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Truck Classifications and CDL Licenses Required for Each

Know your Truck: Different Truck Classifications and CDL Licenses Needed to Drive Them

There are three different CDL classifications with different requirements for each. Here we’ll discuss each classification, what it enables you to drive, and how this translates into job opportunities. The Ohio BMV shows three commercial driver’s license classifications.

CDL Truck Classification A

This classification includes any combination of vehicles with a combined gross weight of 26,001 pounds or more – if the towed vehicle weighs more than 10,000 pounds

  • Examples are tractor-trailers, semi-trucks, livestock haulers, tankers, and flatbeds
  • Tractor-trailers consist of a large truck and a trailer that is completely independent of the tractor.  On the other hand, the tractor partially supports the trailer on semi-trucks.  Livestock haulers have a tractor with a trailer modified specifically to transport live animals.  Tankers may carry either liquids or dry goods such as grains. A flatbed is a tractor with a flat platform trailer designed to carry items that are stacked on and strapped down.
  • Employment opportunities include driving tractor-trailers, and semi’s both local and long-distance. With additional endorsements, there are options to drive:
    1. Passenger buses
    2. Tanker trucks
    3. Hazardous material haulers
    4. Or agricultural opportunities hauling livestock, farm equipment, or grain.

CDL Truck Classification B

This classification includes a combination of vehicles with a combined gross weight of 26,001 pounds or more; the towed vehicle cannot weigh more than 10,000 pounds

  • Examples are dump trucks, box trucks, city buses, and school buses
  • Employment opportunities include delivery trucks, city buses, school bus driver, construction and agricultural truck


The following are the common endorsements that you can earn in addition to your Class A CDL. You can train for specific endorsements at Napier! Each endorsement will include a written knowledge test to receive the endorsement. Find out which endorsements you’ll need for the job you want!

  • H Endorsement: required if you will be driving vehicles containing hazardous materials.
  • N Endorsement: permits drivers to drive vehicles with tanks on them.
  • P Endorsement: permits drivers to drive vehicles that carry a specific number of passengers. The actual number of passengers allowed will vary by state.
  • S Endorsement: permits drivers to drive school buses. Getting an S Endorsement will also require the driver to take a road skills test, submit entirely separate application forms, pass a complete background check, and have an acceptable driving record.
  • T Endorsement: permits drivers to drive a double or triple trailer.
  • X Endorsement: permits drivers to drive vehicles that transport HAZMAT materials or vehicles that are tankers.

A commercial driver’s license enables you to work in a wide variety of settings. Those who hold a CDL have commercial, government, private sector, and agricultural career opportunities, just to name a few. You can contact us here contact us to learn even more about how Napier Truck Driver Training can help you get started today!

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