Which Class CDL Do I Need?

In order to drive certain types of large commercial vehicles in the United States, the driver must hold a Commercial Drivers License (CDL). Depending on the type of vehicle that you are looking to operate and what you intend to haul, you will either need to obtain a Class A or B CDL.

Class A

image of red Class a CDL truck on highway

A Class A CDL is considered the most universal commercial driver’s license because it will allow you to drive (almost) any Class A, Class B, or Class C commercial vehicle. 

With a Class A CDL, drivers can operate vehicles with a gross combination weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more, with a towing capacity of 10,000 pounds or more.

Class A Vehicles:

  • Tractor-trailers — your typical semi, big rig, or 18-wheeler

  • Truck and trailer combinations — double and triple trailers

  • Tanker Vehicles

  • Flatbed Vehicles

Vehicles That Require Special Endorsements

In order to operate Class C and some Class B vehicles, written tests and additional road skill tests will need to be completed. With the proper endorsements, a Class B CDL is the highest classification needed in order to operate a passenger bus, school bus, and HazMat truck.

Class B

Image of yellow school bus driving on road

With a Class B CDL, drivers can operate vehicles with a gross weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more, with a towing capacity of no more than 10,000 pounds.

Class B Vehicles

  • Straight trucks

  • Large busses — city buses, school buses, and tour buses

  • Box trucks

  • Dump trucks with small trailers

Class C 

Image of yellow hazmat vehicle

With a Class C CDL, drivers can operate vehicles designed to haul hazardous material, or 16 or more occupants.

Class C Vehicles 

  • HazMat vehicles

  • Passenger vehicles

  • Combination vehicles not considered Class A or Class B

If you are looking for more information on how to earn your CDL, United States Truck Driving School is your answer! We specialize in both Class A and Class B CDL training. Not sure which is right for you? Contact us and we’d be happy to help you find the CDL training program that fits your career goals! 303-848-8443