Types of CDL LicensesA Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) is a type of driving license required to operate commercial motor vehicles including passenger buses, tractor trailers, and semi-trucks, to name a few.  If you are preparing for a career in the transport business on the road, you are most likely required to obtain your CDL before you can begin.  There are varying types of CDL licenses and categorizations regarding the types of vehicles you are permitted to operate, and they are Class A, Class B, and Class C.  Furthermore, the classifications are determined by the vehicle’s gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) along with other features.

As you can imagine, operating commercial motor vehicles requires specialized skills and comes with its own share of risks out on the road.  Without the proper knowledge, skills, and training, drivers of CMV’s can negatively impact highway safety.  Because of this, the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act was designed in October 1986 as a way to ensure that anyone operating commercial vehicles have the proper CDL licenses and training before getting behind the wheel.  Ensuring drivers have their CDL is a way to increase and promote highway safety.

CDL Class A License

In order to operate any combination of vehicles with a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more, you are required to obtain a CDL Class A driver’s license.  The other stipulation of Class A CDL is the towed vehicle must be heavier than 10,000 pounds.  Some typical examples of this include:

  • Tow trucks
  • Tractor-Trailers/18-Wheelers
  • Flatbeds
  • Tanker Vehicles
  • Truck and Trailer Combinations
  • Some Class B and Class C Vehicles (subject to applicable required endorsements)

*Required endorsements may apply regarding CDL licenses

CDL Class B License

You are required to obtain a CDL Class B license if you are operating a single vehicle having a gross weight of 26,001 pounds or more OR trucks towing a vehicle that weighs less than 10,000 pounds.  Some common examples of these type of vehicles include:

  • Box Trucks
  • Straight Trucks
  • Tractor-Trailers
  • Dump Trucks
  • Large Passenger Buses
  • Segmented Buses
  • Some Class C Vehicles (subject to applicable required endorsements)

*Required endorsements may apply regarding CDL licenses

CDL Class C License

This license is required for drivers operating a single vehicle with GVWR of less than 26,001 pounds, a vehicle towing another vehicle that weighs less than 10,000 pounds, for drivers transporting 16 passengers or more, or the drivers transporting/hauling hazardous materials as classified by federal law.  Some typical examples include:

  • Passenger Vans
  • Small HazMat Vehicles
  • Combination Vehicles (Not Covered by Class A or Class B)

*Required endorsements may apply  regarding CDL licenses

Paramount Insurance Agency is here to assist you with any questions you may have regarding a possible career choice of operating commercial motor vehicles and the specific type of CDL licenses needed to get you up and running on the road.  Don’t wait!  Give us a call today at 866-869-3335.  We are eager to assist with any of your N.C. trucking insurance needs.