There are different types of CDL licenses, and it can be difficult to determine which one is right for you.
This post discusses two classes of CDL licenses. Hopefully, you can understand what each one entails, so you can make an informed decision about which license is best for your needs.
CDL Class A
This is the most common type of CDL license, and it allows you to operate any vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 or more pounds. You will need this license if you plan on driving a tractor-trailer, tanker truck, or any other large commercial vehicle.
Class A CDL holders can also operate vehicles in Class B. The training for this class is more difficult than other CDLs because you will be operating the largest vehicles. You can expect to spend at least several weeks in training before you are able to obtain your license.
There is both a written and practical exam that you will need to pass to get your CDL Class A license. These exams aim to test your knowledge of both the vehicle and the traffic laws.
CDL Class B
A Class B commercial driver's license allows you to operate a vehicle with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 26,001 or more pounds. A vehicle towing a trailer cannot exceed 10,000 pounds.
The training to obtain a CDL Class B generally involves completing a written exam and driving test administered by the state's Department of Motor Vehicles. The written exam tests an individual's knowledge of traffic laws and safe driving practices.
The driving test evaluates an individual's ability to operate a commercial vehicle under various road and traffic conditions. Individuals who successfully complete the written and driving tests are then issued a CDL Class B license.
Some states may require additional endorsements on a CDL Class B license for the operation of certain types of vehicles, such as those carrying hazardous materials or passengers. An endorsement can be obtained by successfully completing a written exam specific to the type of vehicle that will be operated.
For example, the passenger endorsement written exam covers topics such as loading and unloading passengers, passenger safety procedures, and dealing with disruptive passengers.
Once a passenger endorsement is obtained, it must be renewed every two years by passing a skills test or taking a refresher course. Completing the training and obtaining the necessary endorsements enable an individual to operate a Class B commercial vehicle.