You see them every day, these 18-wheelers going down the road hauling many different types of things. However, if you are considering becoming one of the drivers that move these things from place to place, then you first need to get a CDL, or a commercial driver’s license, to legally drive these 18-wheeler trucks. You might think it is an easy process to simply get your CDL and start driving, but there are several benefits and disadvantages to getting one that might either put your considerations on hold or speed up the process.
Before you head to your local DMV to get your CDL and start training, you should first look at the advantages and disadvantages of having this commercial driver’s license. Here is what you need to know.
A CDL, which we have mentioned is also known as a commercial driver’s license, is a required license that you need before you can drive a specialized truck. However, before you can get your license, you must go through the training program. The training has its benefits as well as teaching you about truck safety, practicing on the roads, and more. However, having the license itself has many benefits.
One of the biggest benefits is the insurance. When you get your CDL, you are covered by insurance when driving the truck. Not only does it bode well for insurance, but it can also help you find a great job as a truck driver. The cost of going to these training schools is relatively inexpensive, and it could help boost your starting salary once you find a job. Many companies will pay for your training to have a certified driver, which helps save you money. Job security is just one of the biggest benefits of having your CDL to drive a truck. You will get to learn all about the truck and how to drive it, and you can get a great job with the license as well.
However, there are some downfalls to obtaining a CDL, which is common with most anything in this life. A CDL means lots of driving time, but that also means lots of time away from home. If you enjoy spending time at home with family, then you might want to reconsider. Your schedule is not on the radar. Another disadvantage to a CDL is not necessarily the license itself, but the lack of sleep that it brings with it. As a truck driver, you don’t get the luxury of sleeping on a regular time schedule. You must put the schedule of the load before your own.
There is one particular disadvantage to obtaining your commercial driver’s license, and that is the time needed to get it. It’s not like getting the average driver’s license where you study at home, practice on your own, and take the test. Getting a CDL means hours in a classroom where you learn about traffic and truck safety, traffic laws, and more. Since you will be traveling all over the country, this is important information. It can take months to get your CDL.
Time and Price
When considering going to get your CDL, you need to know how much it will cost you and how long it will take to obtain. These are both good questions to consider before jumping in head first. Initially, you will need to pay for your training and schooling to become a truck driver. This is necessary before you can obtain your CDL. The price of training varies from state to state, but it can be broken down into a few averages here:
Tuition for training: $3,000-$8,000
Exam cost: $10-$100
License renewal: $25-$150
Hazmat background check: $50-$100
Actual license: $8-$150
Once you consider the prices involved with obtaining your CDL, you next need to consider how much time it will take to obtain the license. The average time that it takes is going to vary by state and by the program. Some people might take a few weeks, but others might take a few months. This truly depends on your comfort and how well you do on your certification exam. Essentially, before you jump into the program, you should look into the program in your home state and area to see how long the average person takes, the tuition rates, and more.
Getting a CDL, or a commercial driver’s license is a great way to ensure that you get a great job as a truck driver. In fact, it is required by law to have a CDL to drive a truck that weighs more than 26,000 pounds. However, much like anything in this world, obtaining a CDL has its advantages and disadvantages. It is important to consider both sides of the coin before starting a program and paying money to obtain the license. It can vary by state, but having a CDL is required everywhere for truck drivers.