Full CDL Program

Behind-the-wheel - Missoula CDL program

Be a Confident Driver with Behind-the-Wheel and Classroom Training

Inexperienced drivers will gain the knowledge and practical skills to become entry-level truck drivers. This course blends the required classroom training with a hands-on experience that includes up to 35 hours of instructor led training. Plus, you’ll be learning in the cab of the same commercial truck you will test in. This course satisfies both the theory (knowledge) and behind-the-wheel training required by the FMCSA. 

Classroom Theory Courses

Entry-Level Driver Training Online

  • Basic Operation
  • Safe Operating Procedures
  • Advanced Operating Practices
  • Vehicle Systems and Reporting Malfunctions
  • Air Brake Restrictions
  • See Full List of Topics

Behind-the-Wheel Training

Up to 35 hours of instructor led training

  • Driving time arranged with instructor after successfully obtaining commercial learner’s permit
  • Pre-trip Inspection
  • Post-trip Inspection
  • Backing
  • Vehicle maneuvers/ skills/range


  • 8-week course
  • 25 hours of Class A ELDT Courses
  • Up to 35 hours of behind-the-wheel training

Course Outline


Orientation – Week 1

Drug and Alcohol test scheduled, Registration with the FMCSA. 

Driver Training – Week 2-6

Training to help the student pass the driving test and includes the following driving competencies: 

  • Mandatory Entry Level Driver Training (ELDT)
  • Pre-trip inspection 
  • In cab inspection
  • Hours of service
  • Learn to clutch and shift gears
  • Driving truck and trailer through in-town traffic
  • Backing truck and trailer properly
  • Driving truck and trailer on highway and county roads
  • Close proximity driving and backing
  • Fuel optimization and truck operations
*CDL Testing administered and scheduled separately.
Those seeking a Class A CDL for the first time and students in the Heavy Equipment Operator program.

Take the Steps to Start Your CDL Training Today

Find more information on how to complete each of these steps on our admissions page.

Andrew Tode - Instructor

Andrew Tode


Larry Reinholz - CDL Program Director

Larry Reinholz

Program Director

               406-550-7450                  larry.reinholz@mso.umt.edu

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