Your Guide to Online CDL Classes

online CDL classes

Have you seen an advertisement for online CDL classes but you not exactly sure what they are? Believe it or not, you are not alone as there are plenty of people who have the same questions. Why don’t we take a quick look at CDL training online and find out what is going on.

First off, let us say that online CDL classes are not for everyone. You need to devote time and have the dedication to log on and take your classes without having a teacher stand over you. However, if you think you have what it takes to be successful and have the motivation, then you may find that online CDL training can be a better way to get some of the training out of the way without having to leave your house.

In this guide, we are going to jump in to the deep end and go through the ins-and-outs of online CDL classes. We’re going to look at both the good and bad, what you should expect and a lot more that will hopefully give you a better understanding of this subject. By the end of this page, you should be able to make up your mind if online CDL classes are right for you.

You can contact us with any of your questions or comments on this topic via email. We will make every effort to quickly respond to your queries. Thanks for reading and let’s learn a bit about online CDL Classes.

What are Online CDL Classes?

I know most people are shocked to hear that there are actually online CDL classes. A few questions we’ve already received asked how it was even possible or what do you learn. Amazingly enough, it is very possible to get some pretty darned good training through online CDL classes that rival even on-campus classes.

As the name suggests, online classes are taken on your computer or tablet. You should have the ability to study anywhere or at any time 24/7 as long as you have an internet connection. The classes mainly are composed of videos and reading that you do online that somewhat simulate what you would study if you attended a live classroom.

For the most part, the online training you receive through a reputable CDL or truck driving school should be on the same level as if you were physically attending a classroom based program. However, you should know that online CDL classes are going to cover the classroom portion of the training. The hands-on training should be done in person. So far, we’ve not been able to replicate that type of actual hands-on experience through the internet… yet!

Are There Advantages?Disadvantages?How Can I Be a Better Student?Why Should I Go?

What Are Some Advantages of an Online Education?

Have you wondered what it was like to take online classes but don’t know what to expect. We’ve already told you some of the reasons people have picked online CDL classes, but maybe you are not convinced. Do you scoff at the idea that you can get a quality education via the internet?

We’ve talked to a number of people who have taken online classes to find out what is so appealing about them. Here is a list of the top benefits that you can find when you take online classes.

  • Flexibility: One of the best things about studying online is that you can pick when to take your classes so they don’t interfere with your busy life
  • Comfort: You have to admit, the idea of taking a class in pajamas or sitting out on the patio sounds a bit appealing
  • No Need to Commute: You won’t have to drive across town to go to your classes, in fact you may decide your longest commute is to the living room
  • Study Whenever You Want: Online CDL classes are open 24/7 so if you are night owl this can work in your benefit
  • Study Anywhere You Want: As long as you have a stable internet connection, you can study from anywhere including on your vacation
  • Saving Cash: Imagine the amount of money you can save by not having to drive to class, paying for gas or meals while going to campus-based classes
  • Self-Paced Education: Learn at the pace that best fits you
  • Able to Concentrate: Unlike a lot of busy classrooms, you can study in relative quiet within the confines of your home
  • Learn Faster: Since you are learning at your own pace, it is possible to complete subject matter faster than you would have at a more traditional class
  • Becoming More Tech Savvy: The more you use your computer, the better at you can be which can be very important in years to come
  • Type of Learning: You should be able to get the same level of education as you would by going to a classroom

What Are Some Disadvantages of an Online Education?

While a lot of students praise online education as a wonderful way to learn, some students have sent us their list of disadvantages too. It is only fair that you get both sides of what to expect in online CDL classes so that you can make a decision that works best for you. Below is a list of disadvantages that some online students have reported.

  • Computer is Old: If you have an older computer or slow internet connection, online classes can quickly become a pain to try to deal with
  • Lack of Motivation: Since you can study whenever you want, some students say that they don’t have the proper motivation to study
  • Not Competitive Enough: Some people thrive on competition to a point that they have a hard time learning without trying to be the best in the class
  • No Routine: Some students do not like the lack of structure
  • Being Alone: Some students have mentioned that they missed live interactions with other students
  • Lack of Computer Skills: While you will most likely learn more on how to use a computer as you go along, some students have said that their computer skills were awful and they were frustrated
  • No Positive Reinforcement: A few students complained that they felt empty since they were not getting an “atta boy” after doing something correctly

Good Personality Traits for Taking Online CDL Classes

As we have already mentioned, online education isn’t for everyone. It takes the right type of person with the right personality traits who wants to learn and can do so without being pushed. Let’s look at some of the personality traits that people who are thinking about taking online CDL classes should possess if they want to be successful.

  • Motivated to Learn: You should want to study and learn on your own without someone standing over your shoulder
  • Focused: Being able to set up a reasonable timeline that you would like to complete the online CDL classes
  • Decent Reading Comprehension: The ability to read, understand, remember and put in to practice what you have learned
  • Understanding When to Ask for Help: Letting go of your ego when you come to a road block while studying and asking for help
  • Manage Time: Creating your own schedule so that you have time to study
  • Paying Attention: Being able to block out distractions such as the TV show in the background or that neighbor kids who keep skateboarding by your window
  • Organization: Keep track of what you are learning, what is next and have all of your materials ready to go
  • Competent Tech Skills: Not being afraid of technology and having some idea how to work on a computer
  • Persistence: The ability to overcome stress or disappointment to succeed and learn from mistakes
  • Self-Starter: Making yourself start studying or taking you classes without looking for other things to do
We’re not saying that you can succeed with these traits or it is impossible to succeed without them. However, you might find that is a little easier to complete your online CDL classes with them.

Why Should I attend Online CDL Classes?

There are a number of reasons you may want to consider going to online CDL classes. Maybe you are currently working a full-time job and can’t afford to take the time off just yet. It could be you are recovering from an injury. It might even be as simple as online classes may appeal to you more right now.

One of the top reasons why many people sign up for online CDL classes is refresh their memory for the upcoming CDL examination. Online classes are a great way to get a refresher on the safety procedures and the state and federal regulations that you will need to know.

Over the past decade, people who have opted for online education has grown dramatically. Below you will find a chart that shows the growth online students.

Year

Total
Enrollment
Annual
Growth
Students Taking
At Least One
Online Class
Online Enrollment
Increase from
Previous Year
Annual Growth
Rate of Online
Enrollment
Online Students
as a Percent of
Total Enrollment
2008 19,102,811 4.7% 4,606,353 668,242 16.9% 24.1%
2009 20,427,711 6.9% 5,579,022 972,669 21.1% 27.3%
2010 21,016,126 2.9% 6,142,280 563,258 10.1% 29.2%
2011 20,994,113 -0.1% 6,714,792 572,512 9.3% 32.0%

Source: Changing Course: Ten Years of Tracking Online Education in the United States
by: Babson Survey Research Group, Pearson and Sloan-C

Where Can I Find CDL Training Online?

Believe it or not, finding online CDL classes is easier than ever. One of the fastest ways is by putting your zip code in the search box found in the upper right hand of this page. You can take a look at the CDL programs we have picked out in your area.

Just fill out the form and pick a few different schools so that you find which one is the right one for you. A representative from these programs will get in touch with you fairly quick. Be sure to have your questions for them ready to ask.

Another way is simply doing a search on the internet. Use your favorite browser, we suggest Google but anyone should do. After typing in “online CDL classes” the results will give you a list of programs found around your area to choose from. Then just contact the school directly.

What Should I Look For?What Should I Ask?Are There Requirements?What Will I Learn?

What Should I Look For in an Online Truck Driving School?

If you decide to look at some of the online CDL classes, you will want to find one that is legit and worth your time and money. Much like picking which person to spend the rest of your life with or what type of car you are going to buy, you want to be a bit choosey when picking a training program. So before you sign on any dotted lines, you will want to make sure you do a little research on the various online CDL classes.

This checklist could help you decide which online CDL classes you should enroll in.

  • Experience: Find out how long the training program has been around to avoid any fly-by-night scams
  • Curriculum: Compare the topics covered in each of the online CDL classes to make sure they are actually covering information you will need
  • Reputation: Like most things in the world, a good reputation is hard to pass by especially when it comes to training
  • Technical Requirements: You will need to make sure that your computer or tablet can handle the type of software and programs they use for training
  • Success Rate: How many students graduated from the program vs those that dropped out
  • Tech Support: A good online program will have 24/7 tech support to help with any issues
  • Software: Any online program should utilize software that is easy to navigate
  • Reviews of Online Program: Do a search on the internet for any sites or blogs that may have reviews on any of the online CDL classes you considering
  • Instructors: While taking your online CDL classes, it is still helpful to be able to talk to an instructor if you need to

What Are Some Important Questions to Ask about Online CDL Training?

We highly recommend that before you apply or enroll in any of the online CDL classes, you should first contact a representative from the program such as their admissions office. Here are some questions you really should ask them.

  • After I finish my online classes, when do I start the hands-on training?
  • How easy is it to get in touch with my instructor?
  • Does your school have a dedicated administrative team that quickly returns calls or emails concerning any issues online students may have?
  • When can I start?
  • Does the cost of tuition include any materials I need for my training?
  • Is the training program licensed, certified and or accredited? If so, by whom and can I get their phone number?
  • What is your student success rate?
  • Have you ever had any issues with your program?
  • Can I audit or maybe take a demo class to see if I like online classes?
  • What is the average student-to-instructor ratio for your classes?
  • Is it possible to get financial aid to attend your school?
  • What are the technical requirements for my computer to run the class software?
  • Do you have a dedicated technical support team on call 24/7?
  • Does this school have a job placement service to help graduates find jobs?
  • How many students have taken your online CDL classes? How did they do? Were there any complaints?
  • What are your enrollment requirements?

Are There Any Requirements to Enroll in Online CDL Classes?

Some of the specific requirements for enrollment in online CDL classes may vary slightly by state or program regulations. For the most part, the enrollment requirements should the same as the training program offered by the school. Some of the more common requirements are as follows:

  • Must have completed high school or have earned a GED
  • Must be 21 years old or older
  • You should be able to speak, read and write in English proficiently
  • Have a valid driver’s license with at least one year of automobile driving experience
  • To agree to and pass a drug screening at enrollment and randomly during the training
  • No traffic or moving violations on your record going back at least three years
  • No history of DUI, DWI or BAC convictions
  • Physical exam to be able to pass the Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations
You should make sure to ask the admissions office or a representative from any of the online CDL classes you are thinking of attending about their specific requirements.

What is Taught in Online CDL Training Classes?

Okay, let’s get this out of the way. The training you will get through online CDL classes is basically the same you would get in the classroom portion of any traditional truck driving school. You will still need to get the hands-on training where you actually get behind the wheel of a truck.

Some of the topics you will cover in online CDL classes should include:

  • Federal Motor Carrier Safety
  • CDL Qualifications
  • Safe Driving Practices and Defensive Driving
  • Defensive Driving
  • Road Log Administration
  • Railroad Crossing Safety Procedures
  • Getting a Job
  • Tax Regulations
  • Fuel Efficient Driving Practices
  • Alcohol and Drug Awareness
  • Map Reading
  • Safety Procedures and Emergency Equipment
  • State Traffic Laws
  • Federal Laws for Brake Systems and Lighting
  • Accident Reporting and Financial Responsibility
  • Driver Wellness and Fatigue
  • State and Federal Registration and Licensing Laws

Is CDL Training Online the Right Choice For You?

As you can see there are a lot of things to consider if you are thinking about going to online CDL classes. If you really want to earn your Commercial Driver’s License, you have to do a little research, ask some questions and take an honest inventory of yourself to figure out if going to online classes is a good idea. So after reading all of this, do you think that online CDL classes is the right thing for you?

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