CDL Preparation Course

The NTDS CDL Preparation Course is a comprehensive program that covers dozens of topics which other truck-driving schools don’t teach or include in their beginning courses. This is our most popular program for those seeking to gain their CDL and start driving semi-trucks professionally.

Comprehensive CDL Training that Begins at Home and Ends at our Unique Training Grounds

Illustration showing how our two-phase CDL training begins at home and finishes at our training groundsCDL Prep students begin their CDL training at home, by accessing the Internet and learning from our interesting (and sometimes humorous) course materials. This home-study portion lets them start the course without having to travel to the school or quit their current job.

In this portion of the course, students learn about semi-truck operation, as well as the industry knowledge we believe professional truck drivers should possess. It covers everything about semi-trucks from bumper to bumper in 33 lessons, including all major cab and trailer systems.

Along the way, students answer quizzes and take tests to make sure they are retaining the information being covered. There is also an instructor available (during business hours) to answer students’ questions.

After these lessons have been completed, students are scheduled into a residential CDL training class at our National Training Grounds. There they spend three weeks of hands-on, driver, and classroom training, learning all they need to know about operating a semi-truck. This includes 160 total hours of instruction, made up of 120 hours of hands-on training in and around the truck, plus 40 hours of classroom learning and career guidance.

Students take free CDL practice test before taking the actual CDL written exam

Photo representing a graduate of truck driving training accepting a job offerWhen students complete the residential portion of the course, they may take our free CDL practice test to be sure they are prepared for the real written exam. Then they are ready to take their Commercial Driver’s License test. Once they pass that, they are awarded their CDL, and the next step is a great job in the truck driving industry!

Many of our graduates have job offers already extended to them from one or more trucking firms by the time they’ve received their CDL. That’s because truckers are in such high demand due to the nationwide truck-driver shortage, and because of the great reputation of our school within the industry.

There are plenty of advantages when you enroll in our CDL Preparation Course, including:

  • You can get started today or whenever you’re ready
  • No need to quit your current job to start your training
  • Stay at home until your distance education lessons are complete
  • Don’t spend extra dollars on travel or lodging
  • During your residential training, you’ll receive special room rates at a nearby motel
  • We have lifetime job placement assistance for our graduates

Below are the various topics covered by the CDL Preparation Course, including the home-study lessons and the training included in the residential portion of the program. If you have any questions about any of these, please email us or call us at 904-272-4000.


“I wanted to take this time today too thank your staff for all the hard work that you do at National Training in placing quality drivers with us at CT Transportation LLC.We appreciate all that you do in preparing your students for the challenges that they face in the career path that they have chosen, it truly reflects in the quality of drivers that we get when recruiting from your school.”

— Roddy J. Smith | CT Transportation LLC


“TransAm Trucking is in constant need of new over-the road truck drivers. With our high standards it is very important that they come from an excellent truck driving school like National Training Inc. TransAm has hired several students from National Training Inc. and have found them to be well trained and prepared for a successful career as an OTR truck driver.”

— Dean Cochran | TransAm


“Since acquiring Terry Dix Trucking, a Lake City, FL based carrier, we have started to recruit more heavily in your state. We have recruited students from National and we are very pleased with the quality of the students and their retention rate. We will continue to recruit new drivers from National and look forward to a growing relationship.”

— Duane W Boswell | TMC Transportation

Home-Study, Distance Education Training

(33 self-paced lessons – approximately 174 hours to complete)

  • How to Study
  • Driver Qualifications
  • Driver Fitness
  • Principles of Diesel Engines
  • Cooling Systems
  • Lubricants and Lubrication Systems
  • Fuels and the Fuel System
  • Electrical System
  • Air Supply and Exhaust System
  • Principles of Transmissions and Differentials
  • Frames, Suspension and Axles
  • Tires and Wheels
  • Brakes
  • Controls, Instruments and Dashboards
  • Inspection, Repair and Maintenance
  • Pre‐Trip Inspection
  • Coupling and Uncoupling
  • Backing Maneuvers
  • Shifting
  • Braking Techniques
  • General Driving Conditions
  • Special Driving Conditions
  • Handling Combination Trailers
  • Weight Distribution
  • Load Securement
  • Freight Bills and Driver Responsibilities
  • The Log Book – Hours of Service
  • The Log Book – How to Track Your Time
  • Map Reading
  • Trip Planning
  • Accident Reporting
  • The Job of Getting a Job
  • The First Step – Preparing for Resident Training

Residential and Hands-On Training (160 hours of training)

Classroom Subjects Hours
Orientation and Roll Call 2
Defensive Truck Driving Course 6
Map Reading 1
Trip Reports 1
DOT Regulations‐Hours of Service‐Log Book‐ Part 395 8
Extended Classroom – “Hours of Service” Exercises 10
Driver Wellness, Whistleblower Protection 1
Pre‐Trip Inspection – Brake Adjustment 2
Refrigeration Theory 1
Weight and Cargo Distribution Theory 2
Operator Forms 1
DOT Regulations – Hazardous Materials‐Part 397 2
Driver’s Accident Reporting 1
Academic Testing 4
Couple/Uncouple Trailers (Hands On) 9
Pre‐Trip Inspection (Hands On) 9
Skills Course Behind‐the‐Wheel, Straight Line Backing, Stop Line, Right Turn, Ally Docking, Parallel Park 36
Road and Track Driving – Day and Nighttime 55
CDL Testing Retesting 3
Career Guidance Orientation, Employer Interviews & Job Placement Assistance 6

Graduate Exit Presentation and Employer Presentations, in most cases, actually run longer than the allocated six hours due to the level of student interest in the employer presentations.


Complete details of this course are contained in our CDL Preparation Program Catalog. You can preview the catalog by clicking hereclicking here, or else download a PDF version of it by clicking here.

Residential Training Dates: