Class A Vs. Class B

Topic 7451 | Page 1

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Julius C.'s Comment
member avatar

When you go to school to get your Class A license, do you automatically get your Class B? One school said that if you have your Class A, that proves you can drive ANYTHING - including Class B vehicles. I've heard otherwise. So how does it work? I know you can choose to just get your Class B and not get your Class A. However, when you have your Class A, does that mean that after you pass your Class A tests, you will automatically be classified as a Class B driver as well, or are there two separate classes and tests?

Thanks!

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

Class A CDL allows you to operate any Class B/C vehicle - EXCEPT - a Passenger Bus or School Bus, which requires an additional Passenger Endorsement and Pre-Trip/Skills test.

Rick

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.
Marcus K.'s Comment
member avatar

Agree with Rick S . Your class A covers everything . All you need after that is endorsements . You are not for instance qualified to drive a bus just because you have class A . Same goes for a motorcycle at least around these parts .

Julius C.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks, Fellas. I have one more question. If you know you don't plan on driving a big rig and just plan on driving a Class B locally, is there really a reason to get your Class A? Some truckers have told me that even if you only plan on applying for local Class B jobs, it's better to go to a company with a Class A CDL if you have no experience because you will most likely be hired above someone with just a Class B who has no experience. Any comments on this one?

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.
Broc G.'s Comment
member avatar

Julius, I am a new driver as well, and only have a Class B. I was encouraged to get an A, but would not have received any training with a tractor. I was a seasonal town employee and was able to practice on the dump trucks in the yard, but the lone tractor the town owns is strictly used for trash hauling and unable to be used for practice. If you have a Class A, you can operate any Class A or B vehicle, provided you have the endorsements (if necessary). I'm not sure if you would be held to a higher standard without any experience and a Class A. I know a lot of places I have talked to around my area would not hire a Class A driver without any experience unless they had graduated from an approved trucking school. Hope that helps.

Julius C.'s Comment
member avatar

Julius, I am a new driver as well, and only have a Class B. I was encouraged to get an A, but would not have received any training with a tractor. I was a seasonal town employee and was able to practice on the dump trucks in the yard, but the lone tractor the town owns is strictly used for trash hauling and unable to be used for practice. If you have a Class A, you can operate any Class A or B vehicle, provided you have the endorsements (if necessary). I'm not sure if you would be held to a higher standard without any experience and a Class A. I know a lot of places I have talked to around my area would not hire a Class A driver without any experience unless they had graduated from an approved trucking school. Hope that helps.

Broc,

Yes that does help. Thanks!

Mr. Smith's Comment
member avatar

Lets say you get a job with a company that has all class B trucks. All the drivers have a Class B license except you. You have your class A license. The company you work for decides to purchase a 2015 Pete and a 53' trailer for a new account they acquired... can you guess whose going to drive it?

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Lets say you get a job with a company that has all class B trucks. All the drivers have a Class B license except you. You have your class A license. The company you work for decides to purchase a 2015 Pete and a 53' trailer for a new account they acquired... can you guess whose going to drive it?

That's a good point and that would be my main point also. You're talking about your career here. The foundation of your life as it is for all of us. You don't want to limit yourself forever to save $1000 in tuition cost and a week of schooling, ya know? You want to go for that Class A.

You also don't want to assume you know what you'll do or won't do the rest of your life. One of the best jobs I had was driving a school bus that was being used as a shuttle bus for a construction crew. I literally drove them across the street and one block over because the road was too busy to cross and they had to park across the street from the complex they were working on. I never would've guessed in a million years I'd wind up with a job like that but suddenly there it was and it paid $400/week and I only put in 5 hours! A half hour in the morning, half hour in the afternoon. Never get the bus above 25 mph in almost an entire year. But that job put me through welding and Harley Davidson mechanic school. It was just what I needed. If I wouldn't have had a Class A with passenger endorsement I wouldn't have qualified and they told me flat out they were having an impossible time finding someone to fill that spot because of it.

Get the Class A. You certainly won't regret it. And you can be sure you'll make that little bit of time and money back 100 or 1000 times over in the end. Think long term.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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