What Is a Class A CDL?
Before the Commercial Driver’s License Program
It is widely recognized that driving certain commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) requires special skills and knowledge. Prior to implementation of the Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Program, in a number of States and the District of Columbia, any person licensed to drive an automobile could also legally drive a tractor-trailer or a bus. Even in many of the states that did have a classified licensing system, a person was not skills tested in a representative vehicle. As a result, many drivers were operating motor vehicles that they may not have been qualified to drive. In addition, many drivers were able to obtain driver’s licenses from more than one State and hide or spread convictions among several driving records and continue to drive.
Commerial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986
The Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 was signed into law on October 27, 1986. The goal of the Act was to improve highway safety by ensuring that drivers of large trucks and buses were qualified to operate those vehicles and to remove unsafe and unqualified drivers from the highways. The Act retained the State’s right to issue a driver’s license, but established minimum national standards which States must meet when issuing CDLs.
CDL – The Commerial Driver’s License
The Federal standard requires States to issue a CDL to drivers according to the following license classifications:
Class A — Any combination of vehicles with a GCWR of 26,001 or more pounds provided the GVWR of the vehicle(s) being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds
Class B — Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing a vehicle not in excess of 10,000 pounds GVWR.
Professional Truck Drivers
Today’s well-trained, professional truck drivers must all have a Class A CDL License. In addition, many have additional endorsements that allow the driver to operate highly specialized vehicles and carry a variety of cargo.
At CDLtrainingtoday.com, we help thousands of men and women every month get started on high paying, rewarding careers as professional truck drivers.