How to Get a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) in 2021

Long-haul truck driver demonstrates how to get a commercial driver’s license in 2021.
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The trucking industry adds more than 700 million dollars to the economy each year, making it one of the most important services in the country. In an industry where more than 70 percent of sellable products and raw materials for manufacturing are moved by commercial vehicles, truck drivers are vital. Communities in the U.S. depend on truck drivers for the daily delivery of food, water, and goods. To get a commercial driver’s license in 2021.

The trucking industry continues to boom, accounting for nearly six percent of all the full-time jobs across the country. The overall projected employment for truck drivers in the U.S. shows a five percent increase before the end of the decade. In Texas, the projection is higher, showing a 17 percent increase.

By 2026, it is expected that more than 32 thousand Texans will be hired to fulfill the demand for skilled commercial drivers. The average wages for a truck driver from Texas range from $13.38 per hour to $32.22 per hour. In the Victoria, TX metro area, experienced truckers earn more than $95,000 annually. So let’s take a look at how to get a commercial driver’s license in 2021.

How has COVID-19 Affected CDL Drivers?

Truck drivers have been advised to follow standard protocols to reduce exposure to the COVID-19 virus. Texas CDL drivers are required to check their shelter-in-place/stay at home orders prior to movement to ensure the travel meets the definition of “essential” for those areas.

The Three Classes of CDLs in Texas

In Texas, there are three types of commercial driver’s licenses for truck drivers:

  • Class A — The truck driver may operate any combination of vehicles with a gross combination weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more with certain provisions.
  • Class B — The permit holder may operate any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more with specific provisions.
  • Class C — The driver is permitted to operate any single vehicle or combination of vehicles that is not a Class A or B if the vehicle is used in the transportation of certain hazardous materials.

Types of CDL Endorsements

Depending on what is being transported, the truck driver is required to have at least one endorsement:

  • Double/Triple Trailer (T)
  • Passenger (P)
  • Tank Vehicle (N)
  • Hazardous Materials (H)
  • School Bus (S)
  • Combination of N and H (X)

State and Federal Requirements

It’s important for truck drivers to know what type of commerce they will be operating to get the correct license issued.

  • Interstate Commerce — permits travel within the U.S. between a place in a state and a place outside such state or outside the U.S., or between two places in a state through another state or outside the U.S.
  • Intrastate Commerce — permits travel where the point of origin and destination are within one state and the state line or an international boundary is not crossed

How to Get a Commercial Driver’s License in 2021

Let’s take a look at exactly how to get a commercial driver’s license. There are several steps for obtaining a CDL. The applicant must provide identification, proof of age, and residency. They must pass all medical tests and the knowledge exam. They are also required to pass the road skills and driving exam.

Obtaining a commercial driver’s license opens up opportunities for jobs and other exciting adventures. A driving school graduate from Austin, TX put his CDL to good use as a participant in the Mongol Rally — a 10,000-mile trek across Europe and Asia.

If you are interested in becoming a member of one of the fastest-growing industries in Texas, apply to become a truck driver through SCI’s Commercial Motor Vehicle Operation Program.

This article was published on: 01/18/21 12:01 PM

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