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Entry-Level Driver Training for Your Class B CDL

Complete Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) for your Class B commercial driver's license 100% online and learn at your own pace. Our comprehensive course is approved by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), ensuring you'll be prepared you for your CDL skills test.

With a Class B CDL, you can operate single-unit vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 pounds or more. This classification includes vehicles such as straight trucks, delivery trucks and buses. You can also tow vehicles weighing up to 10,000 pounds.

Completing ELDT training is mandatory before you take the CDL skills test. After you complete your Class B CDL training, we automatically report your course completion to the FMCSA and take care of the administrative hassle. We're here to support you every step of the way as you satisfy state and federal requirements to earn your Class B CDL.

Who Needs the Class B CDL Training?

You need a Class B CDL to operate Class B commercial vehicles, such as delivery trucks, straight trucks, large buses and tow trucks.

Training with an FMCSA-approved provider is required to earn your Class B CDL. Our 100% online CDL classes offer flexibility while making it easy to satisfy federal compliance standards for ELDT under 49 CFR Part 380. It's important to note that CDLs are state-issued, and your state may have specific requirements that exceed federal standards. Contact your local DMV for additional info on CDL requirements.

If you will be transporting passengers, hazardous materials or other specialized cargo, you will also need to complete additional training to earn CDL endorsements.

Course Outline

Module 1: Basic Operation

Module topics:

  • Orientation
  • Control Systems/Dashboard
  • Pre- and Post-Trip Inspections

Learning objectives:

  • Explain the purpose of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR)
  • Describe the qualifications needed to obtain a Commercial Driver License (CDL)
  • Identify major commercial motor vehicle (CMV) instrumentation
  • Define important terms CMV operators need to know
  • Identify primary and secondary CMV control systems
  • Perform pre- and post-trip inspections

Module 2: Basic Operation Part 2

Module topics:

  • Basic Control
  • Shifting/Operating Transmissions
  • Backing and Docking
  • Coupling and Uncoupling

Learning objectives:

  • Describe the basic operating characteristics of a CMV
  • Explain how to control the motion of CMVs under various road and traffic conditions
  • Employ shifting and backing techniques
  • Describe how to properly couple and uncouple combination vehicles (as applicable)

Module 3: Safe Operating Procedures

Module topics:

  • Visual Search
  • Communication
  • Distracted Driving

Learning objectives:

  • Summarize what a visual search is
  • Describe proper communication while driving
  • Identify distracted driving

Module 4: Safe Operating Procedures Part 2

Module topics:

  • Speed Management
  • Space Management
  • Night Operation
  • Extreme Driving Conditions

Learning objectives:

  • Outline speed and space management
  • Describe night operation of CMVs
  • Identify extreme driving conditions

Module 5: Advanced Operating Procedures

Module topics:

  • Hazard Perception
  • Skid Control/Recovery, Jackknifing and Other Emergencies
  • Railroad-Highway Grade Crossings

Learning objectives:

  • Identify advanced skills of CMV operation
  • Recognize potential driving hazards
  • Understand CMV hazard procedures

Module 6: Vehicle Systems and Reporting Malfunctions

Module topics:

  • Identification and Diagnosis of Malfunctions
  • Roadside Inspections
  • Maintenance

Learning objectives:

  • Identify major CMV components, its systems and subsystems
  • Explain a driver's responsibilities regarding vehicle inspection, operation and maintenance
  • Explain a driver's role in highway safety and operating efficiently

Module 7: Non-Driving Activities

Module topics:

  • Handling and Documenting Cargo
  • Environmental Compliance Issues
  • Hours-of-Service Requirements
  • Fatigue and Wellness Awareness
  • Post-Crash Procedures

Learning objectives:

  • Name post-crash procedures
  • Describe how to properly handle and document cargo
  • Explain environmental compliance issues
  • Understand hours-of-service requirements
  • Identify symptoms of fatigue

Module 8: Non-Driving Activities Part 2

Module topics:

  • External Communications
  • Whistleblower and Coercion
  • Trip Planning
  • Drugs and Alcohol
  • Medical Requirements

Learning objectives:

  • Summarize trip planning
  • Discuss drug and alcohol awareness
  • Identify whistleblower/coercion
  • Understand medical requirements

Frequently Asked Questions

Are online CDL classes approved by the FMCSA?

Yes, the federal requirement to complete entry-level driver training for your CDL can be satisfied 100% online. SafeMotorist is approved by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to provide CDL Class B training that prepares drivers for their CDL skills test.

To confirm our FMCSA approval, visit the FMCSA website and search for SafeMotorist in the Provider Name field. Click the Online tab to see our approved courses for CDL and endorsement training.

What is a Class B CDL?

A Class B commercial driver's license allows you to operate commercial vehicles such as buses, delivery trucks and straight trucks weighing over 26,001 pounds.

Keep in mind that Class B CDL holders are not authorized to operate tractor-trailers or other combination vehicles with a gross combination weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more (including towed units weighing more than 10,000 pounds). To drive tractor trailers and combination vehicles, you need a Class A CDL.

Once you earn your Class B CDL, you can easily upgrade to a Class A license.

Who needs a Class B CDL?

Individuals who need a Class B CDL include bus drivers, delivery drivers, tow truck operators and more. The type of commercial driver's license you need will depend on the type of vehicles you plan to drive.

What is FMCSA?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) agency that enforces motor vehicle safety while aiming to reduce accidents. When online CDL classes are FMCSA-approved, it means they meet the FMCSA's regulatory standards for safety training outlined in 49 CFR Part 380.

What topics are covered in the Class B CDL course?

This course will prepare you to earn your Class B CDL. You will learn basic operations, driving communication, documenting cargo, identifying malfunctions and more.

Topics covered in Class B CDL training include:

  • CDL training and endorsement regulations
  • Classes of CDL testing and endorsement requirements
  • Safety fundamentals
  • Driver qualification and disqualifications
  • State and local law considerations
  • Safe vehicle control
  • Blind spots and good visual search habits
  • Safe following distances
  • Appropriate responses to emergencies
  • And more

After you successfully pass the course, your completion status will automatically be reported to the FMCSA and you will satisfy the ELDT requirement needed to take your CDL skills test.

What is the difference between a Class A and Class B CDL?

A Class A CDL allows you to operate combination vehicles, including tractor-trailers, flatbeds and livestock carriers. A Class B CDL is needed for single commercial vehicles like buses, straight trucks and delivery trucks. The class of license you need will depend on the weight rating of the vehicles you plan to operate or tow.

Online CDL classes make it simple to prepare for your CDL skills test and satisfy federal requirements for entry-level driver training.

How can I upgrade from a Class B to a Class A CDL?

You can upgrade your Class B CDL to a Class A CDL if you want to satisfy requirements to operate combination vehicles such as an 18-wheeler or tanker truck. Our Class B to Class A Upgrade course provides 100% online and FMCSA-approved training to assist you in enhancing your commercial driving skills.

Do I need any prior experience to enroll in a Class B CDL course?

No, you don't need prior commercial driving experience to enroll in a Class B CDL course. These courses are designed for beginning and experienced drivers. They provide the theory-based training needed to earn a CDL.

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