North Cross CDL School - Overview

License

North Cross Commercial Driving School, located in Mount Vernon, Washington State, offers training for obtaining your CDL license and to become a productive, safe and employable member of the trucking community.









CDL Overview:

When do you need a Commercial Drivers License (CDL)? Here are a few general guidelines:

  • Single vehicles up to 26,000 gross vehicle weight (GVW) are generally exempt from requiring a CDL. If a single vehicle is over 26,000 lbs GVW, it requires a Class-B CDL.
  • If a single vehicle under 26,000 GVW hauls hazardous materials, or is designed to haul sixteen or more passengers, then a Class-C CDL is required.
  • Combination vehicles (truck and trailer) require a Class-A CDL if the gross weight rating of the trailer is over 10,000 lbs and the combined weight rating of the truck and trailer are over 26,000 GVW. Most people aren't aware that the typical pickup with a larger trailer, such as one carrying a mini-excavator, falls into this category.
  • Driving any school bus requires a Class-B or Class-C CDL.

There are exemptions for driving recreational vehicles and some farming vehicles. Special endorsements are needed in conjunction with a CDL for tankers, double or triple trailers, hazardous materials, passenger busses, or to drive vehicles with air brakes.

The CDL Program is nationally coordinated, so many of the requirements are the same from state to state, but there are some variations. In Washington, new CDL drivers are required to obtain formal training from an approved school such as North Cross Commercial Driving School. A Class-A CDL requires 160 hours minimum of training, a Class-B CDL requires a minimum of 48 hours of training, and a Class-C 36 hours.

The requirements for getting a new CDL include:

  • Take written tests for the licenses needed (at DOL)
  • Get a DOT physical exam (from your doctor)
  • Obtain a CDL learners permit (at DOL)
  • Take the required formal training (at North Cross of course!)
  • Take a "skills test" (from certified third-party tester)

The skills test is given by an independent party who is certified by the State, not affiliated with the school itself. The skills test for a Class-A CDL involves three parts:

  • Pre-trip inspection which is used to ensure that the truck and trailer are safe for use via in-cab tests and a walk-around examination of the truck. This test includes very specific requirements, particularly for testing the air brake system.
  • Basic Controls test which involves straight-backing the truck/trailer down a 100' long, narrow aisle and stopping within a 2' area, then backing and entering the aisle from a 45 degree angle.
  • Road Test which involves driving in city and freeway conditions, stopping/starting on a hill, and general handling of the truck.

After training at North Cross Commercial Driving School, you will be well equipped for all aspects of the testing process. The school provides the truck and trailer for taking the test.

 

Check Our Testimonials:

"I visited four truck schools in the area before I settled on North Cross. Small class size, lots of road time, very thorough training on air brake systems, and more. The instructors are all career truckers and really want to turn out safe professional drivers. I heard they have the best test scores and first-try pass percentage in the state, and I believe it. "...Jeffrey Russell,
Graduated Nov 2010

Read more…