Class A & Class B CDLs: Everything You Need to Know

A commercial driver’s license is essential in the trucking industry, as you need it to operate heavy, large, and placarded hazardous material vehicles. 

Without a CDL, you cannot tap into the benefits of the driving industry as well as the great opportunities it provides. 

Here are some scenarios where a driver is required to have a CDL:

  • Hauling a trailer that weighs over 10,000 pounds
  • Driving a vehicle or combination of vehicles weighing more than 26,000 pounds, excluding trailers
  • Transporting hazardous materials
  • Driving a bus or vehicle that carries up to 16 persons or more.

There are three different classes of CDLs – Class A, Class B, and Class C. However, in this article, we will be taking a closer look at the Class A and Class B CDLs. 

What Is a Class A Commercial Driver’s License

A Class A commercial driver’s license allows drivers to operate vehicles with a semi-trailer or trailer with more than one axle. 

This license also allows drivers to drive a combination of vehicles with a GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) of 26,000 pounds and more, provided the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of the towed vehicle is up to 10,000 pounds or more. 

The Class A CDL is the highest license amongst the three commercial driver’s licenses. With a Class A CDL, you can operate Class B and Class C vehicles. This license provides more opportunities and the other classes. 

Depending on the state, the Class A CDL might require additional endorsements. With the proper endorsement, you can drive many Class B and Class C vehicles. 

With a Class A commercial driver’s license and the right endorsement, some of the vehicles you can drive include:

  • Truck and trailer combinations
  • Tractor-trailers
  • Tank vehicles
  • Flatbeds
  • Livestock carriers
  • Double or triple trailers
  • And more. 

What Is a Class B Commercial Driver’s License

After A Class A Commercial Driver’s License, the next in line is a Class B Commercial Driver’s License. 

With a Class B CDL, drivers can operate vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,000 pounds or more. This license also allows drivers to drive vehicles towing a trailer with a gross vehicle weight rating of not more than 10,000 pounds.

The Class B CDL is also very important, as it comes with many benefits and opportunities. However, it is not as useful as the Class A CDL. With a Class B commercial driver’s license and the right endorsements, a driver can operate Class C vehicles. However, a Class B CDL holder cannot operate Class A vehicles. 

With a Class B CDL and the proper endorsements, some of the vehicles you can drive include:

  • Large passenger busses such as tourist buses, city buses, and school buses. 
  • Straight trucks
  • Box trucks such as delivery trucks
  • Segmented buses
  • Tractor-trailers 
  • Dump trucks with small trailers

With a Class A or Class B commercial driver’s license and the right endorsement, you can get great deals and opportunities in the trucking industry.

earn a class b cdl

Benefits of a Class A and Class B Commercial Driver’s License

The trucking industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. With the development of new trucks and jobs, the demand for professional truck drivers is on the rise. This makes this career line highly beneficial. In this section, we will discuss some of the benefits associated with having a Class A and Class B commercial driver’s license. 

The Demand for Commercial Drivers Is On the Rise

There is a very high demand for professional drivers across several industries in the country. The demand for professional truck drivers surged enormously because there are more trucks and new companies that need to move things from one place to another. Many truck drivers are in their 50s, which means most of them would be retiring in the next 10 to 15 years. 

With most drivers already approaching their retirement age, there is a huge gap to be filled. This creates more room for new truck drivers, which is where you come in. The majority of these opportunities will be open to Class A and Class B commercial driver’s license holders. There are many opportunities in the industry, but they are only available to those with CDL, especially Class A and Class B CDL. 

The Majority of Truck Driving Jobs Require Class A & B CDL

Class A commercial driver’s license is the most important class of CDL, and it comes with many great opportunities. The next in line is the Class B CDL. The Class C CDL is also useful, but it is not as beneficial as the Class A and Class B CDL. Regardless of your truck-driving experience, you cannot secure a top job in this industry without a CDL. 

The abundance of job opportunities in this industry requires a CDL, mostly Class A and Class B CDL. If you want to work as a city bus driver, school bus driver, garbage worker, hazmat carrier, and tour bus driver, you need to have a Class A or B commercial driver’s license. 

Marketing Edge 

Another huge benefit that comes with a Class A or Class B CDL is that it gives you a marketing edge. If you are applying for a truck-driving job with any of these licenses, you are more likely to be offered the jobs than those with a Class C CDL. 

The Class A CDL gives you more marketing edge, especially when you have the right skills and experience. This is why it is important to attend a truck driving school and possibly get your CDL through one. With your Class A or B CDL, you will not have to compete for jobs like Class C CDL holders. 

Higher Pay

One of the major benefits of having a Class A and Class B commercial driver’s license is that they would fetch you more money than the other classifications. The Pay for Class A CDL is higher than Class B and Class C CDL, while that of Class B is higher than Class C. 

Class A CDL is more financially valuable than other classifications. The higher your classification, the more endorsements, and deals you can get. It also has more employment opportunities, which means more money.

Conclusion

If you want to make the most of your truck driving career, you need the right licenses, endorsement, training, and skills. You need to attend the best truck driving school to get the skills and certifications you need. The best truck driving school in Oklahoma would also help you to secure your Class A CDL or Class B CDL quickly and easily. With either of those licenses, you can enjoy all the benefits this industry has to offer.