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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Week 4 - Highway & Night Training

During your last week of CDL training, you will gain valuable highway time and learn maneuvers for changing lanes, speed and brake adjustments. In addition, since many "over the road" drivers spend much of their time driving at night, you will also spend time driving at night - a combined total of 20 hours. Many schools across the country do not offer this as part of their curriculum. However, we want you to feel comfortable behind the wheel in as many circumstances as possible. You'll be glad you chose Future Truckers of America when you find yourself alone for the first time in an eighteen wheeler.

During your tractor trailer training, you will be using late model Volvo's. FTA uses 6 Volvo road tractors and four yard units. The more tractors you use, the more knowledge you will have when deciding on which trucking company to apply. Some fleets have automatic transmissions while others do not, and you will need to be prepared for different makes and models.

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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!