Truck driver holding CDL license

CDL Types: Which One Matches Your Goals?

CDL Types: Which One Matches Your Goals?

It takes a lot of focus and dedication to be a truck driver. Whether you’re hauling goods from one end of the country to the other or just delivering furniture around town, you need the proper truck driver training to get the job done correctly and safely. You also need a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). That’s where schools like Driving Academy come in. We help people nationwide start their journey toward this fulfilling career by giving them the knowledge and experience they need. Let’s explore the CDL types and their uses.

What Is a CDL?

A CDL is a specialized license required in the U.S. to operate certain commercial vehicles. There are different CDL types for different types of vehicles. To obtain a CDL, individuals need to pass a written exam as well as practical driving tests. The tests help prove you know how to safely operate large or heavy vehicles or those that transport hazardous materials or people.

Class A CDL

Class A represents one of the primary CDL classes. A Class A CDL is required if you operate any combination of vehicles that feature a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of over 26,000 pounds and a trailer that weighs more than 10,000 pounds. A Class A CDL allows license holders to operate a variety of vehicles, including:

  • Tractor-trailers
  • Truck and trailer combinations
  • Livestock carriers
  • Tanker vehicles
  • Flatbeds

A Class A CDL may also let you drive certain Class B and C vehicles if you have the endorsements.

Class B CDL

Class B CDLs are required to operate a single vehicle not hitched to a trailer, with a gross combination weight rating of over 26,000 pounds, and with no tow vehicle or one that weighs 10,000 pounds or less. A Class B CDL allows license holders to operate the following vehicles:

  • Straight trucks
  • Delivery trucks, furniture trucks, and other box trucks
  • Dump trucks with small trailers
  • Large buses
  • Segmented buses

With the right endorsements, Class B CDLs may also let you operate certain Class C vehicles.

Class B+P CDL

A Class B + P CDL allows you to drive large passenger buses (26,000 pounds or more and carrying 16+ passengers) and any other Class B vehicles.

Class C CDL

Certain vehicles need special attention and therefore require a Class C license. Class C CDLs are vehicles where extra safety is necessary. This includes vehicles that transport 16 or more occupants (including the driver) and vehicles that move hazardous materials (hazmat), including:

  • Passenger vans
  • Small hazmat vehicles
  • Any combination vehicles that Classes A and B don’t cover


Endorsements to your CDL allow you to operate specialized vehicles. This is a great option for those who have a specific career in mind. Endorsements require additional testing, including an exam and potentially a driving skills test to make sure candidates are qualified. Types of endorsements include:

  • Passenger (P) endorsements: Vehicles carrying passengers
  • Tank (T) endorsements: Vehicles containing liquid cargo
  • Hazardous materials (H) endorsements: Vehicles transporting flammable liquids, radioactive substances, or explosives
  • School Bus (S) endorsements: Vehicles transporting school children

The CDL Types You Can Obtain From Driving Academy

Driving Academy is dedicated to helping our students achieve success, regardless of which career path they choose. Whether you want to drive a bus throughout your city or hit the open road in a semi, we have a training program for you. We have helped over 100,000 students get CDLs and begin their careers. We offer Class A CDL training, Class B CDL training, and Class B+P CDL training.

Driving Academy also offers guaranteed training courses, providing over 100 hours of training and offering unlimited attempts to pass both written and road tests. Once you’ve completed one of our training programs, we provide lifetime job placement services to make sure you find a position you’ll love.

Enroll Today at Driving Academy

No matter which of the CDL types you’re interested in, Driving Academy has a training program for you. We provide day, night, and weekend courses for flexible scheduling to fit your needs and offer affordable payment plans to help you handle the cost. Our simulator training provides a realistic experience without needing to step outside, but we also provide hands-on training, allowing students to get behind the wheel of our trucks.

Our headquarters are in Linden, NJ, but we accept students from across the country at multiple locations, and more are coming soon. Once you pass your CDL road test at our third-party testing site, you can get your CDL in your home state. If you are interested in any of our training programs, please contact us today.