In order to drive a commercial truck, you are required to have a commercial driver’s license (CDL). You may be wondering, how long does it take to be fully trained to operate these large vehicles? While the answer differs by state, you may be surprised how little training is required.
Becoming A Truck Driver
To be eligible for a commercial driver’s license, you must first complete certain requirements.
Standard Driver’s License
In order to obtain your commercial driver’s license, you must already have your standard driver’s license. If you cannot operate a passenger vehicle, you should not be operating a commercial truck.
You do not need a high school diploma to be a truck driver, but it is recommended. You also have the option of taking additional truck driving courses at community colleges, vocational schools, or private driving schools.
Obtaining a Commercial Driver’s License Permit
Federal law requires that all commercial drivers pass competency tests in order to obtain their CDL permit.
North Carolina Required Training
In North Carolina, drivers must have their commercial driver’s license permit for 14 days prior to taking driving skills tests. However, there is no mandatory training course requirement prior to getting your CDL.
Testing for a North Carolina CDL involves a knowledge test and a road skills test.
The knowledge test is a 25 question examination that tests the applicant on their knowledge of North Carolina and Federal driving laws. To pass, the applicant must score an 80% or higher.
The road skills test tests to ensure the driver:
Can conduct thorough and accurate pre-trip inspections
Can maintain basic vehicle control
Has road skills in normal traffic situations
Therefore, in order to get a CDL, drivers are only required to obtain a permit for at least 14 days, provide necessary documentation, and pass these two tests.
Inadequate Training Risks
Inexperience on the road can lead to dangerous consequences. While some trucking companies do require their employees to go through thorough on-the-job training, others provide minimal training or none at all. Inexperienced drivers don’t know how to handle stressful road situations and react slowly, increasing the risks of accidents.
Truck Accident Liability
If truck companies fail to properly train their drivers, they can be held liable after an accident. Lanier Law Group, P.A. can help you determine the responsible party after a truck-related accident. Contact us today to share the details of your case with our North Carolina personal injury team.