Different Truck Classifications

There are two standard types of commercial drivers licenses (CDL’s) you can choose from, a Class A and Class B CDL. Each type of CDL will let you operate a different size vehicle, offering different career opportunities.

Explore the different types of CDLs so you can find what’s best for you!

Class A CDL

Your Class A CDL will allow you to operate any combination of vehicles that weigh at least 26,001 pounds or higher along with a vehicle that is getting towed that weights more than 10,000 pounds. Some of the endorsements that you receive with this CDL include:

  • Tractor Trailers
  • Truck and Trailer Combinations
  • Double and Triple Trailers
  • Tractor-Trailer Buses
  • Tanker Vehicles
  • Livestock Carriers
  • Flatbeds

Your CDL Class A license may allow you to operate in some Class B vehicles depending on which state you reside in and the laws and regulations of the state.

Class B CDL

Your Class B CDL will allow you to operate any vehicles that weigh at least 26,001 OR have a vehicle that is getting towed that weighs more than 10,000 pounds. Some of the endorsements that you will receive with this CDL include:

  • Straight Trucks
  • Large Busses (i.e., City Buses, City Buses, Segmented Buses, etc.)
  • Box Trucks (i.e., Delivery Drivers, Couriers, Furniture Delivery, etc.)
  • Dump Trucks with Small Trailers

Knowing the type of driving job you’d like to have, will help you in deciding which CDL is best for you. As you can see, the job opportunities are endless with your Class A and Class B CDL!

Expand Your Job Options With Endorsements!

In addition to Class A and B licenses, a lot of driving jobs will require you to get extra endorsements. Let’s go through a few of these endorsements and how they might benefit you!

  • H Endorsement: Required if you will be driving vehicles containing hazardous materials and includes a written knowledge test to receive the endorsement.
  • N Endorsement: Permits drivers to drive vehicles with tanks on them and also requires a written knowledge test to receive the endorsement.
  • P Endorsement: Permits drivers to drive vehicles that carry a specific number of passengers and requires a written test and a road test to receive the endorsement (actual number of passengers that can get carried varies by state).
  • S Endorsement: Permits drivers to drive school buses which also requires the driver to take a written knowledge test, road skills test, submit entirely separate application forms, pass a complete background check, and have an acceptable driving record to receive the endorsement.
  • T Endorsement: Permits drivers to drive a double or triple trailer and requires the driver to pass an additional knowledge test to receive this endorsement.
  • X Endorsement: Permits drivers to drive vehicles that transport HAZMAT materials or vehicles that are tankers and the driver must pass a knowledge test to receive this endorsement.

As you can see, the type of vehicle you wish to drive and the purpose of that vehicle will have a large amount of influence on which commercial drivers license you need to get. Truckers make great money and receive additional benefits such as healthcare, retirement benefits, and paid vacation time.

For further information on CDL at United, please feel free to contact us!

50 Questions Every Driver Needs To Ask Recruiters

Searching for a new job can be a long process. And although there is high demand for truck drivers, it can still take a while to find the perfect fit. Recruiters will ask a lot of questions to see if you’re a good fit for the company but it can be difficult for a driver to know if the company will be a good fit for them. Here are some key questions to ask recruiters during your job search!  

Where am I going?

  1. What type of routes do you have? This is the first question you need to ask to see if you will be a good fit. You don’t want to sign up thinking you will be hauling loads straight from Florida to Oregon and then discover the only routes are from Indy to Chicago.
  2. How long are drivers expected to be out on the road?
  3. What companies do you haul freight for? You’ll want to know if they have a large and diverse list of clients or only a few big ones. If they lose an account and subsequently a lot of routes you may be out of luck.
  4. Is your freight seasonal? While all freight is seasonal, some companies are especially susceptible to long periods without a lot of freight.
  5. What will my home time be like?
  6. Do you have frequent routes headed into/out of my house?
  7. Can I take my truck home?
  8. Is mileage to the house paid or unpaid?
  9. What types of freight do you haul?
  10. What is the typical weight of a load? Some companies are known to haul heavy. Be sure you are comfortable with the types of loads and the weight of loads you will be hauling before you start a new job.
  11. How do I receive my routes?
  12. Will I be allowed to turn down routes? If you will not go to certain locations and the company requires you go to certain locations you will obviously not be a good fit.

What type of pay, benefits, or reimbursements should I expect?

  1. How does the pay structure work? This is the most important pay question. Some companies are salary, some are per mile, some are per hour.  
  2. What is the average pay per week or per year for a driver at your company?
  3. How often will I get paid? If you need daily or weekly pay you’ll want to make sure the company provides it.
  4. How does the pay increase system work? If you are a safe and dedicated driver you deserve to be rewarded over time. Find out when you might expect a pay bump.
  5. Do you work on a bonus system for safety or mileage? A lot of companies pay out extra for drivers who are safe, productive, and fuel efficient.
  6. Will I have an allotted amount of vacation days or vacation pay when I start?
  7. What type of benefits packages do you provide?
  8. Do you provide reimbursement for my CDL classes?
  9. Will I get paid for sitting at the docking station for long periods of time? Nothing is worse than watching your remaining hours tick away while sitting at the dock or in traffic. Some companies will charge the customer detention pay and then pay it out to you. Be sure to ask about this.
  10. If I break down over the road will I receive breakdown or shop pay?
  11. Will I be allowed to take off holidays?
  12. How do reimbursements work?
  13. Do you provide truck washes? If you like the appearance of a shiny truck you’ll want to know if washes are going to have to come out of your own pocket.

What type of equipment and training do you provide?

  1. Do you use electronic or paper logs?
  2. Do I need to know how to operate paper logs?
  3. What is your dispatch communication format?
  4. What GPS system do you use?
  5. What types of rigs do you operate?
  6. How often is your equipment serviced?
  7. What is the average age of your trucks?
  8. What type of truck will I be getting?
  9. Do your trucks come with refrigerators?
  10. How many terminals do you have?
  11. What types of amenities are at the terminals?
  12. Can I bring a pet?
  13. Can I bring a rider?
  14. Will I be sharing my rig with another driver? If you are operating in a slip-seat you’ll want to know that before beginning.
  15. What is your training program like?
  16. What costs am I personally responsible for?
  17. Do you have a night dispatch or emergency dispatch?
  18. What is the dispatcher-driver relationship at your company? Knowing who to contact for each situation is important. You’ll want to know if dispatchers only send you routes, or if they will provide you support in other areas as well.
  19. What happens if I have an accident?
  20. What happens if I get an overweight ticket?

How do I start and grow?

  1. Do you pay for my travel to an onboarding program?
  2. Do you provide meals and lodging during the onboarding process?
  3. What is your company turnover rate? Turnover is how often drivers leave. You don’t want to head to a company where drivers leave quickly.
  4. Are there opportunities to become a trainer?
  5. Do you have an owner/operator program?    

These 50 questions are key to helping you find the perfect trucking company for you! There’s no reason to settle for a mediocre job in the trucking industry. Demand for drivers is high, finding a job won’t be an issue. It’s worth it to spend time finding the perfect fit!

And if you’re a graduate of United Truck Driving School, don’t forget we can help you with job placement! Give us a call and we’ll help you land your dream job!

New Year⏤New Trucking Career

Updated January 2020

As we ring in 2020, many are looking for ways to better their lives in the new year. One of the best ways to do this is to focus on improving your career! If you’ve been on the hunt for an in-demand field with high-earning potential, you’ll want to consider becoming a professional truck driver.

There are currently about 60,000+ truck driving jobs open throughout the US. That number is only expected to increase in the coming years due to a consistent rise in consumer demand. There’s no better time than now to train for your new career in trucking!

A Truck Driving Career Can Help You Accomplish Your Goals

If your new year resolutions include earning more money, traveling, or starting a career you truly love, starting CDL training is an ideal option for you. A career as a professional truck driver gives you a high earning potential, allows you to see the country while earning money, and gives you freedom from your typical, boring 9-to-5 desk job.

Getting Your CDL Doesn’t Take Long

Getting your CDL is a reasonably quick process, especially when it’s compared to many 2-or-4-year schools that are required to get other jobs with similar pay and benefits. At United Truck Driving School, you will be able to complete your CDL training in just a few weeks! As soon as you finish your CDL training and pass your road test, you are ready to begin a new career with high-earning potential and great benefits.

Students can complete their Class A license in 4 weeks (160 training hours) or their Class B license in 3 weeks (120 training hours). Students also have the option of getting their Class A license plus passenger training in 4.5 weeks (186 training hours). Either way, you are done with your coursework in about a month and are prepared to take the driving test to earn your CDL.

Trucking Provides Awesome Benefits

Trucking carriers often offer a whole host of benefits in addition to an annual salary. Some of these benefits may include the following:

  • $40,000+ in annual pay
  • Full healthcare benefits for the driver and their family
  • Possible reimbursement for tuition expenses paid to the driver on a monthly basis (if you sign a 1-year contract with most carriers)
  • 401k and other retirement benefit options (depending on the carrier)
  • Eligibility for bonuses if performance standards are met
  • Annual paid vacation time off

These are just some of the great benefits that carriers often offer their truck drivers. The benefits you receive will depend on which trucking company you choose to work for. The job placement assistance team at United will teach you how to advocate for yourself to find the best possible fit to meet your needs!

Get Hired With Our Job Placement Assistance

Once you finish your training and obtain your CDL, United is committed to helping students and graduates with job placement! If you ever need help finding work, we will hook you up with some of the biggest employers and carriers in the business to ensure that you find the quality employment you need and deserve to put your CDL to good use.

Financial Assistance to Make CDL Training Affordable

We are proud to offer financial assistance options to help students finance their CDL training at United. In addition to financial assistance, we also accept a host of government-funded programs. Military members and veterans may also be eligible for additional assistance through our financial assistance programs based on their services and qualifications.

Even if you don’t qualify for financial assistance, we have options available to help cover the cost of your CDL training. United also works with some of the top trucking companies that offer tuition reimbursement! Our goal is to make getting your CDL as affordable as possible.

If you’re ready to tackle your resolutions and start a great new career in trucking, contact us! Get on the road to accomplishing your goals by starting CDL training at United. Give us a call at 619-345-3676 today!