Commercial Driver’s License or commonly known as CLD is a driver’s license that allows you to drive a commercial vehicle, bus or truck in Pennsylvania. Anybody who wishes to drive a commercial vehicle in Pennsylvania must own a Commercial Driver’s License.
Commercial vehicles include school buses, passenger buses, commercial trucks, and dump trucks. A commercial vehicle should have a gross weight of 26,001 or more pounds, it can be used to transport more than 16 passengers including the driver, or be used to transport hazardous materials.
However, farmers carrying farm supplies and firefighters do not require a commercial driver’s license.
What are the different types of Commercial Driver’s Licenses?
A Commercial Driver’s License can be further classified into three types:
- Class A: This includes truck trailers or tractor-semi trailers that weigh more than 26,001 pounds and the unit being towed exceeds 10,000 pounds.
- Class B: This includes single vehicles that weigh 26,001 or more pounds and the unit being towed is less than 10,000 pounds.
- Class C: This includes vehicles that are specifically designed to transport sixteen or more passengers, including the driver. Class C vehicles can also be used to carry hazardous supplies.
How to apply for a Commercial Driver’s License in Pennsylvania?
At the time of filling up the form, you must be at least 18 years old. It is also mandatory to have a valid Pennsylvania driver’s license to be eligible to apply.
What is the procedure to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License in Pennsylvania?
In order to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License, you need to apply for a permit. To get a Pennsylvania Commercial Driver’s License permit, you can fill an online application form here:
It is only after receiving the permit that you will be allowed to train on the road or enroll into a training program. The Commercial Driver’s License permit normally costs around $60 to $80. Once you receive the permit, it is considered valid for one year.
In addition to this you must also clear a CDL driving test. The CDL driving test is a 3-part exam that comprises of a knowledge test, endorsements knowledge test, and skills test. The test is usually hosted by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. It may also be hosted by a certified 3rd party testing site.
How much money can you make as a Commercial Driver?
Commercial driving is a very important and a much-in-demand job. Commercial trucking companies, bus companies, carrier companies etc offer good employment opportunities to drivers. As a licensed commercial driver you can easily earn approximately $500 a week. Your salary will also depend on the number of hours you work in a week.
In the Pennsylvania region alone, the median salary for a truck driver is estimated to be $39,900 per annum. Salaries normally range between $27,300 per year to $60,500 per year.
How long does it take to become a licensed Commercial Driver?
The duration can depend on the type of license you want. For example, Class A programs usually take seven to eight weeks to complete if classes are held 5 days in a week. Class A programs are the longest as they cover the most number of vehicles in comparison to Class B and Class C programs. Class B and Class C programs take three to four weeks to complete.
How much does it cost to become a Commercial Driver?
The standard cost for a Commercial Driver License in Pennsylvania is $74.50. This license is valid for four years. If you pay $44, you can have a license with a validity of two years.
As far as the cost of training and trucking course is concerned, most companies offer courses with no tuition fees and at least a yearlong job agreement. Some examples of such companies are:
- Philadelphia Truck Driving School
- R. England – Student Driver Program
- All-State Career Pittsburg
- Sage Truck Driving School