Earn Your CDL Class B License and Get On The Road to a Successful Commercial Driving Career!
A Class B CDL allows a driver to operate commercial trucks that have an attached cab and cargo area with a combined weight greater than 26,000 pounds, as well as trucks with a detached towed cargo vehicle that weighs less than 10,000 pounds. Examples of vehicles that drivers with a Class B CDL license may operate include tow trucks, dump trucks, delivery trucks and utility trucks. Drivers of certain special-purpose vehicles, such as school buses, commercial buses, certain farm vehicles and fire engines, may have to satisfy additional test requirements.
Minimum requirements for earning a CDL license have been established by the federal government. State requirements may vary but must be at least as strict as federal regulations.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that jobs for tractor-trailer and other heavy truck drivers are expected to grow 21% from 2010-2020. The median salary for these workers was $38,200, as of May 2012.
When do I need a New York CDL?
- Class A: A gross combination weight rating is 26,001 lbs. or more or a trailer with a GVWR of more than 10,000 lbs.
- Class B: A single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 lbs. or more
- Class C: A vehicle designed to transport 16 passengers or more, including the driver, or a vehicle defined as a bus or any vehicle that requires hazardous materials placards
You can obtain a Class A, Class B, or Class C commercial license, depending on the type of vehicle you will be driving. If you drive a CMV without a commercial license, you could go to jail or incur a court fine.
Training Program Information
Class B CDL training programs are offered by 1st Choice Driving School provides training in the skills and knowledge needed to pass the state CDL examination. During the first few days of training, students are taught applicable traffic and trucking laws from New York State’s CDL manual and federal safety regulations. Students learn about federal rules that apply to bus, truck and cargo transportation, and they may learn how to complete relevant paperwork associated with transporting freight.
Instruction then moves outdoors where students learn how to perform a pre-trip truck and freight inspection. Significant time is devoted to behind-the-wheel training. Drivers enrolled in CDL training practice their truck driving skills while accompanied by a driver that already holds a CDL. Skills covered include:
- Gear shifting and vehicle control
- Backing, parking and docking
- Loading and unloading
- Highway and city driving
- Defensive driving
- Common Prerequisites
Required include a minimum age of 18 (although 21 is also common), possession of a valid driver’s license without infractions and completion of a medical and drug tests.
FAQ on CDL:
What are the Benefits of Having a CDL?
Times are in demand for professional drivers. If a person is looking to receive a job there are many opportunities for the person that has a CDL. One advantage of having a CDL is that it can be used in many fields of work. Many people might instantly think of truck driving when they think of a CDL, but there is much more to it than just that. As one example consider a construction company. A contractor would be more interested in you as an employee if you had your CDL because when the circumstance came up where they needed someone to deliver supplies that required a Commercial Vehicle, you would be ready to perform the task. Obtaining a CDL will certainly increase your chances of receiving a job with a prospective employer. There are many fields that require a CDL. When you receive your CDL many doors to employment are opened to you.
What Steps Are Involved In Receiving a CDL?
First a prospective driver must pass three required written tests. The General Knowledge, Combination Knowledge and Air Brake Knowledge tests are mandatory written tests that must be passed to receive your Class A CDL Permit. The permit will allow you to operate a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) on public roads as long as you are accompanied by a person having their CDL. Second, you must schedule a driving test at the testing facility. This test will include a pre-trip inspection, a skills test, and an over-the-road test. Once you have passed all three sections of the test you will be issued your CDL. You can then legally operate a CMV on public roads.
When am I exempt from needing a CDL?
Not all large vehicles require a commercial license. Generally, RVs driven for personal or family recreation, military vehicles driven by the military, farm vehicles driven on farms by farmers, and emergency vehicles driven by emergency personnel are exempt (see section 1 of the New York State Commercial Driver’s Manual for specifics).
May I have a CDL or other driver license from more than one state?
No. By federal law, it’s illegal for CMV drivers to possess more than one license of any kind, and you may have a license only from your state of legal residence. This means that you may not have both a New York CDL and a regular New York driver license; you should surrender your regular license when you obtain a CDL. If you have licenses from other states, you must surrender those as well.
All 50 states share information about CDL drivers, and if you are found to have licenses from more than one state, you might end up with a fine or even jail time. Since your New York CDL allows you to drive both passenger and commercial vehicles anywhere in the country, it’s the only one you need.
Are there restrictions on who may drive a hazmat truck?
You bet. Applicants for a hazardous materials endorsement will submit fingerprints and undergo a background check. You may be denied a hazmat endorsement if you are not a lawful permanent U.S. resident, have renounced your U.S. citizenship, are wanted or under indictment for certain felonies, have been convicted of certain felonies, have been committed to a mental institution or judged mentally defective, or are considered by the Transportation Security Administration to be a security threat.