If you’re looking to get an excellent education from an experienced Maryland truck driving school, North American Trade Schools’ expert instructors, industry-standard equipment and tireless devotion to the student body will help you get out on the open road in no time.
To help you get started, we have put together some key points that any student interested in an exciting career in truck driving should be aware of:
1. Commercial Truck Driving License Requirements
Part of your Maryland truck driving school education involves going through the necessary steps to secure your commercial truck driving license, or CDL.
Obtaining a CDL means you’ll be qualified to operate a number of commercial vehicles for hundreds of industries all across Maryland.
A commercial truck driving license allows its holder to operate any large commercial vehicle over 26,001 pounds in weight and is valid for the state in which it is issued.
Since license requirements can vary from state to state, let’s take a look at what the state of Maryland requires of its commercial truck drivers.
- You must meet the minimum age requirement (normally 21)
- You must already possess a full Maryland driver’s license (with motorcycle licenses not being applicable)
- You must have a good driving record
- You must be able to provide proof of your social security number with proper documentation
- You must meet physical qualifications as outlined by federal regulations
Prior to obtaining your CDL from a truck driving school, the physical qualifications you need to meet are regulated by the Department of Transportation, with your exam referred to as your DOT physical.
- Your blood pressure must be under 160/100, though medication to manage high blood pressure and maintain these levels is permitted
- You must pass a vision screening test with 20/40 correctable vision being required, though the use of contacts or corrective lenses is permitted
- You must not suffer from diabetes and require needle-injected insulin, though controlling diabetes through diet and oral medication is acceptable
- You must maintain a blood sugar level under 200
- You will need to pass a stress test if you have suffered any cardiac or cardiovascular issues in the past; in these cases, your primary care physician will need to formally approve of your health capabilities in writing as well
- You must not be using any Schedule 1 drug, narcotic, amphetamine or any other habit-forming substance
Safety and Skill Qualifications:
- You must pass the public road test
- You must pass the basic skills test, featuring the following requirements:
- Vehicle maneuvering and control checks
- Safety and air brake checks
- A pre-trip inspection of the vehicle exterior, cab and engine
Also, special certifications in addition to your CDL are required to operate passenger CMVs, school buses, tanks, double & triple trailers, and hazardous material trucks.
2. CDL Classifications
By obtaining a CDL from a certified Maryland truck driving school, drivers will be able to operate tractor-trailers and commercial vehicles under the following classifications:
- Class A – Any combination of vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of at least 26,001 pounds, allowing that the towed vehicle exceeds 10,000 pounds itself.
- Class B – Any vehicle that has a GVWR of a minimum of 26,001 pounds, or a vehicle towing a secondary vehicle not exceeding 10,000 pounds GVWR.
- Class C – Any single vehicle, or a combination of vehicles, that does not meet the above qualifications to be assigned Class A or Class B status, but nonetheless requires special certification. Those who need a Class C license would be drivers operating vehicles designated as hazardous, and drivers operating vehicles designed to transport an excess of 15 passengers.
3. Exciting Truck Driving Careers
By meeting the qualifications for the previously listed CDL classifications, drivers completing truck driving school will not only be able to operate tractor-trailers, but a wide range of other vehicles as well.
These vehicles (with some requiring additional training) include:
- Delivery vans
- Dump trucks
- School buses
- Garbage trucks
- Tow trucks
- Commercial vans
- Hazardous material trucks
- Passenger CMVs
- Double and triple trailers
And by selecting North American Trade Schools as your Maryland truck driving school, you can be sure that you’ll get a leg up on the competition when it comes time to enter the job market and seek out the career of your dreams.
By coming to an accredited institution dedicated to student learning and development, you’ll avoid CDL training programs offered by some trucking companies that are less than beneficial.
These other less desirable CDL training sessions often come with stipulations, including:
- A signed, contractual obligation to work for the trucking company offering the CDL training, preventing you from fielding diverse offers
- Reimbursement to the trucking company for the cost of your CDL training through your salary
- Difficulty in taking work at another company
- Continued monetary commitment even in the event you are laid off by the company
However, with training through a truck driving school like North American Trade Schools, you won’t have to suffer these problems. Best of all, you will also receive hands-on, dedicated instruction from industry veterans with a wealth of experience and knowledge about professional trucking.
Additionally, NATS provides extensive job training programs to ensure that students are given every opportunity to find the career that’s right for them!
4. A Fully Accredited Education
Another benefit to attending our Maryland truck driving school is having the peace of mind that comes with attending an accredited institution of higher learning.
North American Trade Schools has been accredited by the following organizations:
- Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC)
- Maryland State Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
- Maryland Higher Education Commission
- Bureau of Indian Affairs
NATS is also a member of the following organizations:
- Maryland Association of Private Colleges and Career Schools
- The Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU)
- American Trucking Association
- Better Business Bureau
North American Trade Schools also prides itself on being a recognized military-friendly school, dedicated to doing all it can to help our servicemen and servicewomen.
Contact North American Trade Schools Today
If you’re ready to get out on the open road and start your exciting trucking career, NATS wants to hear from you.
Contact us today so we can help you get to a better tomorrow!