According to the American Trucking Association, the trucking industry is responsible for moving more than 70% of goods in the United States. With such a critical role in the economy, the demand for truck drivers continues to grow, making it a potentially lucrative career path.
However, one must obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) before legally operating a commercial vehicle.
If you’re considering a career in truck driving, obtaining a CDL in Texas is crucial. Texas, one of the largest states in the U.S., has a significant need for truck drivers to transport goods within and across the country.
However, getting a CDL can be complicated, with various requirements, classes, and endorsements to be aware of. In this article, we will provide an overview of the CDL requirements in Texas, the different classes and endorsements available, and the process of obtaining a CDL.
We will also highlight some resources available for CDL training to help you prepare for a successful career in the trucking industry including what happens if you get into a trucking accident.
• Texas requires specific minimum requirements, physical requirements, and passing knowledge and driving tests to obtain a CDL.
• CDL classes include A, B, and C, with endorsements for hazardous materials, passenger vehicles, and more.
• Exemptions are available for certain groups, such as farmers and military personnel.
• TruckingTruth offers free resources and a one-minute application for paid CDL training with multiple companies.
The minimum requirements for obtaining a CDL in Texas are crucial for candidates to fulfill. These requirements include possessing a valid TX driver’s license and Social Security Number, passing knowledge and driving tests, and meeting physical requirements such as medical vision and blood pressure standards. Candidates must also pay fees that vary based on age and license type.
There are exemptions for obtaining a CDL in Texas. Military, farmer, emergency, recreational, air carrier, and cotton transport vehicle operators may be exempt from specific requirements. However, they must still hold the correct license class and certification.
Candidates need to understand all requirements and exemptions before pursuing a CDL in Texas.
Classes and Endorsements
Class A CDL allows drivers to operate vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 26,000 pounds with a towed vehicle weight greater than 10,000 pounds. This class is required for drivers who operate tractor-trailers, tanker trucks, and other heavy-duty vehicles. With a Class A CDL, drivers have the flexibility to operate various vehicles as long as they meet the weight requirements.
Endorsement options are available for drivers who want to operate specialized vehicles, such as school buses, hazardous materials, and tankers. These endorsements require additional training and testing beyond the basic CDL requirements.
Training programs for endorsements are available through approved CDL training schools and can help drivers gain the skills and knowledge needed to operate these specialized vehicles safely. It is essential for drivers to carefully consider which endorsements they need before beginning their training program, as this can affect the cost and length of the program.
Obtaining a CDL
To successfully obtain a Commercial Driver’s License in Texas, one must meet specific criteria, pass both knowledge and skills tests, and adhere to compliance guidelines set by the Texas Workforce Commission.
The age requirements for obtaining a CDL in Texas are that the individual must be at least 18. Additionally, the individual must meet medical qualifications, including vision, blood pressure, and urinalysis testing.
A Medical Examiners Certificate is required for commercial drivers of vehicles in interstate commerce with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) greater than 10,000 pounds. Drivers with physical impairments may require a variance. Still, the Specialized Programs for Employment (SPE) program allows drivers with missing or impaired limbs to drive Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMVs) across state lines.
The individual must pass both knowledge and skills tests to obtain a CDL. The knowledge tests cover 20 general areas and air brakes, and a passing score requires 80% correct answers. The skills test requires successful completion of required skills. Military drivers can substitute two years of experience for the skills test.
Disqualifications can result from alcohol or controlled substance use, serious traffic violations, and violations of out-of-service orders. Violations can result in fines and disqualifications.
Resources for CDL Training
Resources for obtaining Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) training in Texas include free resources provided by TruckingTruth.
The High Road Training Program and Article Series are available to members, providing comprehensive learning materials for CDL preparation.
The Truckers Forum offers a community connection for aspiring truck drivers, allowing individuals to connect with others in the industry and gain valuable insights.
Additionally, TruckingTruth provides a one-minute application for paid CDL training with multiple companies, allowing individuals to explore different training options and find the best fit for their needs.
These resources are 100% free and provide valuable support for those seeking their CDL in Texas.
Paid training is a popular option for those seeking their CDL in Texas.
By completing a paid training program, individuals can gain the necessary skills and experience to pass the CDL exam and begin a career in the trucking industry.
TruckingTruth’s one-minute application for paid CDL training with multiple companies provides a convenient way for individuals to explore different training options and connect with recruiters.
Whether through paid training or other resources, TruckingTruth provides valuable support for those seeking to obtain their CDL in Texas and begin a successful career in the trucking industry.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much can truck drivers get paid driving an 18-wheeler ?
Truck drivers’ earnings vary based on many factors: including experience, type of freight, and distance covered. Typically, as of 2021, they could earn between $30,000 and $100,000 annually. This payment can be salary-based, per-mile, or even a percentage of the load’s revenue.
How long is the CDL training program in Texas?
The duration of CDL training in Texas varies based on the program selected but typically ranges from 4-12 weeks. Costs also vary depending on the program, ranging from $1,500 to $8,000.
Can you obtain a CDL in Texas if you have a criminal record?
Criminal record exceptions determine CDL eligibility. Texas disqualifies applicants with felony convictions within the past five years or a history of drug or alcohol offenses. Other factors like driving record history or traffic accidents may also impact eligibility.
Are there any age restrictions for obtaining a CDL in Texas?
There are age limitations to obtaining a CDL in Texas, with a minimum age of 18 required. Parental consent is not necessary. Military exemptions and driving experience can be substituted for skills testing.
Can you obtain a CDL in Texas if you do not have a Social Security Number?
While an SSN is required for CDL licensing, exemptions for non-citizens exist. CDL training costs vary, and financial aid options like grants, scholarships, and employer reimbursement may be available.
How often do CDL holders need to renew their licenses in Texas?
CDL holders in Texas must renew their licenses every five years and complete a medical examination. Renewal can be done online or in person, and the process requires a fee, proof of residency, and updated medical certification.