A CDL, or commercial driver's license, grants you the right to drive a commercial truck or other commercial vehicle. With that license and that job, you usually obtain a higher level of pay, and thus, a higher standard of living. To get started, you need to enroll in a CDL driving school's program to learn about and obtain a CDL. However, there are a few things you should know in advance to registering and enrolling in a school/program.
Truck drivers may work some long hours, but there are definitely some benefits to this career. For example, you spend a lot of time on the road seeing a lot of the country. You know all the roads and routes through a city and a state, giving you travel knowledge other drivers on the road simply do not have. As a truck driver, you also have more knowledge about which routes are under construction, which have the worst traffic, and which are better for driving during your leisure time.
You also earn a much higher salary than most other people. Commercial semi drivers can expect to start earning around forty to fifty thousand a year, and the salary only goes up from there. An average salary range is about eighty to one hundred thousand dollars a year for experienced drivers and some drivers are able to achieve that within a few years. It just depends on the company you drive for and the kinds of hours and trips you are willing to work.
People who love to travel and meet new people along the way will also enjoy working as a trucker. With the stops you make and the destinations to which you travel for your job, you can see a lot of the country and familiarize yourself with all of the tourist attractions you may want to come back to on your vacation days. Truck stops and diners also provide you with the means of meeting other truckers and starting work friendships. It can be lonely when you are driving, but with each new stop you have the opportunity to meet and talk with more people.
Finally, many trucking companies have pension plans, retirement funds, health insurance, and a multitude of other benefits for their employees. It's stable employment, regular income, and plenty of benefits. You can easily see the draw for most young adults and even some married couples.
Before you get started in a CDL course, you have to familiarize yourself with the different CDL licenses.
A Class A CDL is the "universal" license, allowing you to literally drive any commercial truck or vehicle. You can drive a semi, a cargo van, a courier truck, a mail truck, a package delivery truck, a moving truck or van, etc., when you have a Class A CDL. A lot of students coming into a CDL driving school opt for this license since it gives them greater post-graduation opportunities and options.
A Class B CDL is a step down from a Class A. This license allows you to drive buses, dump trucks, and several other commercial vehicles that do not have a semi trailer or towing ability above five tons (ten thousand pounds). Typically, these vehicles never tow anything behind them because their "towing" is part of the truck or vehicle itself (e.g., box truck, cab-over vehicles, bus with several passengers onboard, etc.). If you have no desire to learn how to drive a semi or work as a semi driver, then you might want to enroll in the Class B CDL course.
A Class C CDL license is not a typical CDL, which is why a lot of CDL driving schools rarely offer it. If you want to pursue this type of CDL license, you should know that it only covers very specific commercial vehicles. Those vehicles often transport special cargo. One example is a HAZMAT vehicle for cleanup. Another example is a tanker truck for volatile substances like propane and gasoline. As odd as it sounds, this type of license is also used for driving school buses, since children are considered "special cargo" too.
Endorsements are additional certifications you can add to your CDL. Let's say that you want to drive a tanker that regularly pumps out porta-potties and pit toilets. Then you would need an endorsement added to your Class B or Class C CDL for carrying hazardous substances. You would have to take and pass a certification course and test to add this endorsement to your license. In terms of achieving a CDL course and license, think of endorsements as "electives;" you can choose to add them, but you don't have to add or have them in order to pass the course.
If you are ready to start a new career path, you can register and enroll with our CDL driving school today. There is financial aid available, and you can start full- or part-time with your education. We have some options to help everyone acquire a CDL of their choosing with the time and the schedule they have available to them. If you have any additional questions or you just want to know more about our school, training programs, and licensing, contact us by submitting a form below!