Commercial Truck Driver Career Overview
Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers transport goods from one location to another. Most tractor-trailer drivers operate trucks with a gross vehicle weight (GVW) capacity of more than 26,000 pounds. These drivers are required to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License. Some truck drivers deliver goods locally and some over-the-road which spans several states.
Job Duties May Include:
- Time management within the Federal Hours of Services Rules
- Follow all applicable traffic laws
- Inspect their trailer before and after the trip, and report to maintenance when needed
- Keep a log of their activities
- Follow all Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations
- Keep their truck and associated equipment clean and in good working order
Commercial Driver’s License (CDL-A) is one of Laurel Ridge Community College’s service region and the Shenandoah Valley’s highest in-demand credentials and continues to lead job openings as the most sought-after credential by employers.
Download the CDL-A Career Guide
Commercial Driver’s License CDL-A Program
In this 160-hour program, students will be provided the opportunity to gain the necessary entry-level skills to apply for truck driving positions. Students will also have the chance to gain two national credentials that employers respect in this industry.
Participants may receive:
- Commercial Driver’s License – CDL-A
CDL Training Offers:
- Help with Job Placement
- Funding and Payment Options
- Behind Wheel and Classroom Experience
- Personalized Training
What funding options are available?
The CDL-A program is a FastForward program. Eligible residents who have been living in Virginia for at least one year may qualify for FastForward and pay only one-third of the cost of tuition.
Additional financial assistance, grant funding, and Sallie Mae loans are available here for eligible students.
Laurel Ridge Workforce Solutions offers Entry Level Driver Training to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License. Training is tailored to meet the requirements of the entry-level driver training rule, which will mandate all CDL candidates attend a certified CDL school prior to taking their skills test with the DMV. Students will participate in classroom, range, and on-the-road training. Classroom training will cover basic control, safe operating procedures, distracted driving, hazard perception, vehicle systems, and much more. Range training consists of a pre-trip inspection, straight-line backing, offset backing, and parallel parking, all of which are required to pass the DMV skills test. On-the-road training covers speed and space management as well as many other control topics behind the wheel and observation (rider) using modern automatic transmission trucks. Upon satisfactory completion of the required curriculum and a demonstration of the skill set needed to pass the DMV exam, The CDL program will arrange and provide the vehicle for the skills exam. Once students pass the skills exam they will receive a student transcript and a certificate of completion.
Laurel Ridge offers full-time and part-time training options:
- WEEKDAY PROGRAM runs Monday-Thursday, 7 am – 5:30 pm for six weeks.
- WEEKEND PROGRAM runs Saturday & Sunday, 7 am – 5:30 pm for twelve consecutive weekends.
Commercial Driver’s License (CDL-A) training is offered near Winchester, Virginia – Northern Virginia in Middletown, Virginia at the Laurel Ridge Middletown Campus. CDL training serves employers and individuals living in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and the surrounding region.
FREE CDL-A Leaner’s Permit Exam Prep Course
For a limited time, the CDL-A training program offers a FREE CDL-A Leaner’s Permit Exam Prep Course.
To complete our Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) program you must possess a Class A CDL Learner’s Permit from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in the state you hold a license. The DMV Class A CDL examination consists of three parts: (1) General Knowledge; (2) Air Brakes; and (3) Combination and you must pass all three parts. This 4-hour test prep course will help you prepare to take the examination and covers key elements of the Commercial Driver License Manual. The class will be a combination of lecture, discussion and practice tests to designed to help you prepare and study. Additionally, we will share important information about registering for our CDL class and how our students can obtain their DOT physical at no cost, which is required to sit for the Learner’s Permit Examination at the DMV. Register for free today. This program is intended for students enrolled or planning to enroll in our CDL training program.
Student Success Stories
There is always going to be a need for transportation and moving freight. These two FastForward graduates from Dabney S. Lancaster Community College earned their CDLs and are on the road to a better life.
For Andrea, FastForward has been nothing short of life-changing. She was incarcerated for over eight years in federal prison, and after serving her time, she knew she had to make a change. Thanks to funding support through FastForward, Andrea was on the road to improving her life.
With little to no experience in tractor-trailers and truck driving, Scott Renner of Cross Junction, VA came to Laurel Ridge Community College Workforce Solutions to find a new career. Renner selected Laurel Ridge as his number one choice. “There were a couple of schools in the area and they didn’t offer as much as what [Laurel Ridge] offered,” said Renner. “I really liked what they had to offer. It’s a really good program and they take time to help you out if you need a little extra help in certain places. It was a really good choice for me.”