CDL License FAQs

(Straight Talk)

What is CDL College and where is it located?

CDL College is a training/testing facility specializing in the skills and requirements necessary to operate a Commercial Vehicle. The college is located at the intersection of 72nd and Dahlia St. in Commerce City. 7170 Dahlia St., Commerce City, CO. 80022. From I-76, take the 74th Ave. exit and head east. Turn right (South) at Dahlia St. 2 blocks to 72nd Ave. CDL College is on the SE corner of 72nd and Dahlia St. We also have a location in Grand Junction at 2107 H Road. See a map.


Apart from training, does CDL College also perform any testing?

Yes. CDL College is the largest 3rd party tester in Colorado. No other entity in the state tests more vehicles. All testee’s must bring 3 documents on test day: a Colorado CDL Permit, a D.O.T. Medical Card, and a Driver License. The Medical Card can be from any state and must not have expired. Schedule a test.


WHO needs a CDL?

A Commercial Driver License allows people to operate heavy-duty vehicles. Generally speaking, there are 2 Classes of CDL's: Class A and Class B.

A Class A license is required to operate the big trucks that pull long trailers that you see on the highways. A big truck that pulls a long trailer is called a Combination Vehicle because it is a combination of 2 vehicles (1 truck and 1 trailer). These vehicles deliver most of the goods that people purchase from stores, such as food and beverages, furniture, building supplies, toys, cars and trucks, clothing, flowers...everything! Everything that you see in your home, including the materials that were used to build your home, was delivered to a store by these big combination vehicles. The trucks that pull the long trailers must be very powerful because a fully-loaded trailer can weigh as much as 65,000 pounds. The trucks can weigh between 15,000 and 20,000 pounds. These big trucks can also have as many as 18 speeds! Most cars have just 6 speeds.

A Class B license is required for big vehicles that do not pull a trailer, such as school buses, cement mixers, and big trash trucks.

What do I need to do to get my CDL?

People wishing to obtain a Commercial Driver License (CDL) in America must be at least 18 years old. A CDL is issued to students after they have passed a CDL Skills Test. Training is NOT required before a student can pass the test but it is beneficial (CDL College provides this kind of training).

The CDL Skills Test has 3 parts: (1) a full vehicle inspection; (2) 3 backing maneuvers (backing maneuvers test the driver's ability to safely drive the truck and trailer in reverse without hitting anything); and (3) a driving test on the road to determine whether or not a student can safely operate these large vehicles safely in traffic. The CDL Skills Test can last as long as 2.5 hours for some students! Most of the companies that hire drivers with a CDL require a high school diploma. Additional training is provided by the companies that hire new drivers after they have passed the CDL Skills Test. This is the on-the-job training.

How much does your college cost for out-of-states students?

The cost for students is the same no matter where they live. We train students from all over the world (America, Europe, Mexico, Canada, South America, Africa, Asia, Australia, Russia...everywhere! The training course for a Class A license costs about $3,500 and takes 3-4 weeks to complete. The training course for a Class B license costs about $1,500 and takes 3-5 days to complete. Compare the cost of this training to a 4-year college degree which can cost $100,000 to $150,000!

How much can a Truck Driver earn?

CDL drivers who operate a vehicle owned by the company that hired them earn between $35,000 and $65,000 in the first year of driving. The more experience you have as a driver, the more money you can make. Here's the best part: CDL drivers who own their own truck can earn $150,000 to $250,000 per year! We have trained drivers who earn that much money every year.

How are Commercial Driver Licenses classified?

Class A: GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more; ability to tow more than 10,000 pounds.
Class B: GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more; towing capacity less than 10,000 pounds.
Class C: GVWR under 26,001 pounds; ability to carry 16 or more passengers, or hazardous materials.
Class A license holders can operate Class B and Class C vehicles with the proper endorsements.


What is Pay-As-You-Go Training?

All CDL College training programs can be started with just $900 down. Pay-As-You-Go allows our students the flexibility to pay off their balance in unspecified increments. A graduation certificate will be issued to the student as soon as their balance is paid in full.


I've been told that I have to drive Over-the-Road at my first trucking job. Is this true?

No! This is a myth created by large trucking companies and the truck driving schools that recruit students for them. These schools are contracted by trucking companies to funnel their graduates. Large trucking companies often have tuition programs that pay for student training. In return, the student agrees to drive for that carrier for a specified period of time, usually one year. The driving is usually Over-the-Road.

CDL College is not affiliated with, and does not recruit for, any trucking companies. We have no hidden agenda. Many of our students find high-quality first jobs through Gary’s Job Board, which was created for that very purpose. GJB is also 100% unaffiliated. The website does not recruit for any trucking companies.


Can I Drive a Truck if I have a Felony Conviction?

Yes, with a stipulation: how long ago did the conviction occur? Some trucking companies will hire you if the conviction occurred 3 or more years ago; others require 5 or more years.


How Does a Bad Economy Affect the Trucking Industry?

Trucks roll on whether the economy is booming or busting. Think about it this way: almost every item you own was brought to the place of purchase by a truck. The materials that comprise your home were transferred to the site of your home by a truck. A truck delivered your car to the dealership. Goods need to be moved from point A to point B, and trucks are the most efficient and cost-effective method to do so. America will always need truckers.


Why Is the Class A course more expensive than the Class B?

The amount of driving time in each course is the difference. A Class A vehicle is a big tractor trailer, an 18 wheeler. A Class B is a single vehicle like a U-Haul, but bigger. The tractor-trailer course requires more driving time for a person to become proficient. A Class A student requires 30 hours behind-the-wheel while a Class B driver only needs 10 hours.

Thank you for your questions. If you have any other questions you'd like us to answer, you may contact us at any time