What does the CDL Allow You to Operate?
What does the CDL Allow You to Operate?
A commercial driver’s license allows the driver to operate all the vehicles in the particular class for which the license was issued, including all the vehicles in the lower classes.
Commercial Driver’s licensing standards and classes are different from country to country but in general, the same standards apply almost everywhere and are relatively consistent in each country.
What is a Commercial Driver’s License?
A commercial driver’s license is a licensing requirement which allows a driver to:
- Operate any vehicle that has a gross weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001Lbs, or 11,793Kgs, or more for commercial use.
- To transport hazardous materials which require warnings under the DOT (Department of Transportation Regulations).
- Operate a vehicle designed to transport more than 16 passengers such as a bus or other commuting vehicle.
- Operate vehicles that have double axles, such as garbage trucks, and large transport or commercial trucks
What are the Classes of Commercial Driver’s Licenses?
There are four classes of the CDL:
The exact type of license you require is entirely dependant on the type of vehicle you choose to operate:
A Class- Any type of vehicle with a total weight of 26,001bls or more including any vehicle which is being towed by that vehicle and where the vehicle being towed is more than, 10,000lbs.
B Class – Any vehicle with a total weight of 26,001lbs or more where the vehicle being towed is not more than 10,000lbs.
C Class – Any vehicle with a total weight less than 26,001 pounds including a towed vehicle which is less than 10,000 lbs such as a personal vehicle which toes a boat or a small recreation vehicle such as a Camper.
- Vehicles that transport multiple passengers which may included taxis, school buses, ambulances, commercial bus carriers
- Vehicles used to transport hazardous materials and are required to label them under federal regulation.
D Class – Any non commercial vehicle.
What is a Commercial Driver’s Instruction Permit?
A commercial driver’s instruction permit (CDL instruction permit) is issued to individuals 18 years or older, and who already hold a valid Class D license, or are holding a ‘junior operator’s license’ for at least two years. They must also have passed the vision test, and meet the physical and knowledge standards required to be approved for a CDL
The permit is valid for a period of 6 months and can be renewed only once within a 2 year period from the original date of issue. Only one renewal can be granted within a 2 year period from issue date. If two permit renewals occur over a 4 year period, then the applicant must retake all the qualification tests and reapply for a new permit.
The holder of a Commercial Driver’s License permit can drive any motor vehicle on a highway as long as they have someone with a CDL with them who is licensed for the type of vehicle they are driving. This individual must be sitting directly beside the permit holder. For example, this would apply during ‘driver’s training and testing.
If you would like to know more about the CDL requirements in your state or district, visit your department of transportation’s website and search for Commercial Driver’s licensing requirements.
What is involved in CDL Testing?
When you apply for a commercial Learner’s license, you will need to take a knowledge test and an airbrake knowledge test if applicable to your vehicle. There is also a medical test includes a vision test.
When applying, you should be prepared to go as early as possible to give yourself enough time to take the knowledge and bring ID which proves you are over 18
The knowledge test is laid out entirely in English and you are not permitted to get any help when taking the exam.
The entire commercial knowledge tests are multiple choices, and consist of approximately 35 questions, out of which 28 need to be countered correctly in order to achieve a passing grade and be approved for the Commercial Driver’s License. Upon the successful completion of the Knowledge Test, the Driver License department will issue a CDL Learner’s Permit to the individual.
In 1986, the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act was made law on October 27, in order to improve highway safety. The act mandated that all commercial truck, tractor and bus drivers must be qualified to operate those types of vehicles so that unqualified, unsafe drivers could be removed from the roads, after the act was passed, the individual States were still able to issue commercial driver’s licenses, but minimum requirements related to age and physical and mental health needed to be met in order to qualify.
Why Become a Commercially Licensed Driver?
As an experienced professional driver, operating a commercial vehicle can help you hone and develop your driving skills which may provide you with additional supplemental or even primary income opportunities. Opportunities such as bus driving, long distance transport, and other logistical transport.