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CDL License Classes Overview In 2021

CDL License Classes Overview In 2021

A commercial driver’s license (CDL) is a license required for drivers of commercial vehicles to transport large, heavy, or placarded hazardous material in the USA. There are several different types of CDLs that determine the kinds of CMV a driver can operate.

What Types of CDLs Required For Commercial Drivers

The three classes of CDL required to operate a CMV:

Class A CDL

A Class A CDL is required for drivers to operate a CMV that has a gross combination weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more provided the towed vehicle is heavier than 10,000 pounds.

With this class, a driver may operate the following types of vehicles:

  • Truck/trailer combinations.
  • Tanker vehicles.
  • Tractor-trailer buses.
  • Tractor-trailers.
  • Livestock carriers.
  • Flatbed trucks.

Required Exams For A Class A CDL

Knowledge Exams
  • General Knowledge.
  • Air Brakes.
  • Combination Vehicles.
Skills Exams
  • Pre-Trip Inspection.
  • Basic control skills exercises.
  • Road driving Exam.

Class B CDL

A Class B CDL is required for drivers to operate a single vehicle that has a GCWR of 26,001 pounds or heavier or tow a vehicle not heavier than 10,000 pounds.

A commercial vehicle driver needs to have certain endorsements that determine the kinds of vehicles they can operate with a Class B CDL. With this class and the right endorsements you can drive:

  • Straight trucks.
  • Box trucks such as couriers, furniture delivery, delivery trucks.
  • Dump trucks with a small trailer compartment.
  • Large passenger buses that include city buses or school buses.
  • Segmented buses.

Required Exams For A Class B CDL

Knowledge Exams
  • General Knowledge.
  • Air Brakes.
Skills Exams
  • Pre-Trip Inspection.
  • Basic control skills exercises.
  • Road driving Exam.

Class C CDL

A Class C commercial driver’s license is required to operate a vehicle that is created to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) or transport hazardous materials.

With this class and the proper endorsements, a driver may operate the following types of vehicles:

  • Small HazMat.
  • Passenger vans.
  • Combination vehicles not covered by Classes A or B.
Knowledge Exams
  • General Knowledge.
  • Passenger Transport.
  • Hazardous Materials.
  • School Bus.
Skills Exams
  • Pre-Trip Inspection.
  • Basic control skills exercises.
  • Road driving Exam.

Endorsements

To drive certain specialized types of CMV such as buses or tank trucks or carry hazardous materials, a driver is required to apply for the proper endorsements on a CDL. Endorsements include:

  • Passenger (P) – allows carrying passengers;
  • Tank (T) – allows driving trucks containing liquid cargo;
  • H (Hazardous Materials) – allows driving trucks containing such HazMat as flammable liquids, radioactive or explosives substances. To obtain an endorsement, a driver must pass a specialized knowledge exam and possibly a specialized driving skills test;
  • To get a School Bus (S) endorsement, drivers are required to undergo a thorough background check.

How To Obtain a CDL

  1. Pass the CDL Knowledge Test.
  2. Pass the CDL Skills Exam.

Knowledge Exam

Class A Vehicles

General Knowledge – 50 questions.

Air Brakes – 25 Questions.

Combination Vehicles – 20 questions.

Class B Vehicles

General Knowledge – 50 questions.

Air Brakes – 25 questions.

Class BPS Vehicles

General Knowledge – 50 questions.

Air Brakes – 25 questions.

Passenger Endorsement – 20 questions.

School Bus Endorsement – 20 questions.

Skills Exam

After the knowledge exam, a driver must take a skills exam in order to receive a CDL. Skills exam incudes:

  • Pre-Trip Inspection.
  • Basic control skills exercises; Straight line backing; Off-set Backing Right or Left; Parallel Parking Blind side or Driver’s side; Alley Docking.
  • On-Road driving Exam.

What is a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP)?

A CLP is a permit given by your state that gives you the right to practice driving a CMV. Receiving a CLP is the first step for earning a CDL.

CDL License Classes Overview In 2021

Begin CDL Training at New Sound Truck Driving School!

No matter what your life is, it’s never too late to start a well-paid career with CDL training at New Sound Truck Driving School. A truck driving career can offer drivers the opportunity to earn a competitive salary, healthcare benefits, and a retirement plan.

If you are ready to start a new and fruitful career, you can take the first step with New Sound Truck Driving School. Our experts will provide the best CDL training.

Call us today and you can begin your journey to an exciting career in the truck driving industry!

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