For many years, the prospect of driving a vehicle has been changing quite dramatically – today, there are many varying kinds of license that you can pick up. This will determine the size and style of vehicle that you can drive, and the kind of license that you have will typically determine what kind of employment you can undertake using a vehicle. One of the most common kinds of license out there at the moment is a commercial driving license, and this can be a very important kind of license to hold if you want to get into the commercial driving side of things – we’ll cover what kinds of vehicles a commercial driving license allows you to drive below.
The requirement for a CDL was introduced was through the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986, which ensured that the roads of the US and highways in particular could be far safer for traditional drivers. The driving quality at the time was very poor, and the Act was introduced to make sure that only those who were truly qualified cold drive a vehicle of this size and power. A CDL requires you to go through a series of examinations and tests, ensuring that you can deal with;
· A written examination covering much of the theory involved in driving a vehicle classed as ‘Commercial’
· A drugs test
· A physical examination
· A CDL skills test that looks to see how you handle the practical side of things
Being able to manage the kind of CDL that you want to achieve is going to be important prior to actually get involved in the examination; you need to make sure that you are picking the right kind of license for you. You get three classes of license, and they are;
A License – Any vehicle that is more than 26,001 pounds or towing an excess of 10,000 pounds; this typically includes driving a semi
B License – Allows you to drive transports that weigh more than 26,001 pounds, or a vehicle towing up to 10,000 pounds in weight. This can include school buses and bin trucks
C License – Allows you to drive transports that can either placarded for use with hazardous material, or can hold up to sixteen passengers (driver included)
However, you need to also manage to get something known as an endorsement. This will typically be gained after you have your CDL, and will be issues to you in line with things such as;
· Passenger vehicles
· Semi trailers
· Tank vehicles or hazardous transport vehicles
· School buses – this includes a registry check and a P endorsement
As you can see, plenty study is needed to pass!