HOW DO I CHOOSE?
If you’re looking to begin a professional driving career, you may wonder whether a Class A CDL or a Class B CDL is better. The honest answer: neither is better, they’re just different! Each license comes with varying qualifications and different work opportunities! To decide which path is right for you, let’s first go over the differences between a Class A and Class B CDL!
CLASS A CDL
With a Class A CDL, a driver has many opportunities for work. Any combination of vehicles with a GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) of 26,001 or more pounds can classify as Class A CDL vehicles. These drivers can haul a trailer that weighs 10,000 pounds or more.
Class A CDL eligible vehicles include:
- Tractor-trailer, big-rig, or 18-wheeler semi
- Flatbed vehicles
- Tanker vehicles
- Truck and trailer combinations (double and triple trailers)
- Tractor-trailer buses
- Many Class B and Class C vehicles
- Trailers with hazardous materials (upon endorsement completion)
With this training, you can choose to work as a long-haul (over the road) driver, or you can find local jobs that allow you to be home with your family. This freedom to determine your career path is one of the many benefits of obtaining your CDL!
CLASS B CDL
If you have interest in a professional driving career outside of traditional long-haul trucking, a Class B CDL might be right for you! This commercial license is a bit more restrictive, but depending on your career goals, may be a better fit! Vehicles with a single-vehicle weight of 26,000 or more without a trailer are Class B CDL eligible. These drivers can also tow a trailer that weighs less than 10,000 pounds.
Class B CDL eligible vehicles include:
- Large buses (city buses, school buses)
- Straight trucks
- Box trucks (including delivery trucks)
- Cement mixers
- Dump trucks/garbage trucks with small trailers
A Class B CDL, though more restrictive, still provides many opportunities for a successful career as a driver. This is the best-fit option for many drivers who have no interest in long-haul driving.
WHICH IS RIGHT FOR ME?
After looking at the differences between Class A and B CDLs, it’s clear that each provide different opportunities for work! Though neither is considered to be “better,” it is likely that one of them is better for you specifically! The first step in your decision process should be to determine your own career goals. If you know what type of vehicle you want to drive, you can decide which training course to enroll in based on the qualifications you would receive!
However, if you’re unsure about where your new career might take you, you may want to consider obtaining a Class A CDL! Since this commercial license allows you to also drive most Class B and C vehicles, it is a great all-encompassing option!
At North American Trade Schools, we offer both Class A and Class B CDL Training! No matter which path you choose, our Job Placement Services will ensure that you can begin advancing your career right after graduation! Our team is ready and willing to guide you to a successful future!