehl's training program is three weeks long, and during that time, Roehl will provide lodging and most meals . At the end of three weeks, you should have the knowledge you need to be pass your CDL test and obtain your Class A license.

What will costs be upfront to attend trucking driving school?

No matter where you go to get your CDL training, you’ll need a commercial learners permit (CLP) in order to train to drive a truck. The permit fee can be up to $90 depending on the state.

Some truck driving schools will include a week of CLP training before actual CDL A instruction – whether you need it or not. Roehl Transport is different. Roehl offers many resources to help you obtain your CLP before you start a CDL training program. From important contact info to a step-by-step CLP guide to free CDL practice tests to help you prepare for the written tests , Roehl’s resources are there to help you as you work toward getting your CDL.

What are the requirements or prerequisites for attending truck driving school vs. Roehl's training program?

The requirements for becoming a truck driver are the same regardless of how you obtained your training, which means the prerequisite requirements for attending truck driving school are similar regardless of which training program or truck driving school you attend.

In fact, because the role of a professional truck driver is federally regulated, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has created the Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) mandate . The ELDT establishes a uniform national benchmark to ensure all new drivers have the same safety skills regardless of their licensed state, the school or CDL training program where they learned to drive.

Some trucking schools may have different requirements depending on if you are getting a Class A CDL or a Class B CDL, so it's important to check with the specific school you're interested in to ensure you meet their requirements. It’s also worth noting that getting into truck driving school doesn’t guarantee you a job with a trucking company, so many truck driving schools will ask you to get a pre-hire letter from a trucking company before starting.

Because Roehl Transport’s CDL A training program is a job, you’ll know which division and fleet you’ll be in before you even start your CDL training.

Additionally, most truck driving schools require you to have a clean driving record with no major violations, such as DUIs or reckless driving. Some schools may also require you to pass a drug test and physical exam before enrolling. Roehl requires a DOT urine test and non-DOT hair follicle drug test as well as a new DOT physical - unless you have an existing physical that can be accepted, or you have a valid medical card.

Again, Roehl provides many resources to help you be successful, and Roehl has teammates who can also answer your questions via the phone, text, email and even social media.

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What is the duration of a typical truck driving course?

The duration of a typical truck driving course can vary depending on the program and the student's schedule. Some programs offer full-time courses that can be completed in as little as four weeks, while others may offer part-time courses that can take several months to complete. It's important to research different programs and their schedules to find one that fits your needs and availability.

Do truck driving schools offer job placement?

Some truck driving schools help students who graduate from their program to find a job in the trucking industry. Placement is not a guarantee and many schools that offer placement help will publicize their placement percentages, so you can see for yourself just how many students they're able to help find jobs when they graduate. You'll notice that these schools do not have 100% success rate helping students find a job. Some truck driving schools may bring trucking companies in to present to their students, and you should also know that some schools may have a financial relationship with a trucking company (or trucking companies).

When you attend Roehl's CDL A training program, you'll have peace of mind knowing that you already have a truck driving job because you are hired on the first day. When the training program is complete, you'll have the credentials and skills you need to start your over the road training with a certified driver trainer.

What is the typical starting pay for students out of trucking school?

Starting pay for a truck driver varies a lot depending on who you drive with and where you're driving. At many companies, first year drivers earn approximately $40,000 to $45,000 per year, with the lowest 10% of truck drivers earning as little as $30,000 annually.

At Roehl, even first-year drivers are able to earn well above the national average, with inexperienced drivers earning as much as $60,000 or even more after about 9 months on the job. Top earners at Roehl earn more than $100,000 per year.

The amount you earn will depend on many factors – from the type of freight you haul to how many miles you drive to how often you are home. Trucking company pay plans may also impact how much you can make. Further complicating things are how your miles are calculated and even the cents per mile you earn. Again, Roehl has resources to help. Roehl Transport is a leader in how miles are calculated ( address-to-address practical route mileage instead of HHG/Short Route) and an innovator with driver pay packages (Dyanmic Pay Plans instead of a flat CPM).

What happens after truck driving school?

No matter where you get your CDL, how you are trained once you have your license can make all the difference in your truck driving career. You’ll want to ensure you are trained to do the job of a professional truck driver by a safe and reputable company.

Roehl Transport was started by a driver, and a driver leads Roehl (CEO Rick Roehl still maintains his CDL). Roehl has been training new truck drivers for over 30 years, and the company has been successful for over 60 years. Roehl is built on values, and the company operationalizes and incentivizes safety (Roehl paid its drivers $4 million in safety incentives in 2022).

If you are looking to become a professional truck driver, there’s no better place than Roehl Transport. From resources for those looking to get a CDL to on-the-job truck driver training to careers for experienced veteran drivers, Roehl Transport is one of North America’s safest and most successful trucking companies.


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