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Instructional Time

  • Does each student receive at least 104 (60-minute) hours (or 125 50-minute hours) in a combination of classroom and lab time? (Lab is instruction that occurs outside the classroom that does not involve actual operation of the vehicle and its components; this includes time on the range under the supervision of an instructor. Observation time does not count as instructional time.)

  • Does each student receive at least 44 (60-minute) hours (or 53 50-minute hours) of actual behind-the-wheel (BTW) time with at least 12 hours on the highway? (BTW is time with hands actually on the wheel.) (Highway includes roads, streets, etc.)

  • Is the trailer loaded with a minimum of 15,000 pounds during at least six hours of highway time?

  • Are night-driving principles taught and practiced, with a minimum of one hour of behind-the-wheel time?

  • Is the total length of the instructional day, including independent study, not longer than 10 hours on average, and preferably not more than six consecutive days of training?

Student/Instructor/Vehicle Ratio

  • Does classroom and lab instruction average one instructor for not more than each group of 30 students?

  • Is there never more than one instructor to three vehicles on the range, and not more than 12 trainees per instructor?

  • During driving, is there one instructor per vehicle and never more than four trainees in the vehicle?

Lesson Plans

  • Do instructors use lesson plans to guide each session?

  • Are students provided with behind-the-wheel lesson driving procedures along with a list of safety rules for street driving?

Classroom Conditions

  • Is the learning environment safe, sanitary and comfortable?

Range Conditions

  • Is the range safe and protected from the hazards from other road users?

  • Is the range free of obstructions and does the surface enable the driver to maneuver safely and free from interference from

other vehicles?

  • Are there adequate sight lines available to the instructor and trainees?

Highway Instruction Conditions (Highway includes streets, roads, etc.)

  • Is driving practiced under various roadway and traffic conditions?


  • Do written classroom/lab tests assess mastery of a sample of knowledge objectives for each unit of instruction?

  • Do range tests assess student proficiency in (a) fundamental vehicle control skills and (b) routine driving procedures?

  • Do road tests use preplanned routes that permit a broad range of observations and are they conducted in traffic?

  • Are road tests administered in a vehicle which is comparable in size and power to the industry sector for which the student

is being trained?

Distance Learning & Independent Study Options

  • If a portion of the classroom/lab instruction is delivered electronically, is there active two-way communication between instructor and student? Is the student provided with information about technological competence needed, completion requirements, and any additional costs? Must each student take a proctored exam? Does the course begin and end within a specified time frame? May the students review completed lessons as part of the course offered prior to any proctored exam?

  • Does independent study substitute for not more than 34 (60-minute) hours of the 104 hours of classroom/lab instruction? (Note: Independent study is not the same as homework.)


  • Does a student have to successfully complete a course of instruction that meets the PTDI curriculum standards and hours,

including appropriate subject matter tests and road skill tests before graduation?

  • Does a student secure a CDL as a condition of graduation?


  • Does the school use a follow-up system to determine program effectiveness and to track graduates?

  • Does each student keep a “driver duty status record” to document time behind the wheel?

  • Do both the student and instructor “sign-off” on the record?

  • Are permanent records kept for at least five years?

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