If you want to operate any kind of commercial vehicle for a living, specifically a truck, then you are going to need a commercial driver’s license or CDL. But when you start to do some research you may discover that there is actually more than one type of CDL, and you may need a different CDL depending on the type of vehicle you want to drive. What is a Class B CDL, and how does one decipher which class to apply for?
Perhaps you have already worked a number of CDL driver jobs, and you are wondering if your Class B commercial driver’s license will work for a different type of route. Here is all you need to know about class B CDLs, and all of your questions answered.
Difference between a Class A, B, and C CDL?
Let’s begin by understanding the difference between a Class A, B, and C commercial driver’s license, and which vehicles you can operate based on each class.
Class A CDL
A Class A CDL is required to operate any combination of vehicles with a gross combination weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds, provided the towed vehicle is heavier than 10,000 pounds.
What can I drive with a Class A CDL?
The vehicles you may drive with this CDL include tractor-trailers, truck and trailer combinations, tank vehicles, livestock carriers, or flatbeds.
Class B CDL
A Class B CDL is required to operate a single vehicle with a gross combination weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds, or tow a vehicle not heavier than 10,000 pounds.
What can I drive with a Class B CDL?
The vehicles you may drive include straight trucks, large passenger buses, segmented buses, box trucks, dump trucks with small trailers, or tractor-trailers.
Class C CDL
A Class C CDL is required to operate a vehicle that is designed to transport 16 or more occupants or transport hazardous materials, materials that are classified as hazardous under federal law.
What can I drive with a Class C CDL?
The vehicles you may drive include small HazMat vehicles and passenger vans.
How to get a Class B CDL?
Now we have an understanding of each type of CDL, but what steps are required to get the necessary certification to obtain a Class B commercial driver’s license?
In order to obtain any CDL, you typically must be at least 21 years old. However, check with your specific state as starting ages can be as young as 18. If you obtain a CDL younger than 21, you are restricted to that particular state, which will be lifted once you turn 21.
To start the process of getting your Class B commercial driver’s license, seek out your local DMV office to begin your application process. You can expect to complete both a written exam and driving skills test that is mandated by each state. There are online training programs available to help ensure your success!
Is a Class B CDL worth getting?
A Class B commercial driver’s license is beneficial if your intentions are to drive locally or within your state. A Class B commercial driver’s license is also worth getting if you want to start becoming more involved in the trucking industry. The Class B commercial driver’s license can provide you with more experience in the industry at a more beginner level than Class A. Class B drivers have been shown to make less money in general compared to Class A drivers, so if finances are your priority then the Class A may be a smarter choice. More trucking careers require a Class A CDL, so if you are seeking a trucking career, a Class A CDL will save you time, energy, and money in the long run.
What is a Class B CDL good for?
By acquiring a Class B commercial driver’s license and obtaining the necessary endorsements, a Class B CDL will allow you to operate vehicles such as straight trucks, large passenger buses, segmented buses, box trucks, dump trucks with small trailers, or tractor-trailers. With the required endorsements, a Class B CDL driver can also operate some Class C vehicles.
Can a Class A CDL drive Class B vehicles?
Class B CDL drivers can not operate any Class A vehicles, however, Class A CDL drivers can drive Class B trucks. A Class A CDL driver can also attain endorsements that will provide clearance to drive specific Class B and Class C vehicles.
Choosing the appropriate CDL will allow you to operate the necessary vehicles and take your trucking career to the next level. By understanding each of the different types of classes, you can feel confident that you can obtain your trucking goals and needs.
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