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What Is a Commercial Driver’s License?

A CDL, which is short for Commercial Driver’s License, is a type of driver’s license needed to operate specialized commercial motor vehicles such as tank trucks and buses. This may include oversized, heavy vehicles and those carrying many passengers. If you are looking for a job that requires you to drive a specific kind of vehicle, then obtaining the right CDL is very important. Obtaining a commercial driver’s license means you have the required capability and skills to operate specialized vehicles. 

Different Classes of CDL

There are three different classes of CDL you can get – Class A, Class B, and Class C. Each of these classes have a different set of requirements as well as different things you can achieve with them. To obtain a commercial driver’s license, you will need to meet the requirements of at least one of these classes. The following are the three different types of CDL:

CDL Class A

The first type of CDL is the Class A CDL. You need a Class A CDL to operate a combination of vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 26,000 pounds with a towed vehicle weighing over 10,000 pounds. When you have a Class A, you can drive a wide range of vehicles such as a tractor-trailer, truck-trailer combination, flatbeds, livestock carriers, tractor-trailer bus, tanker vehicles, and more.

Furthermore, any driver with a Class A CDL can also drive Class B and Class C vehicles. However, you need proper endorsements to do that. Hence, Class A commercial driver’s licenses are for some of the most complicated and heaviest motor vehicles. 

CDL Class B

A CDL Class B license allows you to operate single vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 26,000 pounds or more with a vehicle towing capacity of 10,000 pounds or lesser. With a CDL Class B license, you can drive a long list of vehicles including large passenger busses, straight trucks, segmented buses, dump trucks with small trailers, box trucks, tractor-trailers, garbage trucks, and delivery trucks. 

Like the Class A CDL, a driver with Class B CDL can drive Class C vehicles. This means you can use a higher CDL classification to drive vehicles at a lower classification level. 

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Jobs You Can Do with Your CDL

Obtaining your commercial driver’s license comes with many great advantages. It paves the way for many great opportunities that can transform your financial life around. This license offers you the flexibility and freedom to find amazing jobs anywhere you want, whether you want to travel out or you want to stay local. Here are some of the amazing jobs you can do with your CDL:

Local Truck Driver

If you want to remain in your local area, you can look for more local trucking jobs. Many trucking jobs require you to drive far and long distances, but you can still find some within your local area. This can be some sort of transportation service, delivery truck, etc. 

Long-Haul Cargo Truck Driver

The trucking industry has high demands for truck drivers. There is always a job for drivers that are willing to drive cargo for long distances. This can be within a certain region or across the country. 

Hauling Heavy Equipment

The truck industry is very large, and only a handful of drivers drive cargos. Many people went through truck driving schools and obtained their CDL just to haul large loads and heavy equipment with trailers and flatbed trucks. This field requires a lot of training and safety, and you need to attend the best truck driving training school to get the required skills. However, it is a very lucrative field, only if you meet the demands. 

Bus Driver

With your commercial driver’s license, you can become a professional bus driver. You can drive cross-country buses, city transit, school buses, and more. There is a high demand in this field and you can make a whole lot of money from it. 

Dispatcher

Not everyone obtained a commercial driver’s license because of trucking jobs in the industry. Some people obtained the license for non-trucking jobs such as being a dispatcher. This is a very important position in any trucking firm and it allows you to work behind the desk with radio instead of behind the wheel. 

Another fascinating non-trucking job in the industry is working as a truck driving school instructor. You also need to obtain your license to be able to instruct and guide others. However, besides your CDL, you will need additional training to be able to help others to obtain their license and build their skills. 

Benefits of Owning CDL

Job Security

One of the major benefits of owning a CDL is job security. There is a high demand for truck drivers in the industry. The trucking industry is growing at an enormous pace and there is a shortage of workers in the industry, especially in CDL driving positions. This field provides plenty of opportunities provided you have your license and you are willing to work. The employment rate is very high and the chances of losing your job to a robot or others are very slim, especially the latter. 

It Will Make You a Safe Driver

The process of obtaining your commercial driver’s license is not too difficult. Nevertheless, it is not as easy as you might expect it to be. To obtain your CDL, you will have to do some studying and practicing. You will also learn many things in the process that you might have missed, ignored, or overlooked during your training period. After obtaining your license, you will come out at the other end a much safer driver. 

Flexibility

Flexibility is one of the major benefits a CDL offers drivers. CDL drivers have more flexibility than those who work in offices, factories, and other static facilities. Many firms do not have residency requirements for their drivers. This means you do not have to look for a new job when you move to a new state or city. Drivers with CDL also have the flexibility of choosing from part-time, full-time, long-haul, seasonal, local, and short-haul jobs. 

Conclusion

Obtaining your CDL is very important, as it will provide you with greater and better opportunities. There are three types of CDL, and obtaining at least one of them is a great way to reward yourself and grab all the opportunities the industry has to offer. CDL University is Oklahoma’s trucking school that truly cares about your success and the safety of everyone on our nation’s roads. Learn more on how we help on our last blog, Truckers Against Trafficking and How CDL University Helps.

Come see us for more information. Stop by anytime Monday – Friday between 8 am-5 pm, but if you’d like to schedule an appointment, call the enrollment office at 405-702-4333.

CDL University

2120 S Prospect Avenue

Oklahoma City, OK 73129