Online CDL Course Logo (white)

Already have an account?


5 Tips for Choosing an Online CDL Training Course

CDL training
Are you looking for an online CDL training course? You can read about finding the most suitable option for your needs in this guide.

Truck driving continues to grow year-on-year, with the number of truck drivers in the U.S. set to grow by 4% over the current decade. Getting into this role can be lucrative and allow you to build up a good amount of savings, but to do that you will need a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Do you have CDL training lined up already, and do you understand how important it is to get before you start driving larger vehicles?

Read on to learn more about what you need to know before you start CDL training online, so you know you are choosing the right course. 

1. Choose the Right Class of CDL

It is vital to ensure you choose a course that matches the vehicle you plan to drive. There are three classes when it comes to commercial driving licenses. These have the name of class “A”, “B”, and “C”.

Class A

In short, this license works as the “Universal” license with far fewer limitations on what you can drive. It allows you to drive vehicles that have a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of over 26,000 lbs. This includes the possibility of towing a separate vehicle of more than 10,000 lbs, such as a tanker or flatbed.

Examples of the type of vehicle you might have the freedom to drive with this license include:

  • 18-wheelers
  • Big-rigs
  • Tractor trailers

Of course, as this is the highest level of license, it means you can also drive vehicles that would require a class B or C license.

Class B

Class B licenses are similar to class A in that you can drive vehicles over 26,000 lbs, although they do not allow for the towing of separate vehicles (trailers) over 10,000 lbs. You can thus drive rigid vehicles, or even haul smaller trailers that weigh less than 10,000 lbs. Examples of such rigid vehicles might include:

  • Cement mixers
  • Delivery trucks
  • Buses
  • Garbage trucks

This list is not exhaustive, and you should always check the specific vehicle you intend to drive to see if your license is applicable.

Class C

If you intend to drive vehicles with a weight of less than 26,000 lbs and do not plan to haul over 10,000 lbs, this license is for you. Please note that not all training providers offer Class C certification, and this includes us.

You will also need this license if you plan to transport more than 16 passengers via road, regardless of the total weight of the vehicle.

2. Learn the Type of Training You Need

To obtain either a Class A or a Class B CDL you will need to take Entry-Level Driver’s Training (ELDT). ELDT is comprised of two parts: theory training and behind-the-wheel (BTW) training. Both theory and BTW training are mandatory to receive CDL, but they do not need to be taken from the same training provider. Many drivers choose to take the theory training online to save time and money, and then find an affordable BTW training provider where they can complete the rest of the training.

ELDT Theory Training

This type of learning involves being in a classroom, or, in the case of an online CDL training class, learning via your computer. It will cover most of the topics you need to know before it would be safe for you to start driving around, even with an instructor. These include foundational subjects such as:

  • The rules of the road
  • Safety laws and regulations
  • Vehicle operation theory

ELDT Behind-the-Wheel Training

Behind-the-wheel training involves you operating a physical truck or driving in a simulator. In this way, you can practice skills such as maneuvering or parking. It can also include practice for driving in specific weather conditions.

Be aware that online CDL training will not be able to put you behind the wheel. However, you can earn your theory certificate online, which will save you time and money before you seek out behind-the-wheel training elsewhere.

3. Ensure the Training Provider Is Accredited

Check with the training provider you intend to train with to ensure that they are approved by the FMCSA. If they are not listed on the FMCSA’s Training Provider Registry, you will not be able to take your CDL skills test and obtain your license because their ELDT training is not valid.

4. Learn More About the Curriculum

Using the websites of any CDL training courses that you find, or by contacting them in other ways, you should find out all you can about them. The following are some of the main questions you should find answers to:

Do They Cover the Core Topics?

Ensure the course covers all the essentials for working in the transport industry as a driver. These include:

  • Performing vehicle inspections
  • Techniques for shifting gears in larger vehicles
  • How to drive defensively

If the course skips any of these, you may have trouble in exams and real-life scenarios.

Do They Have Interactive Resources?

Check with the course provider to see what methods they have for you to learn away from a physical location. This might include resources such as:

  • CDL manual access
  • Progress tracking
  • Interactive video lessons
  • Opportunities to ask questions of an instructor

Do They Provide Practice Tests?

Taking a practice test can help you to handle the stress of a real exam situation. They can also give you a better idea of the types of questions you may often see.

5. How Engaged Are They With Students?

You want to ensure you have interactions with instructors during the course to offer you ongoing help. This may come in many forms and could include a discussion board or Facebook group. If so, check these areas out ahead of time so you can see how likely they are to respond to learners.

The more active they are in these areas, the more help you are likely to receive when you take the course too.

The CDL Training Courses You Deserve

At this point, you might wonder how easy it is to find a CDL training course that matches all these needs. The good news is it does exist, and the better news is that you are already on its website.

Our courses are perfect to help you get both the learning and qualifications to start working in the area of commercial driving. So, check out what we offer and learn how you can go from a novice to a professional driver today.

Spread the word

Online CDL Course

Online CDL Course

The first step to get your CDL

More articles from Online CDL Course