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Which CDL type is right for me?

Learn the differences between Class-A and Class-B commercial drivers licenses to find out which training program is the right fit for you.

Class A CDL training

The CDL-A Training Program is a 160-hour certificate program that is generally completed within 4 weeks.

The Class A CDL License allows drivers to operate any combination of vehicles with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds provided the GVWR of the vehicle(s) being towed is over 10,000 pounds. Vehicles requiring a Class A CDL license are primarily tractor-trailers driving long distances.

Class B CDL training

CDL B is a three day program with an optional 1 ½ day of virtual classroom training to prepare for the commercial learning permit.

The CDL B license allows drivers to operate vehicles with a GVWR of less than 26,001 lbs. Vehicles requiring a Class B license are primarily a straight truck, think of dump truck or flatbed towing. The CDL B is offered in automatic or manual.

CDL Endorsement Types

Different types of cargo require different types of CDL endorsements.

X Hazmat and Tanker

Add the ability to haul large loads of hazardous materials to your CDL. Working in gas or oil hauling requires this endorsement.

S School Bus

Help students get to school safely! Add the ability to transport school-aged children to or from school and school events to your CDL.

P Passenger

A Passenger Transport CDL endorsement allows you to drive a commercial vehicle carrying more than 16 people. Prepare to drive city buses, tour buses, and more!

CDL Requirements

Tri-Area Trucking School's three-week training course is designed to prepare students to safely demonstrate the maneuvers and skills necessary to pass the CDL test.

Week One

The program begins in the virtual classroom. Students take part in classroom lectures and interactive presentations during the first week of school. The virtual classroom training prepares students to take the commercial driving permit test and begin the driving skill portion of the training.

Week Two

Upon completing the virtual classroom training and obtaining a commercial driving permit, students begin working on the basic driving skills necessary to pass the CDL skills test. This portion of the training takes place at a driving yard that's strategically laid out with different exercises conducted with professional instructors.

Week Three

Next, students take to the roads of Michigan. Students begin road training on low-traffic roads and gradually work towards driving on the highway. This portion of the training is focused on traffic situations that often occur during the CDL test.

Students must have a valid Michigan driver's license and be at least 18 years old. Students should be advised that seeking employment in the transportation industry may be difficult if any of the following incidents apply:

  • DWI or DUI within the past 5 years
  • Felonies within the past 7 years
  • Careless or reckless driving within the past 3 years
  • Any at-fault accidents in the past 1 year
Payment assistance programs for truck driving school

Options for Funding and Financial Aid

Flexibility meets affordability

Tri-Area Trucking School provides students the option to pay half of the tuition cost up front, while financing the other half through our payment plan program. The program offers accessibility for our students with no credit check required.

No repayments until employment

Tri-Area Trucking School partnered with Leif Lending to provide students a financial aid option called ISA. An ISA is a contractual agreement in which you receive funding for your education. In exchange, you agree to share a fixed percentage of your post–graduation pre-tax income over a defined period of time. ISA repayments only begin once you secure earned income.

Leif ISAs Apply Now
Pure Michigan Talent Connect Partner

Tri-Area Trucking School is approved by Michigan Works for Vocational Training Grants. Students who participate in the Michigan Works program can take our truck driving training for little or no cost. For more information, follow the links below.

Class A Course Class B Course
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