There’s a lot to consider when you’re looking for a CDL school in Oklahoma. Before committing to a program, make sure you’ve chosen one that will put you in the driver’s seat of your new career.
Oklahoma CDL Training Admissions Requirements
To be accepted into most local CDL schools, you will need to meet the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety’s CDL qualifications. You must:
- Be a US Citizen
- Show proof of residency (tax return, recent utility bill, business license, or any other item on the Oklahoma DPS List of Proofs of Residency)
- Complete a DPS physical exam if you want to drive out of state
- Possess a valid Class D Oklahoma driver’s license
Once these minimum requirements are met, DPS will require you to pass written tests and driving tests before you can get your license. It’s important to choose a truck driving school that is familiar with Oklahoma CDL requirements including testing, regulations, and laws. Make sure the school has a good record for first-time CDL test pass rates. The school’s goal should be the same as yours – to get you licensed quickly and on the road to success.
A CDL program must include classroom instruction on Oklahoma commercial driving regulations, mechanical and safety information, and driver training. The goal is to prepare you to pass the Oklahoma CDL written and driving tests on the first try. But the quality and amount of instruction may vary. Find a school that offers a thorough test-prep program and has the endorsement of companies that hire truck drivers. Repetition is the key to building great driving skills, so be sure your program includes many hours of behind-the-wheel time (BTW time) and plenty of opportunities to practice specific techniques.
Types of CDL Training and Licenses
There are three types of Oklahoma commercial drivers’ licenses.
Class A is recommended for the best career opportunities. This license allows you to drive vehicles with a weight of 16,000 pounds or more and pull trailers weighing more than 10,001 pounds.
A Class B license restricts you to pulling trailers that weigh less than 10,001 pounds. Training is quicker, but there are fewer jobs available, and the pay is lower.
A Class C license allows you to drive a bus.
Be sure the truck driving school you choose offers complete training for the type of commercial driver’s license you want.
Length of Training
The length of Oklahoma CDL training programs depends on the school and type of license you choose.
If your goal is a Class A CDL, look for a school that provides at least 160 hours of instruction and training. Many companies won’t hire drivers who have not met this training requirement.
Your training should be long enough to give you plenty of behind-the-wheel practice time, but short enough to get you working and earning quickly. Before you enroll, consider how long you can afford to be without an income. Choose a school with a high first-time CDL test pass rate and an excellent job placement rate.
Costs and Financial Aid
Costs for training vary from school to school. If a school’s tuition seems too low compared to other Oklahoma CDL schools, find out why. The cheapest programs may not offer high-quality instruction, adequate repetition and behind-the-wheel time, and up-to-date training equipment.
If a school charges much more than other local schools for the same amount of instruction, they may be more interested in their profits than your success. Choose a CDL program that offers a good value and includes all the training you need.
A reputable school will guide you in locating financial aid and scholarships. You may even be eligible for non-credit based funding options. Talk with the admissions office about the many opportunities that are available. American Truck Training is a solutions-based CDL school that will work with you toward your goal of getting licensed.
Managing costs is important, but it’s also essential to choose a school that offers high-quality instruction, behind-the-wheel time, industry-standard vehicles and training equipment, and job placement assistance. The price tag shouldn’t be your only factor in deciding where to enroll.
Finding the Oklahoma CDL School That’s Best For You
Your CDL training can be a valuable investment—or a waste of time and money. Choose a program that best positions you for success.
Once you’ve decided the type of training you want, evaluate the cost and length of the training using the information given above. Here are some other key factors to help you choose a school.
- Equipment and Facilities. A good Oklahoma CDL school’s training fleet will include fully equipped, industry-standard vehicles like the ones you’ll be driving on the job. A large, well-maintained driving yard is important, too.
- Reputation. Talk to other drivers and get their recommendations. Read reviews, and study the school’s website and recruitment materials. If a local school isn’t willing to talk with you and provide honest answers to your questions, cross it off your list.
- Instruction. Many CDL students have never sat behind the wheel of a semi. You can’t learn the best driving practices without high-quality instruction and plenty of repetition. Choose an Oklahoma truck driving school with experienced instructors and a low student-to-instructor ratio. Four students for one instructor is ideal to give you the individual attention you need.
- Pass Rate. When you’re looking for a CDL school in Oklahoma, one of the most important questions to research is the percentage of students who pass their CDL tests on the first try. The training should fully prepare you for all the skills tests you’ll need to complete. If you can’t find information about the school’s pass rate, ask about it before you enroll. Look for a school with a first-time pass rate of at least 85%.
- Job Placement. Truck drivers are in demand, but going through the cheapest and fastest training program may not be enough to get you hired. Choose a local truck driving school that is endorsed (link to Werner’s letter of recommendation) by leading trucking companies, and be sure to ask about the job placement rates. Most reputable CDL schools offer job placement assistance to students and graduates.
Getting Started with CDL Training in Oklahoma
You’re eager to begin your new career, but it’s worth taking your time and doing some homework before enrolling in an Oklahoma CDL school. Be sure you understand the licensing requirements, the costs and length of your training program, and the type of instruction you’ll be getting. At American Truck Training, we’re here to answer your questions and work with you to find the program that fits you best.