Every commercial vehicle requires different skills and knowledge to operate, but what are the types of CDL licenses available? CDL types are divided into three categories: Class A, Class B, and Class C. These different CDL types are distinguished by the vehicle’s overall weight and the type of cargo your vehicle will carry.
A Class A CDL license allows its holder to operate vehicles that have a gross combination weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 lbs. or more. However, the towing vehicle must weigh more than 10,000 lbs. These vehicles typically include:
Tractor-trailers. Also known as semi-trucks, big rigs, or 18-wheelers
Truck and trailer combinations
You can also haul a trailer weighing more than 10,000 pounds and drive most Class B or C vehicles, provided you obtain the proper endorsements.
Additional CDL endorsements are available that allow you to drive specific vehicles or haul more specific cargo. These can include HAZMAT/tanker combinations, tanker vehicles, and hazardous waste materials, among others.
To obtain a Class A CDL license, you’ll need to obtain a CDL permit by passing a series of exams. This includes a general knowledge, air brakes, and combination vehicle exam. Your state may require additional tests. Once you’ve passed your written tests, you can schedule a driving skills exam. Once you’ve passed the written test and skills test for your CDL you will receive your Class A CDL license.
As a Class A CDL license holder, you’ll show current and future employers that you are a certified and competent truck driver. Your license is physical proof that you know how to safely and correctly operate large vehicles.