If you are ready to make the change to trucking, there are several CDL requirements to keep in mind. There are different types of commercial driving licenses and regulations can vary based on state. Also, make sure you meet the basic requirements. A little preparation beforehand will get you off to a good start in trucking!
1. Who needs a CDL?
People who operate large commercial vehicles need a commercial driving license (CDL). That includes truck drivers! There are three main types of CDL: A, B, and C.
CDL A: For drivers who want to operate vehicles with a gross combination weight rating (GVWR) of 26,000 pounds with a towed vehicle of more than 10,000 pounds. That includes tractor-trailers.
CDL B: For drivers who want to operate a vehicle with a GVWR of 26,000 pounds with a towed vehicle of fewer than 10,000 pounds.
CDL C: For drivers who want to operate a commercial vehicle with a GVWR less than 26,000 pounds and transport hazardous materials or 16+ passengers.
Class A licenses are the most universal license type. Drivers with a CDL A are also qualified for CDL B and CDL C jobs.
2. Basic Requirements
Before you get started in a CDL program, there are a few basic requirements. First, you must have a non-commercial driver’s license and some previous driving experience. Next, you must be at least 18 years of age to earn a CDL.
In addition to age and license expectations, drivers have to meet physical and medical standards. Many states have specific rules, so make sure that you check the regulations for your state.
3. Do I Need a Driving School?
Driving schools offer a lot more than a CDL driving license. Driving schools also train you on specific skills such as key rules and regulations, maneuvering, and how to fill out a logbook to name a few.
4. Passing the CDL Test
One of the last CDL requirements before you can hit the road is to pass a written and practical test. Just like your non-commercial driving test, you will need to log hours with a learning permit before taking the written test.
It’s a good idea to study up beforehand. State CDL manuals are an excellent place to start.
Getting your commercial driving license opens a lot of exciting opportunities!
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