CDL Traning | Fifth Wheel Commercial Driving School

CDL A Tractor Trailer Driving Training Program


Course Description

This program is designed to provide professional tractor trailer driver training and to students with or without prior truck driving experience. Students are prepared to pass the Class A Commercial Driver”s License (CDL/A) written and road test required for entry-level tractor-trailer driving positions.

Washington State requires a total of 160 hours of instruction and practical driving to take the Class A CDL test. The instruction is broken down as follows: Classroom: 40 hours Range/Road: 120 hours


Course Objectives

Upon completion of the course the student should be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and skill in the truck driving profession
  • Pass the Class A Commercial Driver”s License (CDL/A) road test
  • Exhibit appropriate work ethics needed in the truck driving profession

The following instruction will be provided to each student, and all hours are to be logged in the student driver’s logbook.


Week One – 40 hours classroom

During the first week of training, the following items will be reviewed.

Introduction to Trucking, Control Systems, Hours of Service, Vehicle Inspection, Vehicle Systems, Basic Control, Shifting, Backing, Coupling and Uncoupling, Visual Search, Communication, Space Management, Speed Management, Night Driving, Extreme Driving Conditions, Hazard Awareness, Emergency Maneuvers, Skid Control, Accident Procedures, Fifth Wheel, Special Rigs Maintenance, Recognizing and Report Malfunctions, Handling Cargo, Personal Health, Trip Planning, Public Relations, and CDL.

The above subject matters will be covered in the following manner: tapes, lectures, demonstrations and bookwork. During this week, you will also be tested on all subjects covered. Once you have completed the first week of classroom, you will have received a broad theory in the above subjects. These theories will be applied during your field training. You will also be prepared to take your DMV permit and endorsements tests.


Week Two – 40 hours. Field Training and Lab

In the first week of field training and lab, the following will be completed by the student.


Vehicle Inspection, vehicle systems, fifth wheel, preventative maintenance, recognizing and reporting malfunctions, pre-trip, log books, trip planning, emergency maneuvers, tire chains and load securement.


Range Training/Road Training

Straight line backing, 90′ backing, shifting up and down, parallel parking, throttle and clutch control, and cornering techniques. Once you have completed the above training, you should be able to complete vehicle inspection, describe engine controls, recognize malfunctions, complete a log book, perform emergency maneuvers, chain up a vehicle and secure a load, shifting up and down, and locking and unlocking fifth wheel. You will also start to master the following skills: straight line backing, 90 backing, parallel backing, and cornering techniques.


Week Three – 40 hours. Field and Lab

  • Students will continue on backing skills and measured turns.
  • Students will become more proficient at shifting, throttle and clutch control, and cornering techniques.
  • Students will drive in light traffic, pre-trip, in-cab inspections, log books, lane control, and speed/space management.
  • Objective: For students to become more proficient in the above skills.

Week Four – 40 hours

  • Pre-trip, log books, in-cab inspections.
  • Working on backing skills, measured turns, space management, lane control, entering and exiting freeways, starting on an incline, medium traffic, heavy traffic, and city traffic.

Objective: For students to become proficient in the above skills and pass the State CDL test.

EVALUATION AND GRADING Student performance will be evaluated on the following: * CDL permit with optional endorsements (taken at Driver’s License Center) * Classroom exams with at least 80% average

  • Range/Driving exams o Pre-trip inspection
  • Air brake check
  • Performance of range skills – straight line back, simulated alley dock, sight side and blind side parallel, reverse serpentine
  • Driving skills
  • Commercial Driver’s License Test

Text(s) and Required Supplies Texts

  • Trucking: Tractor-trailer Driver Handbook/Workbook. 4th Ed. Delmar Cengage Pub., 2017.
  • Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations Pocketbook. J.J. Keller and Assoc., Nov. 2017.
  • Drivers” Daily Log. J.J. Keller and Assoc., 2017.
  • Motor Carrier Road Atlas. Rand McNally, 2017.
  • Washington state Commercial Driver”s Manual. 2018.

Certificate Requirements:

  • CDL/A Certificate
  • Pass State CDL A test
  • Minimum 80% attendance rate
  • Minimum 80% average on written tests

Termination: Any student may be terminated for violation of school rules, insufficient performance progress and/or repeated class or driving absences