Class A CDL Training

Class A CDL training concists of 4 weeks of both classroom training, "behind the wheel" training, observation, and night-time driving. Training is Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. till 6 p.m. In addition, FTA offers one of the lowest teacher to student ratios in the country: 1:10 in the classroom, 1:5 in the field, and 1:1 observation & "in the truck" training.

Below is a week-by-week description of your CDL training so that you may know what to expect after enrollment.


Week 1 - Classroom

Your first week at Future Truckers of America will be in the classroom. You will be preparing for the CDL permit test for either North Carolina, South Carolina, or Virginia. Just like a regular driver's license, you must obtain your "permit" first, gain some experience, and then pass your actual driving test. By the end of your second week, you will be prepared to take the written permit test, which you will do on Friday at your local DMV. The permit test will include the following subject areas: General Knowledge, Air Brakes, and Combination. You may also take tests for Tanker, Hazmat and Passenger Endorsements. Click Here to take a General Knowledge sample practice test.

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Week 2 - Field Training

During week two you will actually be getting behind the wheel of a tractor. You will spend much of your time backing up, as this is one of the more difficult tasks a truck driver faces. In addition, you will also learn coupling and spend some time on the highway. One of the most important things you will learn the pre-trip inspection. When someone does fail the CDL permit test, it is often because they have missed something on the pre-trip inspection, so you will learn this backwards and forwards.

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Week 3 - Truck Time: Combination & Observation

State law requires that a certain amount of time be spent "observing" other drivers. For North Carolina, the requirement is 20 hours. So you will be watching others learn "combination" techinques until it is your turn to get behind the wheel.

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CDL Endorsements

Hazmat and tanker endorsement training is included in the FTA curriculum. It is highly recommended to obtain at least your Hazmat endorsement, which requires a federal background check, fingerprinting, and a $96 fee for the background check. In addition, background checks take approximately 1 month to complete, so get started early!