Do I Need a CDL License for Commercial Truck Driving?
If you’re looking for a stable and lucrative career, commercial truck driving may be the perfect choice for you. It offers many benefits like job security, great pay, and a unique opportunity to explore new places and meet new people. However, the first step in starting your truck driving career is getting a CDL-A license. In this blog post, we will discuss what a CDL license is, why it’s required for truck driving jobs, and the requirements for getting a CDL-A license in Texas. So, if you’re ready to hit the open road, keep reading!
What is a CDL License?
A commercial driver’s license, also known as a professional driver’s license, is a credential needed to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) on public roads in the United States. You can get many different types of CDLs based on the types of vehicles you’re looking to operate. You can also earn endorsements on your CDL, allowing you to drive specialized vehicles or haul specific types of cargo. Since we’re aiming to provide information on commercial truck driving, we’ll focus on the Class A CDL license.
A Class A CDL License is required to operate any vehicle with a gross combination weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 pounds or more, as long as the towed vehicle (truck) is heavier than 10,000 pounds.
CDL trucks you can drive include:
- Tractor trailers (semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, or big rigs)
- Truck and trailer combinations
- Tanker vehicles
- Flatbed trucks
- Livestock carriers
Why Do I Need a CDL-A License for Commercial Truck Driving?
Trucking licenses certify that you have been trained, tested, and are qualified to safely operate a CMV on public roadways in the United States. The federal government regulates the laws for these licenses, which are required in all 50 states. Since commercial truck driving is a profession that requires rigorous safety training and experience, obtaining a CDL-A license proves that you understand specific safety procedures, how to handle and maneuver a 10,000-pound vehicle, and can comply with federal regulations for commercial trucking.
How is Commercial Truck Driving Different Than Driving a Car?
Commercial trucking can be challenging and demanding, but truck driving can be a rewarding and fulfilling career with a supportive environment and adherence to standards. Not everyone with a driver’s license can get in a semi-truck and drive it like they usually do. CMVs are heavier and more challenging to maneuver than standard passenger cars. Since truck driving jobs often require long periods on the road, specific safety measures must be addressed, like the driver’s well-being, regular maintenance, and more.
Some reasons why truck driving differs from driving a car are:
- Parallel and regular parking takes patience, skill, and experience.
- Passing on the road can be very difficult and dangerous depending on the number of cars on the road and the truck’s blind spots.
- Truck drivers can drive thousands of miles weekly, making exhaustion a serious concern.
- Turning a commercial truck requires much more space and consideration for other vehicles on the road.
Texas CDL License Requirements
Before you get a CDL-A license, you must have a CDL permit. The application requirements for permits in Texas include:
- Individuals wanting to obtain a CDL in Texas must have a clean driving record.
- A suspended license in any state will make you ineligible to apply.
- You must be at least 18 years of age to drive within Texas state lines.
- You must be at least 21 years of age to drive across state and international borders.
- Once all the requirements to apply are met and you have passed the written test, you will receive your CDP or Commercial Driver’s Permit.
- The permit allows you to practice driving under the supervision of a CDL holder for at least 14 days. After that, you can take your CDL skills exam, the final requirement for getting your CDL and becoming a licensed truck driver.
Drive With Warrior
Warrior Logistics requires one year of verifiable tractor-trailer experience in the past three years or five years in the past 10. Only six months are needed with an approved FedEx driving school, or you can join our Entry-Level Driver Program (ELDP) after successfully completing an approved CDL-A driving school.
Why Warrior Logistics?
Warrior Logistics believes all individuals are called to a higher purpose. We strive to create an environment that empowers each Warrior to achieve their full potential, invest heavily in the latest advancements in equipment and trucks, and provide rigorous safety training to ensure all our drivers have everything they need while on and off the road.
If you’re ready to grow your career with one of the largest transportation companies in the industry, join Warrior by applying online or give us a call at 562-DRIVERS. We would be thrilled and honored to welcome you into the Warrior family!