DTI Driver working on truck

CDL School Programs

Your first step in your trucking career

Before you can start logging miles as a professional truck driver, you’ll need to enroll in an accredited truck driving school and earn your commercial driver’s license (CDL) by passing the test required by your state.

Fortunately, you’ll have no trouble finding a program in your own neck of the woods. 

In addition, Dot Transportation offers tuition reimbursement benefits to new drivers from any CDL program in the country. In fact, many truck driving schools in the DTI Network require no out-of-pocket costs and some will even PAY YOU a weekly salary to attend!

Dot Transportation Truck

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DTI Network Schools

Students enrolled in these programs are considered DTI employees on day one. This means you’ll get the same benefits as full-time DTI employees, a guaranteed driving job upon the completion of the course, and a salary of $750 per week throughout truck driving school!

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Partner Schools

DTI is a proud partner of accredited truck driving schools across the country. Aspiring drivers who attend a partner school to earn their CDL (or any other truck driving school for that matter) can receive tuition reimbursement over the course of their first two years as a DTI driver.

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DTI Network vs. Partner Schools

CDL Driver getting into truck

While any accredited truck driving school can get you licensed, only DTI Network schools can guarantee you:

  • A weekly salary throughout schooling
  • Free tuition
  • Immediate job placement
  • Hands-on training with experienced drivers
  • Insider knowledge and tips about life on the road
DTI Network SchoolsPartner Schools
Expert Instruction
Hands-On Training
Tuition Covered**
Guaranteed Job Upon Completion
$750 Weekly Salary

**Tuition is covered in full and up front at most DTI Network schools. For partner school programs, or any other accredited program in the country, DTI reimburses tuition costs over the course of your first two years as a DTI driver.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a CDL before applying to Dot Transportation?

No, you do not need to have your CDL or even be enrolled in a program before you apply. In fact, we’re more than happy to help you find and sign up for a trucking school program in your area. Let us know a little more about what you’re looking for by completing this form and a member of our team will be in touch to help you with the application and enrollment steps.

What qualifications do I need to be a truck driver?

To be a truck driver, you must meet specific medical requirements and must have or be able to earn your Class A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). While some states do allow those 18-20 years old to drive professionally, by law you will need to be at least 21 to cross state lines. For this reason, most trucking companies will only hire those at least 21 years of age. Other qualifications may vary depending on the company to which you are applying. You may also need to obtain your hazardous materials (hazmat) endorsement depending on the type of cargo you’ll be carrying.

Do I need CDL school? Can’t I just take the CDL exam?

Technically you don’t NEED to attend school prior to earning your CDL, but it is highly recommended. While you might be able to learn enough to pass your test by reading up on the basics, you won’t be REALLY prepared unless you’ve been trained on the ins and outs of the job at hand by experts in the field. Also, potential employers will likely favor a rookie driver with 160 hours of trucking school over an applicant with zero.

Which CDL “Class” do I need?

There are three “classes” of CDL: Class A, Class B, and Class C. For large tractor trailers exceeding 26,000 pounds, you will need a Class A license. Drivers of large vehicles with no trailers (e.g straight trucks or large buses for example) or trailers weighing less than 10,000 pounds will need a Class B license. Class C licenses are for drivers of vehicles weighing less than 26,000 pounds or vehicles that carry 16 or more passengers (e.g. tank trucks, small buses, etc).

What happens if I fail my CDL exam?

If you fail your CDL exam, you will need to wait three days before you can test again. If you are enrolled in a DTI Network school, you will need to pass on your first, second, or third attempt in order to remain in the program (but don’t worry, most students pass it on their first try!)

How much does CDL school cost?

For most schools, you can expect to pay between $4,000 and $5,000 in tuition costs. However, you can apply to a DTI Network school and attend school at no cost to you. In fact, you’ll EARN a weekly salary of $750 throughout school and join our driving team immediately following completion of the course. In addition, DTI will reimburse tuition costs for new drivers regardless of which school they attend.

How long does CDL school take?

Generally, CDL programs run a total of 160 hours. Some programs (including most DTI Network schools) divide this into four, 40-hour weeks. Other programs may space the hours out over more weeks or condense them into fewer. Though most programs will run anywhere between three and seven weeks. You may also find some weekend options that will, by design, run much longer in terms of total weeks.

Will I be paid for schooling and/or training?

This is highly dependent on the school and/or company you’re training with. At DTI, we pay prospective drivers $750 a week throughout training (approximately eight weeks) as well as $750 a week for students enrolled in one of our DTI Network schools.

Is schooling the same as training?

It is not. Schooling is designed to teach you the rules of the road and how to operate your truck successfully. Once you’ve completed the program, have obtained your CDL, and are hired by a company, you’ll start training alongside a driver trainer. Learn more about DTI training in the next FAQ.

What does training consist of?

After you’ve completed schooling and have earned your CDL, you’ll begin a comprehensive training program that includes both classroom and on-the-road instruction. The entire program generally takes about eight weeks to complete, roughly five of which are on the road alongside your trainer. You won’t be rushed onto any solo routes until you are completely comfortable and prepared behind the wheel. For more information on DTI training, visit our orientation and training page.

What if my question isn’t listed?

If you have additional questions about CDL school, or what it takes to become a DTI driver, contact our recruiting team at 877-896-1692 or DTIhiring@dotfoods.com.

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Recently graduated? Currently enrolled? Still searching? Either way, it’s never too early to submit your DTI application. Get a jumpstart on your driving career today!

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Have questions about CDL school or DTI in general? Drop us a line and our recruiting team would be happy to assist.

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