Semi truck going under an interstate bridge at sunset

Commercial Driver's License Training

Southeast Technical College’s Commercial Driver’s License Training gets you on the road driving vehicles like tractor-trailers, livestock haulers, box trucks or flatbed trucks. Driving a commercial motor vehicle requires knowledge of rural driving, operating large vehicles in reverse and vehicle inspections.

Southeast Tech's CDL program is certified to provide Entry Level Driver Training regulations set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Your duties as a trained CDL driver might include: 

  • Driving long distances 
  • Picking up / delivering cargo 
  • Keeping a log of working hours  
  • Proper vehicle maintenance 
  • Following safety / traffic laws 

Class A CDL   Class B CDL

Types of Drivers

LONG DISTANCE DRIVERS

Known as long haul over-the-road drivers, long-distance drivers operate heavy trucks and may make a one-day round trip or have a layover until the next day. Others may travel to more distant points and be on the road for a week or longer. 

LOCAL DRIVERS

Local drivers operate light, medium and heavy trucks. Their assignments may include pick-up and delivery operations, route sales or customer delivery. They have more contact with customers than long-distance drivers and usually make many stops each day. Those in route sales need selling and driving skills.

SPECIALIZED DRIVERS

Specialized drivers handle certain types of equipment used in specialized trucking operations, both long distance and local. Examples are double and triple trailers, auto carriers, tankers and heavy special equipment that utilize special equipment requiring extra training to understand and operate.

OWNER-OPERATORS OR INDEPENDENT DRIVERS 

Independent drivers own their own equipment and operate a small business. They make up a large segment of the long-distance trucking industry. Often, they begin as salaried drivers, then purchase a truck and become an independent contractor. They haul freight for one or more companies. Many teams establish contracts with moving companies.

Why STC?

At STC in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, this program focuses on the skills you need to be a safe, knowledgeable commercial vehicle driver. 

Class A CDL Training 

With Southeast Tech's four-week format, students can obtain a Class A CDL and be on the road, making money. With this course, you will learn essentials such as vehicle inspection, backing, city driving and rural driving. 

How to Enroll

  1. Submit your application

    All Class A CDL applicants must complete the application form and submit it to the corporate education office. The form may also be emailed to CDL@southeasttech.edu.

    CORPORATE EDUCATION application FORM

  2. Review Entrance Requirements

    Review the entrance requirements set forth by Southeast Tech and the Department of Transportation.

    CLASS A CDL REQUIREMENTS

  3. Submit Required Documentation

    Prepare and submit the additional documentation needed to enroll. Examples include, but are not limited to drug screen, DOT physical, and a disclosure and release form.

  4. Register

    When all required documentation has been submitted and processed, applicants will need to officially register. 

  5. Pay Balance

    The balance of the course must be paid in full prior to classes beginning.

Class A CDL training classes run approximately once each month for four weeks. Dates for 2022 are as follows:

  • May 2-27, 2022
  • May 30-June 24, 2022

The total cost for Class A CDL Training is $5,500.  Financial Aid is not available for this course. 

To acquire a Class A CDL, applicants must meet various requirements put forth by Southeast Technical College and the South Dakota Department of Transportation. 

CLASS A CDL Requirements


Class B CDL Training 

At Southeast Technical College, we offer a number of options approved by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) for Class B CDL licensure. Students may register independentally or in conjunction with their employer or other trainers to complete the custom training and exam options necessary to get licensed and get on the road or job site.

Pathway to Becoming a Class B CDL Driver

Class B CDL holders operate straight trucks, box trucks, dump trucks and other construction equipment. Here, we outline the steps needed to obtain a license:

  1. Learner Permit Training - $250

    STC's Learner Permit Training course prepares students to take the South Dakota Department of Motor Vehicles CDL Class B driving exam.
    • When: Learner Permit Training students meet twice, for two hours each session. Classes are offered the first or thrid Monday and Tuesday of each month from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
    • Options: Students may take learner permit training as a standalone couse if needed, or in conjunction with other STC courses to complete Class B Licensure requirements.

     

  2. Vehicle Inspection Training - $200

    Our vehicle inspection training course teaches students to conduct a vehicle inspection in accordance with Federal and State regulations and standards.
    • When: This course consists of one, 2-hour session and is offered the first and third Thursday each month, from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
    • Options: Students may take vehicle inspection training as a standalone couse if needed, or in conjunction with other STC courses to complete Class B Licensure requirements.

     

  3. Entry-Level Driver Training Theory - $500

    Entry-Level Driver Training is an instructor-led online course in Driver Training Theory and meets the training regulations set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
    • When: This course begins every second and fouth Monday each month from 5:30-7:30 p.m., beginning with one in-person session, 30 hours of online training and instructor support and training throughout the course.
    • Options: Students may take theory as a standalone couse if needed, or in conjunction with other STC courses to complete Class B Licensure requirements.

     

  4. Behind-the-Wheel Driver Training

    Behind-the-Wheel Driver Training gets students experience behind the wheel before taking their final test.

    Complete at STC - $1,200

    Behind-the-Wheel Driver training includes 8 hours of behind-the-wheel training, vehicle inspection, range skills and over-the-road driving at Southeast Tech, using STC trucks and equipment.

    • When: Dates and times will be scheduled on an individual basis.

    Complete with an Employer

    Behind-the-Wheel driving hours may also be completed through an employer. Driving must be done with a certified trainer and hours must be submitted to STC to be approved with FMCSA.

    Employers wishing to offer behind-the-wheel driving must have a certified trainer sign off on skill assessments. To get certified, trainers must complete STC’s Train the Trainer program.

  5. Final Field Driving Exam - $150

    The Final Field Driving Exam is a one-hour exam with drive time with an STC instructor on surface and highway streets. After completing behind-the-wheel driving, students must take and pass this final exam to be qualified by FMCSA on their skill assessment.
    • When: Dates and times will be scheduled on an individual basis.

 

Additional Requirements

Students are required to obtain and read the CDL manual before class to review the rules of the road, classifications and safety information. The manual can be obtained from the DMV or by visiting the South Dakota Department of Public Safety’s website. 

DOWNLOAD THE CDL MANUAL 

UpSkill Funding Available

Southeast Technical College is working in partnership with the Sioux Falls Development Foundation and the South Dakota Governor's Office of Economic Development to increase number of CDL drivers in our community.

Tuition reimbusement may be available for students to complete Class B CDL training SFDF. 

Learn more

How to Enroll

For more information and to enroll, email CDL@southeasttech.edu or call 605-367-4607.

Register Online

Job Outlook  

The Bureau of Labor estimates that the employment of CDL drivers is expected to grow 2% through 2020 because more drivers will be needed to keep the nation’s supply chains moving. Take advantage of the job growth now!

Other Programs Related to CDL licensure

If you’re interested in a transportation technology career, you might also be interested in these other programs at Southeast Tech: 

Automotive Technology   Diesel Technology   Collision Repair & Refinish Technology