People who operate big or heavy vehicles or ones carrying hazardous materials in a commercial context need a commercial driver’s license. This includes drivers of dump trucks, passenger buses, semi-trucks and tractor-trailers. Commercial driver’s licenses can be lost for violations like driving under the influence (they can contact a CDL Traffic Attorney if they feel like they are at risk of license loss). There are three main kinds of commercial driver’s licenses drivers can get if they meet the requirements.
- Class A
Individuals with a Class A commercial driver’s license may drive a multitude of vehicles, such as tractor-trailers, tankers, tractor-trailer buses and flatbeds. They may also operate the majority of the ones that a person possessing a Class B or Class C license can. They can drive ones that exceed a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 pounds and tow a trailer that is rated at a minimum of 10,000 pounds. In general, this type grants people more advantages since higher-paying positions often require it and potential employers tend to prefer those who have one.
- Class B
Class B licensed operators may drive a vehicle that has a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 pounds on its own. They may also drag a trailer that has a rating of 10,000 or fewer pounds. Straight trucks, dump trucks and buses are examples of what a person with this license is authorized to operate.
- Class C
This is a license that allows individuals to drive vehicles that can hold at least 16 passengers (this includes the driver). It also grants them the right to operate ones transporting hazardous materials.
Actual laws and requirements for commercial driver’s licenses vary by state. Certain vehicles or cargo may require additional endorsements added to the license to drive or carry depending on the type of license.