There are quite a few options when getting a commercial driver's license with CDL restrictions. The CDL A, B and C each have their own training requirements and testing procedures. That’s why it's important to consider the pros and cons of each CDL class before deciding which one’s best. Read here about Starting a Trucking Company Correctly
The Class A CDL is the most popular choice among drivers. Sure, it provides access to a wide-variety of vehicles. But there are also 6 types of endorsements available for this form of license. Plus, there are 7 restrictions that can be placed on a CDL. What is DOT SAP Program?
Obtaining a CDL A endorsement opens up the possibility of driving more commercial motor vehicles. But keep in mind that some restrictions could apply to your license once you have it. Fortunately, these can be lifted once you meet the government requirements. Let's take a look at the seven types of CDL A restrictions that may apply. How To Request the DOT PIN Number?
What is the (L) Air Brakes CDL Restriction?
If you didn't pass the air brakes section of your CDL test, you'll receive an "L" restriction. This means that you are not able to operate a semi-truck with air brakes. Of course, this is problematic because most trucks use air brakes. Fortunately, you can retake the test until you get this restriction lifted. So don't worry if it takes more than one try - keep practicing and eventually, that "L" will be gone! What is MC Number?
What is the (Z) Air Brakes CDL Restriction?
If you have a 'Z' restriction on your driver's license, it means that instead of failing the test in a vehicle with air brakes, you passed in one with hydraulic brakes. To get the restriction lifted, you must take the test again using an air-braked vehicle. It's just like getting an 'L' restriction removed; same process, different brakes! The key is to make sure that you're prepared. This means understanding what to expect when taking the test. Then, you can get on track toward your driver's license being free of restrictions. Also, take a look at Drug and Alcohol Program policy. What is DOT Clearinghouse Enforcement?
What is the (E) Manual Transmission CDL Restriction?
Say that you have passed your CDL test. But it took place in a vehicle with an automatic transmission. This means that you may be restricted from driving some vehicles. Now, let’s say that your employer only uses automatic transmission trucks. This shouldn't be much of a problem. But if you’re considering changing carriers in the future, this could become an issue. In that case, you may want to retake your CDL test in a manual transmission vehicle to ensure that no restrictions apply to your license. Importance of The FMCSA 30-Minute Break Rule.
What is the (K) Interstate Travel CDL Restriction?
Drivers who are under the age of 21 are limited in the types of freight they can transport due to the “K” restriction. This means that the drivers cannot operate a commercial motor vehicles across state lines. As a result, it’s illegal for them to haul freight from state-to-state. However, there is hope on the horizon as this restriction could be changing soon. Must visit FMCSA Hours of Service Suspended topics.
What is the (O) Fifth-Wheel Connection CDL Restriction?
If you take your CDL test in a vehicle that doesn't use a fifth-wheel connection, such as a pintle hook or some other type of connection, you will receive an “O restriction”. To have this reversed, all you need to do is retake the exam using a truck that has a fifth-wheel connection. So if you want to make sure your CDL license is unrestricted and valid for commercial purposes, be sure to use the correct type of tow connection when taking your test. Visit DOT Authority Package, Tips to prepare for 2022 DOT Week filings in minutes. How to get Oregon Trip And Fuel Permit?
What is the (M) Class A Passenger Vehicle CDL Restriction?
If you hold a CDL A license, the "M" restriction might be something you encounter down the line. It occurs when someone earns their P or S endorsement in a CDL B vehicle and is then restricted from driving any Class A vehicles that exceed certain weight limits. In other words, you're able to drive all Class B passenger vehicles such as buses but not larger buses classified under Class A. Therefore, it's important to keep track of what vehicle you take your enhancements tests in so you don't end up with an unexpected restriction on your license. Read about Texas DOT Number and USDOT Number. Learn here How to Prepare for a Compliance DOT Audit.
What is the (V) Medical Variance CDL Restriction?
Say that you have a medical condition that could negatively impact your driving. This means that you may be subject to the "V" restriction on your CDL. Common examples of this restriction includes vision impairment and high blood pressure. Fortunately, this type of restriction does not prevent you from operating any particular vehicle. Instead, it serves as an indicator for the DMV and other agencies that extra care should be taken when you drive. If you have questions about the “V” restriction, it is important to speak with your doctor and local licensing authority. IFTA Sticker Registration steps.
What Is a Class A CDL?
The FMCSA classifies CDL A trucks as vehicles with a gross combination weight rating or total weight of at least 26,001 pounds. This includes towed units that have a gross vehicle weight of at least 10,000 pounds. This is the highest-level classification available for commercial motor vehicles. CDL A drivers must possess the necessary knowledge and skill to safely operate these large and complex vehicles. Check out The Basics of Farm Exemptions. You will then have the ability to maintain complete motor carrier authority or broker.
What Is the (H) Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) CDL Endorsement?
A HAZMAT endorsement can greatly expand your job opportunities. It enables you to haul hazardous materials over the road, and many of these jobs come with higher pay than other CDL positions. Say that you need to get a HAZMAT license. You will need to pass background checks, written tests, and also a DOT medical exam. In some cases it's also necessary to possess a HAZMAT endorsement in order to get the X endorsement—more on that later. Must visit the website link.
What Is the (N) Tanker Vehicle CDL Endorsement?
Are you looking for a well-paid driving job that allows you to spend more time at home with your family? If so, securing a tanker endorsement is a key option. Tanker truck drivers operate vehicles carrying liquids or gaseous materials and while the job can be rewarding, it also requires additional written testing. Once qualified, however, you'll face new challenges such as learning how to deal with the 'surge' of liquid in the tank while driving—a skill which takes some practice to perfect! What is Unified Carrier Registration?
What Is the (N) Tanker Vehicle CDL Endorsement?
Say that you need a well-compensated job with more home time than other positions. In that case, receiving a tanker endorsement may be ideal. This requires an additional written test, but it's worth it to have the ability to transport liquid or gaseous materials in a tank. You will also have to learn how to properly adjust to your cargo moving around during transit if it isn't full. With some practice and skill development, you can master this maneuver and become an expert tanker truck driver. What are the Top 3 DOT paper appointed Violations?
What Is the (P) Passenger Transport CDL Endorsement?
Passenger transport endorsement is an important license needed for drivers who wish to operate vehicles that can carry more than 16 passengers, like a city commuter bus. In order to acquire this permit, applicants must pass a written and skills test in addition to any other required licensing qualifications. Also visit the website link.
This job is ideal for those looking for a consistent work schedule with nights at home, or those interested in seeing the country while driving across its roads with travel companies. One thing's certain- passenger transport jobs involve interacting with people all day long… so it's not suited for someone who prefers solitary activities! You will need driver qualification files filed out by all employees that drive for you working. Also, take a look at What Is IRP or Apportioned Registration.
What Is the (S) School Bus/Passenger Transport CDL Endorsement?
With the “S” endorsement, driving school buses requires more than just passing a written and driving skills test; background checks, criminal history checks and physical fitness tests are also necessary. Plus, drivers must stay up-to-date on any changes to school bus rules by receiving supplemental training or testing when needed. Qualities such as patience and an ability to handle rowdy kids on board are essential for anyone looking to drive a school bus. Visit BOC-3.
What Is the (T) Double/Triples CDL Endorsement?
Do you want to maximize your earnings while trucking? With a “T” endorsement, you can tow more than one trailer on the back of your truck and take advantage of higher-paying jobs. This endorsement requires an additional written test, but it will give you the ability to haul two or three times as much freight as before - all without having to spend extra time on the road.
What Is the (X) Tanker and Hazardous Materials CDL Endorsement?
Those with an "X" endorsement are highly sought-after in the gas and oil hauling business. This additional certification requires drivers to pass a written test, demonstrating their expertise in safely transporting liquid or gaseous hazardous materials (HAZMAT) cargo inside of a tanker. Having this endorsement significantly sets these drivers apart from others and is a testament to their specialized skillset. If you want to work in the gas and oil hauling industry, having an "X" endorsement is essential.
Conclusion: Do Your Best To Prevent CDL Restrictions
When you're preparing for your CDL test, make sure that you take your exam in the right class of vehicle. This can help you avoid any unnecessary restrictions placed on your license afterwards. The key is to take time becoming familiar with the types of vehicles that are necessary for taking your CDL exam. Doing so can save you a lot of trouble down the line. Have a plan and do your research so that you won’t end up having to deal with any CDL restrictions. Good luck!