Upgrading From Class B To A Class A

Topic 3815 | Page 1

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Justin A.'s Comment
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So here is my question. I have had a CDL Class B since 2010 and am really thinking about upgrading to a Class A and going over the road. Im trying to figure out is it better to go ahead and take the CDL Class A test and rent a semi for $250 and just get it done, and apply to Knight and just start the over the road training, or would it be better to wait, and go thru the whole school and start all over. Thanks in advance.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Over The Road:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Starcar's Comment
member avatar

Well....first I'd like to say, Welcome to TT...now on to your question... Your class B won't help you much, other than any experience you have gained in maneuvering a truck. If you have been driving a straight truck, you will need to work on driving something that "breaks in the middle", for backing, lining up, etc. You will need the air brakes certification, and learn how to shift a 9,10,13,15,or 18 speed transmission. So if you go ahead and get the truck, and test with the state for your class A, it may give you the proper classification on your drivers licenese, but you won't have any training. You can check to see if there is a company out there that will put you in a truck without going thru a cdl school...I know Prime does something similar, since they have you learn to drive by sending you out with a trainer without any driving training. You will benefit by working thru the High Road....here's a link. High Road Training Program ....But there is no shortcut that will benefit you, in the long run, like going thru a cdl school of atleast 160 hours.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Justin A.'s Comment
member avatar

Well....first I'd like to say, Welcome to TT...now on to your question... Your class B won't help you much, other than any experience you have gained in maneuvering a truck. If you have been driving a straight truck, you will need to work on driving something that "breaks in the middle", for backing, lining up, etc. You will need the air brakes certification, and learn how to shift a 9,10,13,15,or 18 speed transmission. So if you go ahead and get the truck, and test with the state for your class A, it may give you the proper classification on your drivers licenese, but you won't have any training. You can check to see if there is a company out there that will put you in a truck without going thru a cdl school...I know Prime does something similar, since they have you learn to drive by sending you out with a trainer without any driving training. You will benefit by working thru the High Road....here's a link. High Road Training Program ....But there is no shortcut that will benefit you, in the long run, like going thru a cdl school of atleast 160 hours.

From what I have read there are a few compaines that will hire you even if you just have your CDL A but no drive time. Its just a modified training course.

This maybe a stupid question, but are all of the State CDL manuals the same now. For example I know that Texas has a different air brake test than a lot of the other states, so just want to make sure they are all pretty much the same before I start studying.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Justin, you definitely do not want to go the "do it yourself" route of renting a truck and getting your license on your own. Starcar is right - companies will want to know that you've been through a legitimate CDL training program.

What you can do is go through our High Road Training Program and take the written test to get your permit and endorsements on your own. You don't need schooling of any sort for that. But the driving portion of the training you'll want to do at a legitimate school....either a Company-Sponsored Training Program or an Independent Truck Driving School - either way.

Don't get your permit until you know what you're going to do for schooling. The permit expires after a bit so wait until just before you're going to begin your schooling before you take the permit exam.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Company-sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

Miles 's Comment
member avatar

I'm in the same boat. Thinking of doing the self- pay and enduring the four weeks over again. 😡

See also:

Paid CDL Training Companies

Apply For Paid CDL Training

So here is my question. I have had a CDL Class B since 2010 and am really thinking about upgrading to a Class A and going over the road. Im trying to figure out is it better to go ahead and take the CDL Class A test and rent a semi for $250 and just get it done, and apply to Knight and just start the over the road training, or would it be better to wait, and go thru the whole school and start all over. Thanks in advance.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Over The Road:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

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