What is a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)?

Gone are the days, when a person was limited to a few occupations. Now, employment opportunities have immensely diversified, with job offers coming from the unlikeliest of places. Truck driving is one field that has endless possibilities and growth incentives. So, to be a truck driver, a person must fulfill the following criteria:

  • Must be 18 years or above for intrastate license, and 21 years or above for interstate operation
  • Be the owner of a valid driver’s license, issued by the state where the person lives
  • The most important requirement is that the applicant should be the holder of a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)

Commercial Driver’s License or CDL entitles the license holder to drive vehicles whose gross weight (known as the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) is equal to or more than 26,001 lb. (11,793 kg) in the United States. These vehicles can be used for commercial purposes, for the transportation of hazardous material, or for transporting 16 or more passengers. There are three different classes of the CDL depending on the GVWR and what is being transported. The classes are:

  • Class A CDL

To drive a commercial vehicle that weighs more than 26,001 lb. and towing a vehicle or unit weighing over 10,000 lb.

  • Class B CDL

To drive a commercial vehicle that weighs more than 26,001 lb. and towing a vehicle or unit, whose weight does not cross 10,000 lb.

  • Class C CDL

To drive a commercial vehicle, that neither comes under class A, nor class B, but is designed either to transport 16 or more passengers, or for transporting hazardous material.
Each of the above classes has a different set of tests and requirements, which an applicant has to successfully pass. However, if you wish to be a truck driver, the class A CDL is what should be your main goal. In order to obtain it, you will have to pass:

  • A general knowledge test
  • Combinations vehicle test
  • Pre-trip and air brakes test
  • CDL road test
  • Exams for endorsements (if any)

For further queries, call our experts at 1800TRUCKER (1-800-878-2537).

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