PTDI certifies courses at truck driving schools. PTDI is not a truck driving school and does not offer courses.
Widely recognized as the gold standard in truck driver training, PTDI standards were used by the Federal Motor Carrier and Safety Administration as the primary basis for their new regulations.
Attending a PTDI Certified program or course means you will receive the best training.
- Download the checklist of things to look for in a good truck driving school
- Download the school comparison tool (excel spreadsheet)
- Find a PTDI Certified course
- inexpensive but lower quality training,
- pay for classes but don't receive instruction,
- not enough time behind the wheel,
- don't learn the necessary skills to pass the CDL exam or to stay employed if you are hired,
- over promising and under delivering!
PTDI is not a school. However, we can help you find a good one. PTDI is a non-profit that certifies truck driver training schools. We make sure certified programs are high quality training that give you the skills you need to get hired and drive safely.
Not all truck driver training is equal. Non-certified programs may not deliver what they promise. However, schools with PTDI certified programs are all required to meet the same standards. This includes truth in advertising. PTDI programs advertise exactly what you will receive in your training. The standards also require high quality instructors, vehicles, facilities and more. PTDI Certification means confidence you've found a reputable, ethical and professional program.
Use the checklist and comparison tool to help you make your decision. There are lots of factors and you may have different preferences. The checklist offers potential questions and issues you may want to ask the school you want to attend. Just be sure you feel comfortable with your decision.
Schools have varying age requirements. However, a driver must be 18 years old for intrastate (within one state) driving and 21 years old for interstate (across state lines) driving. Intrastate driving is when you drive within one state.
Publicly-funded institutions such as community colleges and technical schools; private institutions, and carrier schools.
The average length of PTDI-certified courses is four to six weeks. Courses could be as short as two weeks (there is a minimum of 148 contact hours with one-on-one training) to 12 weeks or more.
PTDI requires a minimum of 104 hours in a classroom and lab setting combined. Lab includes such activities as pre-trip inspections, diagnosing/reporting malfunctions, handling cargo and using a simulator. PTDI requires a minimum of 44 hours behind-the-wheel (BTW) time per student, including a combination of range and street operation. Some time with loaded trailer and at night are also required. Observation time (including as a passenger in the cab) does not count toward PTDI-certifiable time.
The average cost of courses that are PTDI-certified is about $6,000 (based schools reporting to
PTDI.) This includes publicly-funded, private and carrier schools combined.
Financial aid may come by personal funds; private student loans (through school, bank or other financial institution, or finance companies); or public funds available for those who qualify through Stafford Loans, PLUS Loan, Pell Grant, Work-Study Programs, G.I. Bill and the Workforce Investment Act. Federal Title IV student financial aid is available through accredited schools that qualify. Various states may have funding for tuition. The Commercial Driver Training Foundation, Inc., (www.cdtfi.org) provides military scholarships for veterans honorably discharged from the military. In addition, carrier truck schools may pay the cost of the courses, depending on the employment contract you sign with the carrier. Some schools work with carriers that will pay for or reimburse the student’s tuition. Check with individual schools to see if you qualify for any aid.
It depends on the school.
All graduates of a PTDI-certified course who complete the minimum number of training hours as prescribed by PTDI's standards, and who have successfully completed all of the school's graduation requirements, will receive a PTDI Certificate of Attainment from the school. Alternately, a school may issue their own certificate with an official PTDI Seal attached to it.
No. Graduates of a PTDI-certified course are not themselves "certified." They have graduated from a PTDI-certified course and receive a PTDI Certificate or Seal of Attainment.