how can I get my CDL without going to trucking school?

Asked: how can I get my CDL without going to trucking school?

Hello, I work for a sign company and my boss has been pushing me to get my CDL to drive one of our larger trucks (a crane truck). I have been using this website called www.truckingtruth.com to sort of educate myself more on it so I can pass the written test, also learning all of the parts and such necessary to pass the pre-trip inspection. But it seems the website is aimed mainly towards tractor-trailers that pull trailers and combination vehicles. The truck I am going to be driving is a straight truck with a crane on it, it is a freightliner, so I am sure alot of the parts and such are the same, but there are others (mainly from the cab back) that differ as it is not a combination vehicle that pulls a trailer. so I feel that alot is being left out. here is a picture of one I found on google, it is the closest thing to what I will be driving I could find.

http://www.google.com/imgres?hl=en&tbo=d

Anyways, back in October was when my boss told me he would like me to work on getting my CDL, and he set a goal date of March for me to have it by. Using the previously mentioned website I seem to have not been soaking everything in ( I have always been bad at memorization, I am more of a hands on learner, learning better from first hand experience.) lately my boss has really been up my rear about it. I really do want to get my CDL so that I can better provide for my family as well as be more beneficial to the company. But when I look back at all of the material I have gone through on the website, then think about how much of the information I have actually absorbed it feels hopeless.

I am just sort of looking for any sort of advice about getting my CDL asap. I am the only provider in my family and cannot afford to put myself in trucking school, and a lot of people tell me that trucking school is bullcrap and you never used to have to go through it to get the training, that you used to be able to just get trained on the job to get it.

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks!

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