What is a CDL Finishing Program?

CDL finishing program

What is a CDL Finishing Program?

Even after completing a CDL program, many drivers still feel unprepared for all of the difficulties that life on the road presents. This makes sense because there are many aspects of truck driving that are not covered in CDL programs.

Drivers who immediately transition from their CDL exam to months of driving are more likely to feel unready, uninformed, and have negative experiences. After only a few months on the road, these negative experiences may even cause drivers to give up on the profession altogether.

Since the staff for the trucking sector is already understaffed, it isn’t helpful for anybody when drivers leave as quickly as they arrive. Fortunately, a lot of carriers and the sector as a whole are realizing this problem and developing CDL finishing programs as a remedy.


What exactly is a CDL Finishing Program?

An entry-level role known as a CDL Finishing Program pairs a driver with a seasoned driver coach for the first several weeks on the road. The driver coach will serve as the new driver’s instructor and mentor, assisting with any issues that arise and responding to any inquiries they may have.

Although CDL finishing programs have existed for some time, they have lately become more well-known as a response to the industry’s generally dismal retention rates.  Depending on the firm you’re driving with, CDL finishing programs might range from a few weeks to a few months.


What Information Should You Have Before Joining a CDL Finishing Program?

It’s crucial to comprehend the conditions of what you’re committing to before you sign on, just as with everything in life. After the program is over, some employers might want you to continue working for them for a predetermined period of time, while others might not.

You might also wish to be mindful of any pay and home-time regulations that may apply. Before enrolling in a CDL finishing program, make sure you read the small letters and ask all the questions.


Do CDL Finishing Programs Cost Money to Complete?

No. CDL Finishing Programs differ between CDL schools. You will be working for the firm you have signed up with and receiving a salary just like any other individual in this entry-level role.


Why do drivers sign up for CDL finishing programs?

Many truckers believe that while CDL training is excellent, it does not completely prepare you for driving semis. Drivers who have just completed CDL training may feel unprepared for a variety of situations that may arise on the road.

CDL finishing programs are an excellent option for starting an OTR or regional job for this reason. It’s a method for novice drivers to pick up the essentials and feel prepared for life on the road.


Who Can Participate in a CDL Finishing Program?

Candidates who have just obtained their Class A Commercial Driver’s License are qualified for Class A CDL Finishing programs. The extra information and abilities that are provided by this finishing program enable the driver to operate a vehicle on their own. Requirements are:


  • Age range from 18 to 23 (depending on the carrier’s recruiting policies)
  • Safe Personal Driving History
  • No convictions for DUI/DWI or other alcohol-related offenses
  • Able to pass a D.O.T. physical and drug test
  • Have a certification of completion from a truck driving CDL school with 140–160 hours of study, or from an ELDT-certified institution
  • Apply to CDL Finishing Programs within 100 days of receiving your CDL.


What are the advantages of a CDL Finishing Program?

A CDL Finishing Program helps offers a well-organized curriculum to securely transform a novice driver into a skilled one. CDL finishing program students will work with an experienced coach to manage real-world scenarios over the course of an eight-week program.

A good finishing program is based on a training scheme for the instructors who carry out the daily curriculum. These teachers take on the role of mentors, teaching students how to handle life on the road.