Wednesday, March 11, 2020
How to become a Class A driver So youÃ¢â¬â¢re thinking about hitting the open road as a professional Class A driver. And why not? Logistics careers are hot right now, and truck drivers are a key element to getting goods across the country fast. (Those Amazon boxes donÃ¢â¬â¢t move themselves.) But even if you already have a regular driverÃ¢â¬â¢s license and a spotless driving record as a civilian, there are still steps youÃ¢â¬â¢ll need to complete before you can get on the road. For starters, youÃ¢â¬â¢ll need your Class A CDL license, which allows you to drive vehicles that weigh more than 26,000 pounds and trailers that weigh more than 10,000 pounds. LetÃ¢â¬â¢s walk through what youÃ¢â¬â¢ll need to accomplish to get your Class A CDL and become a Class A driver.Check your stateÃ¢â¬â¢s requirements.Every state has its own set of rules for truck drivers, so itÃ¢â¬â¢s important to know what youÃ¢â¬â¢ll need in the state where youÃ¢â¬â¢ll have your Commercial DriverÃ¢â¬â¢s License (CDL). Your lo cal DMV will have all the manuals and training information youÃ¢â¬â¢ll need, or you can find them online at your stateÃ¢â¬â¢s DMV website. Factors like minimum age and physical requirements for a CDL can vary by state, so itÃ¢â¬â¢s crucial to know what points youÃ¢â¬â¢ll need to hit.Get a CDL permit.ItÃ¢â¬â¢ll be just like high school again, except instead of learning how to drive in general, youÃ¢â¬â¢ll be learning the specifics of driving large commercial vehicles.Consider a CDL training school.You can always try to go it alone, but a good, certified CDL school can help walk you through every stage of the training and certification processes. With any educational programs, make sure youÃ¢â¬â¢re doing your research first, so that youÃ¢â¬â¢re finding the best possible school.Pass the written test.Although there are federal requirements for truck drivers, each state has its own version of the CDL test offered through the local DMV. Topics covered on the written test m ay include:General driving knowledgeTransporting passengersDriving school busesUsing air brakesDriving combination vehicles (tractor-trailers)Transporting hazardous materialsDriving tanker vehiclesDriving double or triple trailer vehiclesAdd CDL endorsements.CDL endorsements are basically extra certifications for different kinds of vehicles that can enhance your license. These include things like hazardous material (HazMat) endorsements and tank vehicle endorsements. Endorsements may require additional background checks beyond the normal licensing process, especially if they include transporting materials that are dangerous, sensitive, or otherwise unusual.Pass the CDL skills test.Like the learnerÃ¢â¬â¢s permit, this is another flashback- but instead of trying to master a three-point turn in your momÃ¢â¬â¢s Honda, youÃ¢â¬â¢ll be doing it with a massive Class A vehicle. This may take place at your local DMV or at an approved third-party site. This is usually the last step in th e process, so once you pass the driving test with flying colors and hit all of the other milestones, you will likely be the proud owner of a Class A CDL.And donÃ¢â¬â¢t forget unofficial final step, which is important as well: finalizing your road music mix. Once youÃ¢â¬â¢re certified and ready to go, that road trip soundtrack is essential!