In addition to CDL training, before your CDL license is issued, you are required to pass a DOT physical. This is to ensure that you have the physical capabilities to handle the size vehicle involved and, and no health issues exist that could cause you to become involved in an accident. Fully loaded some of these trucks can weigh over 100,000 depending on what is being transported, and statistics show that in the majority of accidents involving a tractor-trailer, at least one fatality results. In order to lessen the possibility of this happening, DOT requires drivers to pass a physical examination prior to obtaining and CDL license.
When you look for CDL schools, you must be certain it will provide the CDL training that is needed. Some schools are specifically for brush-up classes, though most schools do offer both types of training. Also, do not assume that every CDL school offers financial aid; do your research if you require financial assistance. Another thing to consider when searching for a school is whether you will need to take time off from your full-time job. The school you are planning to attend may only offer classes during the day, while others may offer evening and/or weekend classes. If the course is being taken to improve your potential for advancement at your job, more than likely you will be allowed the time off to pursue CDL training, but be certain to investigate that before you sign up for classes at a CDL school. Each school has its own program, and though these programs are designed to meet DOT regulations, there are some allowable differences that may be notated. One thing to consider is where you are going to be driving. After all, you do not want to take classes in Florida where there is little or no snow if you plan to drive in New York, New England, and more importantly, cross-country where you are likely to encounter snow. Driving an eighteen-wheeler in the snow certainly differs from driving a car, so you want to be sure you at least get some over-the-road training before attempting to do it on your own. If this means traveling from your home to a school farther away, for your own safety and that of others, take that plunge.
When you have finished all your training, remember before you receive your license, you will be required to submit to a security investigation. This process started in light of all the terrorist activities that began in the aftermath of 911, so if you have something in your background that would prevent you passing this investigation, you might want to consider another vocation. There is no way around this investigation, so for anyone who is still considering this possibility, keep your records clean so that it won't be a problem for you later.