How to become a class A driver
Take out your driver’s license for a moment. It should say that you are a Class C driver, but did you know that there are different classes for different drivers? Class B allows anyone over 18 to operate a vehicle weighing or towing 26,000 pounds. The gross weight rating must be under 10,000 pounds.
Class A licenses allow drivers to operate vehicles of 26,001 pounds or more. The gross vehicle weight rating along with anything being towed should be more than 10,000 pounds, as well. So, how does someone obtain a Class A license?
Understand the Industry
Drivers with a Class A license work in a professional, commercial field. Their jobs revolve around transporting goods throughout the country, which companies ranging from food service to Amazon rely on. Even with a spotless driving record on your Class C license, there are various steps to take if you want to enter this industry.
Right now, the need for truck drivers is on the rise. Logistics careers are steadily increasing, which means they need to fill hauling positions to continue their operations. If you’re ready to take on this career, these are the steps you need to take.
Commercial trucks are large and dangerous when not handled properly. It isn’t hard to find a news article where an individual has hired an attorney for serious car accident and injury claims involving a big rig. For that reason, states have created detailed guidelines for those seeking a Class A license.
Each state has its own rules and regulations. So, start by looking into what your state requires to obtain your Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). Your local DMV will provide you with manuals and training information to obtain your CDL, or you can use their online portal.
The CDL Permit and Training
Just like a Class C license, your journey to level A starts with a permit. During this time, you’ll learn all of the ins and outs of driving large commercial vehicles. While you can choose to do this on your own, it’s highly recommended that you take training courses from a certified CDL school.
Whichever way you choose to go about it, there is a written test you must pass before certification. The DMV’s test will cover everything from driving combination vehicles to transporting hazardous materials and using air brakes.
Endorsements and the Skills Test
At this time, you should add on any endorsements pertaining to the job you want. Those can include hazardous materials, tank vehicles, and other specialty transports. Additional background checks are often required for endorsements, but each broadens your horizons as a truck driver.
With your written test, training, and endorsements covered, it’s time to take on the skills test. It’s similar to the test you took for your Class C license, but now you’ll be mastering three-point turns and complicated maneuvers in an enormous truck.
Once you pass the test, you’ll be the proud owner of a CDL along with a Class A license. From there, all you need to do is find a job with a company you like and start raking in the cash. These certifications make you highly valuable and a flexible asset to various companies, giving you a little leverage on the job hunt.