Residents of Florida over 18 years old qualify for training in Florida truck driving schools. Truck drivers who plan to apply for positions that would entail the operation of vehicles over 26,000 lbs or which transport hazardous materials are required to be specially trained and to obtain a commercial driver’s license or CDL. This means one must pass a written and driving exam designed to determine a person’s capability to operate a truck safely within the state or between states. State-based truck driver training facilities should ensure that their students pass the physical exams as well as vision, hearing and drug tests every two years.
Before one can apply for a CDL, however one needs to enroll under a certified truck driver training program. Choosing from among the many Florida truck driving schools can be confusing as persuasive marketing and attractive offers obscure the fact that some schools promise more than they can deliver. A student must choose one that is certified or accredited by a reputable organization, and offers truck driver training that provides substantial actual driving time (at least 44 hours). Many good private driving schools may take a hefty chunk of money as tuition but considering a truck driver in Florida earns about $35,000 annually, while a tractor-trailer driver earns about $43,000, the investment may be well worth it. One of the few nationally accredited Florida schools is the National Truck Drivers School, which has been providing truck driver training since 1978. The school’s programs are accredited with the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC), recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Their Florida campus is in Orange Park and offers the CDL Prepared Independent Trucker programs as well as the Commercial Driver’s License Preparation program.
National Training, Inc. (NTI) is also one of the accredited by the DETC, Florida-based truck driving schools. It is also recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and licensed by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. One of the unique features of NTI is their training of eligible applicants under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) as well as Vocational Rehabilitation Participants. At its training complex in Green Cove Springs, Diesel Semi Tractor Trailer Driver Programs students benefit from three weeks of training (160 hours) on extensive training grounds on well-maintained late-model training vehicles that range from 300 HP to 450 HP engine power, up to 13 speed transmission and up to 48 foot trailers. NTI also provides job placement assistance.
SAGE Truck Driving Schools also purports to provide truckingschool quality professional truck driver training and have been doing so for two decades. The SAGE programs are certified with the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI) as they should be and are considered one of the best trucking school programs in the US. In-depth commercial truck driver training and instruction as well as extensive hands-on truck driving experience is part of the standard curriculum whether at their facilities at Indian River Community College at Riviera Beach or Lake City Community College in Lake City. Truck driver training programs are patterned for the Proposed Minimum Standards for Training Tractor Trailer Drivers of the Department of Transportation. The most popular program is the TTD150, which is considered the basic program for entry-level over-the-road truck driver. It involves a total of 150 hours of instruction, including 44 hours of actual driving over 5 weeks. Refresher courses are also available.
These are various types of Florida truck driving schools. For more information, search online for the best program to suit your needs. And remember, the cheapest are almost never the best. When in a hurry, enroll in the transport company-organized training. My personal tip for a trouble-free CDL ticket.