Did you know multiple types of commercial driver’s licenses (CDL) exist? You need them to operate specific heavy machinery or a tractor-trailer. Getting the correct CDL is essential to get hired by your desired employer. So, read on to discover the three types of CDL licenses.
Type A licenses allow people to operate vehicles with a combined weight exceeding 26,001 pounds as long as the towed portion of the weight is 10,000 pounds or greater. These vehicles include large RVs, tractor-trailers, flatbeds, tankers, and livestock vehicles.
You can get an endorsement on the Type A license, which allows you to haul particular types of material. Generally, if a job requires an endorsement, it will offer higher pay. The endorsements are:
H for hazardous material.
N for volatile liquids or gasses.
T for hauling double or triple trailers
X is an additional endorsement for hazardous materials that require additional knowledge.
Class B CDLs still allow truckers to drive vehicles weighing more than 26,000 pounds. However, it has restrictions that the Class A license does not have. Class B license holders cannot tow a load or trailer weighing over 10,000 pounds. Practically, the main difference is in the Type of work a person can get. If you want to do long-haul or over-the-road (OTR) trucking, you probably need a Class A license because you will be hauling heavier loads. However, a Class B license is probably sufficient if you are working locally.
In addition to trucks, a Class B license is required to drive several other commercial vehicles. Those include passenger buses, school buses, box trucks, dump trucks, and tractor-trailers. Class B drivers can also get endorsements. The main endorsement people seek is P, which allows them to operate vehicles carrying passengers.
A class C CDL allows people to operate vehicles under 26,001 pounds. They can tow vehicles under 10,000 pounds and carry up to 15 passengers. These licenses are almost exclusively for local drivers, allowing you to drive box trucks, food trucks, garbage trucks, straight trucks, passenger buses, and cement mixers.