If you would like to drive a semi-truck for a living, you will need a commercial driver’s license (CDL). A Class A CDL is a license that allows the driver to operate any combination of vehicles that weight 26,001 pounds or more with the vehicle that is being towed weighing more than 10,000 pounds. This license is also needed to drive across state lines with these larger vehicles.
There are some other kinds of commercial driver’s licenses, but they are to operate other vehicles. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) developed the standards for the testing process and the issuance of Class A CDL. Here is a summary of how the process works:
- Review the requirements for a CDL – Get a manual and review the requirements section to see if you qualify for a CDL. There are minimum age requirement and physical requirements. You must meet these requirements to ensure things proceed smoothly throughout the process.
- Get a permit – Just as you would with a regular driver’s license, you will need to get a permit. You will obtain a permit after passing a series of written tests. In most states, the required written tests include a general knowledge exam air brakes and combination vehicles. You can get a CDL manual at the state testing sites or online.
- Add CDL endorsements – Depending on the CDL endorsement you want to obtain, you will need to pass that specific test for that CDL endorsement. Some endorsements, such as HAZMAT, require a background check before you can have that endorsement added to your CDL.
- Take a CDL skills test – You must complete a three-part exam that includes the pre-trip inspection test, the basic skills test, and the driving test at either a third-party testing site or at a state CDL testing site. After you have passed all the tests, you can be issued a CDL from your state.
Attending A Specialized Training School
If you want to obtain a CDL, you can attend a specialized training school. The training school will prepare you for a job out on the roads. In addition to helping you get your license, the school can help you increase your chances of finding employment right away. Many employers hire from the training school graduate pool because they feel those individuals are better prepared to excel in the workplace and are familiar with the safety guidelines. To learn more about getting your Class A CDL, contact ATS Specialized Training today!