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How to Receive Your CDL Class A License

Since the COVID pandemic began, truck drivers have been responsible for transporting 72% of the nation’s freight. Companies like American Distribution know how vital these drivers are and treat them as the core of this country – because they are. So take a look at the benefits we offer our drivers here

As trucking has become such an essential job and part of today’s life and economy, we want to walk through the steps of becoming a CDL-A truck driver. A Class A CDL license is required for anyone operating a truck with a gross combination weight rating (GVWR) of more than 26,000 pounds, as long as the towed vehicle weighs more than 10,000 pounds. At American Distribution, all truck drivers have a CDL-A license because they haul only dry products in dry vans; our drivers never haul hazmat or oversized items. 

To obtain your CDL-A license, you must follow the rules set forth by your state. In Tennessee, you must bring five documents with you when you apply:

  1. DOT medical card
  2. Social Security card (or proof of your number)
  3. Valid TN driver’s license (or valid CDL license from another state)
  4. Proof of Tennessee residency
  5. Proof of US citizenship 

Once these documents are verified, you will apply for your CDL learner’s permit. To obtain this permit, you must pass a written test, including a general knowledge test, air brakes test, and a combination test. In addition, you may need to demonstrate an understanding of basic driving skills, shifting gears, controlling your truck’s speed during heavy traffic or adverse weather conditions, and be able to calculate stopping distance, among other things. 

Once you’ve passed the written test, you must have your permit for at least two weeks, be 21 years old, pay your CDL-A fee through the DMV, and hold a valid non-commercial driver’s license. To obtain your CDL exam, you may be required to perform tasks such as reversing, dock parking, parallel parking, changing lanes, turning, and properly shifting gears, among other things. You will also need to pass a vision test.

Once you complete these steps, you should receive your CDL Class A license. With that license, you will be able to drive tractor-trailers, trucks and trailer combinations, tanks, livestock carriers, and flatbeds. 

Truck driving is in higher demand than ever before and can provide a wonderful lifestyle. From the flexibility to the benefits, there’s never been a better time to start your career driving trucks. Simply follow the steps outlined in this blog to obtain your CDL-A license, and reach out to us once that is complete. We’re always interested in growing our company with the right people.