1. JTS Landscaping lawn

    JTS Landscaping lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 378

    i was thinking of going and maybe getting my class A cdl wondering how hard it is and what all you have to do.
  2. Dirt Digger2

    Dirt Digger2 LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,396

    heres what i'm doing...got my class A learners permit and i drive class B and A trucks at work...anything from a 33K tank truck up to a Pete with a lowboy. I have a lot of experince with single trucks and could easily go get my class B right now, however i do not have as much experience with a combination truck, as far as backing a 35ton lowboy around...its a lot different then backing up a small trailer. But you just need experience, you need someone willing to show you how to shift (and it is A LOT different then shifting a small truck), you need someone to go take the test with also. If you dont have any of these, or you dont have a truck that you can get a lot of experience in i would go to a truck school and tear up their equipment.

    also make sure you can properly pre-trip a truck...a lot of guys fail their test before they even get behind the wheel
  3. RockSet N' Grade

    RockSet N' Grade LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,454

    What DirtDigger said..........
    Also, most new truck dealerships have a certified CDL teacher on staff and you can usually arrange private lessons (for a price of course) in one of their trucks from the lot. Pre-trip is a MAJOR and a good way to learn pre-trip is learn the correct routine and practice, practice, practice till you have it by memory. Another inexpensive way to get going is go to the DMV and get a commercial drivers booklet and start reading that to get savvy on what they will be asking you on the written test.
  4. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,544

    The easiest way to get your CDL is go to a driving school and take a course its the quickest way. I did that but it cost me 900 dollars back in 98 now its something like 2000 dollars.
  5. snoope

    snoope LawnSite Member
    Posts: 47

    Here is a site that will give you free pre-test for every part of the CDL.....


    Depending on where you are,some "tech" schools offer better rates than the bigger schools........And if your going to spend the $$$$.......get as many endorsements NOW..tank and haz-mat are worth their weight in $$$ in todays world....you never know when "Uncle" is going to change the "rules" for pesticides or even gas/diesel amounts to be transported...

  6. meador56

    meador56 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 90

    I have a friend that is cop for motor vehicle and his brother runs D 4 Cat and had never got cdl. Cop told bro to take test with ton and gooseneck get class A without air brake endorsement and then go back and add it. This worked I didn't think it would but it did. I have had a class A with an X {haz-mat tanker} for years.
  7. Dirt Digger2

    Dirt Digger2 LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,396

    to get air brake here you have to do that in the driving test, if you have a class A w/o airbrake and you want airbrake you just have to do the airbrake part of the exam....however what i think would work, and im kind of looking into it would be to take my Class B w/airbrake test since its easier...then go back with the F550 and 12K trailer and get the class A.
  8. RockSet N' Grade

    RockSet N' Grade LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,454

    If you like to do things twice, your idea will work. Set the fear aside.......sew that 550 with your 12k trailer through the eye of a needle and just go through the process once........
  9. Dirt Digger2

    Dirt Digger2 LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,396

    oh im not afraid of driving truck...if anything every one else on the road should be afraid..haha..im just throwing some ideas out there for this guy to think over...im taking my test in an F800 two-speed with a 20K tag trailer
  10. ASCHAL45

    ASCHAL45 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 63

    I have had my class A for a lil over a year now. The Hardest Part for me was the written combinations test. But you better know your pretrip it can be pretty confusing. I would recomend using a class a truck with a thirty foot or so pintle hitch i think that is the easiest way or it was for me anyways.

    Well Good Luck

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