Class B CDL Explained
Commercial driver's licenses are categorized into three types, dependent upon the type of vehicle the driver will be operating: Class A, Class B and Class C. Class A licenses cover the majority of tractor-trailer vehicles and heavy truck and trailer combinations. The gross combination weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicles in this category must be 26,000 pounds or more, with the trailer weight being heavier than 10,000 pounds.
Class B CDL licenses cover heavy single vehicles (a GVWR of more than 26,000 pounds) that are not hitched to trailers, but have an attached cab and cargo area, or a detached towed cargo vehicle that weighs less than 10,000 pounds. Examples of vehicles in the Class B CDL category include straight trucks, buses, box trucks, and dump trucks with small trailers. Drivers must be at least 18 years old to get a Class B CDL. Unlike with Class A CDLs, drivers with Class B CDLs are only allowed to drive within the state that issued the license. However, if you do not currently meet the CDL requirements to obtain a Class A CDL, starting with a Class B can be an excellent way to gain experience on the road until you are able to complete your CDL prep and qualify.
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How much does it cost to get a class B CDL?
The cost to obtain a Class B Commercial Driver's License (CDL) can vary significantly based on location, training needs, and specific testing fees. On average, training programs for a Class B CDL range from $1,500 to $3,000, which often includes classroom instruction, behind-the-wheel training, and practice tests. Additionally, there are fees for the CDL permit, the CDL skills test, and the license itself, which can vary by state but typically total between $100 and $300. It's important to check with local DMVs or training schools for exact costs in your area.
How long does it take to get a class B CDL?
The time required to obtain a Class B Commercial Driver's License (CDL) can vary based on individual preparation and state requirements. Typically, Class B CDL training programs last between two to six weeks, encompassing both classroom instruction and behind-the-wheel training. After completing the training, candidates must pass both a written knowledge test and a skills test. It's essential to check with local DMVs or training institutions for specific time frames in your region.
How do I get my class B CDL?
- Obtain and study your state's CDL manual to prepare for the written knowledge test.
- Apply for a CDL learner's permit at your local DMV and pass the required written tests.
- Enroll in a certified CDL training school or program for hands-on training, if necessary.
- After adequate practice and training, schedule and pass the Class B CDL skills test, which includes a pre-trip vehicle inspection, basic vehicle control, and on-road driving evaluation. Always check with your state's DMV for specific requirements and procedures.