Before becoming a commercial truck driver in Texas, you must undergo training and obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL). You need this license to operate a truck weighing more than 26,000 pounds, with over 16 passenger seats, and transporting hazardous material. However, there are different CDL types for other vehicle types.
CDL Schools and Training
Prospective commercial drivers should enroll in a CDL school. These institutions offer comprehensive training programs designed to prepare individuals for the written and skills tests for the CDL.
The curriculum often includes hands-on practice with various commercial vehicles, providing invaluable experience beyond mere test preparation.
While attendance at a CDL school is not a prerequisite for obtaining a CDL, it significantly enhances one’s likelihood of passing the necessary tests and successfully acquiring a license.
Furthermore, additional training courses are available for those seeking to specialize in certain types of commercial driving, such as operating tanker trucks or transporting hazardous materials.
These specialized courses broaden a driver’s employment prospects and contribute to their skillset, making them more proficient and safety-conscious operators.
A non-trained driver can easily cause accidents. So, if they cause your accident, consult a leading attorney for 18-wheeler lawsuits to prove fault and hold them accountable.
Class A CDL
A Class A CDL is essential for those aspiring to drive combination vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) exceeding 26,001 pounds, where the towed vehicle is more than 10,000 pounds. This category typically includes tractor-trailers, tanker vehicles, and flatbed trucks.
To secure a Class A CDL, you must pass a series of examinations, starting with a written test to assess your knowledge of road safety, vehicle operation, and other pertinent regulations.
Following the written test, a skills assessment is conducted, comprising a pre-trip inspection to ensure the vehicle is roadworthy, basic control skills tests, and an on-road driving test to evaluate the applicant’s ability to maneuver the vehicle in traffic safely.
Class B CDL
A Class B CDL is required for those interested in driving single vehicles with a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more or towing a vehicle not exceeding 10,000 pounds.
This license category is suitable for operators of straight trucks, large buses, dump trucks, and similar vehicles. The process to obtain a Class B CDL mirrors that of Class A, with written and skills tests.
The skills test for Class B also includes a pre-trip vehicle inspection, basic vehicle control, and an on-road driving test to ensure competency in safely operating these types of vehicles.
Class C CDL
A Class C CDL is designated for drivers who plan to operate vehicles transporting 16 or more passengers (including the driver) or those transporting hazardous materials in quantities requiring placards under regulations.
This license category covers smaller passenger vans, buses, and vehicles carrying certain hazardous materials. The testing requirements for a Class C CDL are akin to those for Class A and B, necessitating a written examination followed by a skills test that includes vehicle inspection, basic control, and on-road driving.
Embarking on a career as a commercial driver in Texas necessitates obtaining the appropriate CDL tailored to the specific type of vehicle you intend to operate. For assistance after an accident or further guidance, consider consulting with a top truck accident attorney to navigate the complexities of commercial driving regulations and ensure your rights are protected.
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