You may be more familiar with a Class-A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), which is required to drive semi-trucks, but the Class-B CDL is arguably just as valuable and versatile.
The Class-B CDL is the second heaviest weight class in trucking and covers commercial motor vehicles weighing more than 26,001 pounds and trailers weighing less than 10,000 pounds. These vehicles are smaller than tractor-trailer trucks, which makes it easier to get around town for local routes.
Where Class-B Drivers Work
Class-B drivers often enjoy the benefits of local and flexible job opportunities in areas like construction, shipping, public transit, and more. Public transit and school bus drivers make up a large number of Class-B CDL drivers, as they are essential roles in any community. Food delivery companies such as Lays, Reyes, and Sysco also hire Class-B drivers for local opportunities which include unloading food deliveries at restaurants and retail locations. Lastly, you can utilize your Class-B CDL in the world of construction and garbage disposal as well. That could consist of driving a garbage/recycling truck or operating heavy-duty construction equipment on a job site!
Class-B CDL vehicles:
- Straight trucks/fixed-trailer trucks
- Dump trucks
- Garbage trucks
- Public transport buses
- School buses
- Cement mixers
- Tow trucks
- Small tanker trucks
- Foodservice trucks
Class-B CDL Driver Responsibilities
Due to the wide range of jobs that require a Class-B CDL, responsibilities will vary, but may include:
- Drive and operate trucks either owned by the driver or a trucking company.
- Read location and road maps
- Transport passengers
- Abide by traffic and safety rules
- Pick up trash and/or other waste
- Pick up goods and materials, verify loads for accuracy, and deliver them as instructed
- Load and unload cargo
- Interact with customers/passengers in a professional and courteous manner
- Participate in educational opportunities and professional networking opportunities
- Plan and manage deliveries to retail stores, restaurants, and distribution centers
- Inspect truck for mechanical and safety issues before each trip
- Navigate construction sites
- Perform preventative maintenance
- Plan and meet delivery schedules
- Document and log your work expenses
- Report defects, accidents, or violations
- Follow all DOT regulations
Class-B CDL Driver Requirements
To get your Class-B CDL you will need to meet this criteria:
- Be 18+ years old (21+ to drive outside of your state of residence)
- Have a valid state issued driver’s license with no traffic accidents on your record
- Pass a DOT physical examination
- Provide a picture ID
- Provide proof of citizenship
- Read and speak English fluently
- Pass a written exam
- Pass a hands-on skills and road test
Training and Education
Luckily, getting your Class-B CDL can take as little as 1-3 weeks of training depending on the school and schedule you chose! You will need to pass a written exam along with a driving exam, which includes a pre-trip road inspection portion along with backing, parking, and avoiding obstacles.
The written exam covers topics found in the CDL manual such as driving safety, inspecting cargo, different types of vehicles and more. It also covers the pre-trip inspection checklist and familiarizes you with things to look for on various Class B CDL vehicles.
To learn more about Class B CDL training opportunities available in your area, make sure to visit CDL Career Now. If you already have a Class B CDL, you can browse through job opportunities near you here.