What Is A Class B CDL? Get Ready To Find Out

What is a class B CDL? A Class B commercial driver’s license (CDL) is required to operate a single vehicle with a gross combination weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 or more pounds and towing a vehicle/trailer that has a GVWR of less than 10,000 lbs.

A Class B CDL will allow you to drive just about any type of commercial vehicle except for the large tractor trailers like the one picture below. To drive one of those you will need a Class A CDL.

This truck requires a Class A CDL

Now that you know you cannot drive a tractor trailer you might be wondering exactly what type of commercial vehicles a Class B CDL will allow you to drive.

The following is not an exhaustive list, but it will give you a good idea of what vehicles fall under a Class B certification.

With a Class B CDL, and the appropriate endorsements (in some cases), you will be able to drive the following types of vehicles:

● Straight trucks
● Large passenger buses
● Box trucks/cube trucks
● Dump trucks with small trailers
● Cement trucks

Class B CDL Requirements: Do You Meet Them?

In order to get a Class B CDL you will need a few things in order.

These are some general requirements:
1. You must have a current driver’s license,
2. your motor vehicle driving history for the past 10 years,
3. and a medical exam form.

After getting these things together, you can proceed.

You can start by applying for a commercial learner’s permit.

Take the time to read this article where I outline exactly what a CDL learner’s permit is and how to get one.

Next, you must pass a state-specific written general knowledge exam in order to get the permit.

This test can be taken at your local DMV.

It’s all multiple choice questions and is fairly easy to pass.

You need to read this article to learn all about the general knowledge test and how to pass it.

After you pass the general knowledge test there is the pre-trip inspection test and also a driving skills test.

If you are worried (a lot of people are)  about the pre-trip inspection test then I put together a list of tricks to help you pass it.

For each endorsement that you want to get, you will need to pass the corresponding knowledge test as well.

How Long Does It Take To Get A Class B CDL?

You may wonder how long this process of obtaining your Class B CDL will take?

First of all you have to learn how to drive a truck correctly before you can take the driving test at the DMV. This is what is going to take you the most time.

You can typically expect it to take 1-2 weeks of proper training before you are ready to take the driving tests.

After you successfully completed that driving skills test at your DMV you will receive your CDL. Some driver license centers will give you a temporary CDL until the permanent one is issued.

How Much Will A Class B CDL Cost?

You can apply for a CDL that is valid for four years, which will cost you $74.50. Or you can apply for a two year license, which costs $44.

If you are looking to add endorsements for tanker, doubles/triples, etc., the price will be higher.

Keep in mind the the prices will vary from state to state.

The real cost of getting your CDL is the training at a driving school, expect to pay between $1,000 and $2,000 depending on where you go.

But driving schools aren’t the only way to get a CDL.

Many trucking companies offer free training and on-the-road education for those wanting to learn to drive a commercial vehicle.

Many also offer driving school tuition assistance or reimbursement, in return for a commitment of employment for a certain time period.

You just need to consider all of the options available and then decide what is the best fit for you.

After considering your wants and needs, if you decide to go ahead and get your CDL, you may want to consider upgrading to a Class A CDL.

The Class A CDL covers all of the same commercial vehicles as a Class B, plus the ability to drive additional vehicles.

What Is The Difference Between Class A And Class B CDL?

There is one major difference between the two classifications: the trailer

As noted above, Class B covers single vehicles, with a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more and towing a vehicle with a GVWR of under 10,000 pounds. An example of this is a large (usually 26 ft.) box truck or dump truck with a trailer that has a GVWR of less than 10,000 pounds.

The Class A covers vehicles with a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more and towing a vehicle with a GVWR of over 10,001 pounds. An example of this is a large semi-truck/tractor trailer because the GVWR of the trailer is more than 10,001 pounds.

If you really want to know the difference between the Class A and B CDL you need to read this article I wrote (it includes pictures).

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMSCA, a Class A CDL qualifies you to drive “Any combination of vehicles which has a gross combination weight rating or gross combination weight of 11,794 kilograms or more (26,001 pounds or more) whichever is greater, inclusive of a towed unit(s) with a gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle weight of more than 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds) whichever is greater.”

The Class A CDL covers most of the trucks you see on the highways every day, including all tractor-trailers.

If you are planning to make a career of driving a truck, the Class A CDL will definitely give you more options for your career path. With the number of endorsements available to go along with a Class A, you will be certified to drive almost any commercial vehicle.

How Much Money Can You Make With A Class B CDL? A LOT!

Another factor to consider when choosing a license class is the salary. The average salary for a Class B license is anywhere between $20,000 and $40,000.

That number can be lower or higher depending on where you live, what you haul, schedule, etc.

The average salary for a Class A CDL holder is considerably higher.

You can expect to make an average of $50,000, and may even be able to earn around $100,000 per year working for certain companies. You have to weigh the options and pick whichever is the best fit, for you.

But in my humble opinion, a Class A CDL is a better choice, and will give you many more options for finding the right driving job for you.

Class B CDL Jobs Near You ($)

Many chain stores and local delivery companies utilize straight trucks to deliver their products to customers.

A lot of these companies require a Class B CDL at the minimum.

Often, stores such as Home Depot, 84 Lumber, and Lowes use Class B vehicles to make their deliveries.

When you are looking to start your driving career, look no further than our job board for jobs you won’t find listed anywhere else.  Click the link and start your job search today!