Getting Started in a Trucking Career
If you’re looking for an excellent education from an experienced truck driving school in the Baltimore area, 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 truck driving training 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 several commercial vehicles for companies and be highly sought after by major trucking carriers. A Class A CDL 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.
Obtaining your CDL across the country has been affected by the ELDT Mandate that went into effect on February 7, 2022. This Mandate changed regulations to meet a federal standard instead of having different state requirements and curriculums. You can see the full list of what Maryland requires of its commercial truck drivers and find resources regarding the ELDT Mandate here.
- 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.
2. CDL Classifications
By obtaining a CDL from an ELDT Mandate approved 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 vehicle or a combination of vehicles that do not meet the above qualifications to be assigned Class A or Class B status but 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 CDL training at NATS will be able to operate tractor-trailers and a wide range of other vehicles.
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 Baltimore 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. NATS provides extensive job placement 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 of attending NATS 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:
- Mid-Atlantic Association of Career Schools (MAACS)
- The Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU)
- American Trucking Association
- Better Business Bureau
North American Trade Schools also is an Accredited Training Sponsor of the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER). Additionally, NATS prides itself on being a recognized military-friendly school, dedicated to doing all it can to help our servicemen and servicewomen.