There is demand for commercial truck and bus drivers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
However, not everyone can enter this industry easily.
In order to be able to operate in interstate, intrastate, or foreign commerce and drive a vehicle that meets one or more of the classifications of a CMV , drivers have been required to have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) since April 1, 1992.
To possess a Commercial driver´s license or CDL ensures chauffeurs are well trained and qualified enough to drive high capacity commercial vehicles, including not only high-volume vehicles but also vehicles with more than 8 passengers including the driver.
Remember that a higher level of knowledge, experience, skills, and physical abilities are requires to operate a non-commercial vehicle.
The two most popular and demanded classifications of Commercial driver’s license are CDL-A and CDL-B.
In most states, this license allows the driver to operate any vehicle with a semi-trailer or trailer with two or more axles.
Which Commercial driver’s license or CDL type should I have?
Well, to answer this, first you need to determine which kind of vehicle you will be driving.
You need to make sure if you are going to be driving in the state or moving out, and of course, what type to freight you are going to be carrying out
CDL Class A
A class A cdl is considered the universal commercial driver’s license because with it you are able to drive any or almost any type of CMV with it.
Technically, a Class A CDL is required to operate any combination of vehicles with a gross weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds (11,794 kg) including a towed vehicle with a gross weight of 10,000lbs (4,546kg) or greater.
With a CDL class A you will be able to operate:
- Tractor Trailers: also known as semi trucks or 18 wheelers. The truck most people think of when they think of truck drivers.
- Tractor and Trailer Combinations (double and triple trailers): these are tractors that have more than one trailer.
- Tanker Vehicles: these are used to transport liquid loads or gases.
- Livestock Carriers: livestock carriers are used to transport livestock like pigs and cows.
- Flatbeds: flatbeds are trailers that are not enclosed.
CDL Class B
Now, on the other hand we have a CDL Class B, this is necessary if you only are going to drive straight trucks, delivery trucks, large buses, or dump trucks with small trailers.
The job openings for CDL class B holders are typically more limited in geographic scope, for example jus within a specific state and also it is good for those who enjoy commercial driving, but also prefer to stay close to home.
The Class B cdl is not for tractor trailers, it is usually for single framed vehicles only and it allows you to drive a single vehicle that has a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 lbs or more and is pulling a trailer that has a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 10,000 lbs.
With a CDL class B you will be able to operate:
- Straight trucks
- Large Passenger Buses such as, city buses, tourist buses, and school buses.
- Segmented Buses
- Garbage Truck
- Box trucks for delivery drivers:
- Dump trucks with small trailers
- Cement Mixer
- Food Truck
Now, you also need to make sure that some additional endorsements may be needed in order to drive some vehicles with your Class B Commercial driver’s license. That means if you want to drive a hazmat vehicle or a school bus you will also have to get the necessary endorsements.
If you are ready to start your training, you can contact us and have all the information.