5 Reasons to Get Your Class A CDL
Have you ever considered a career as a driver? Wondered what it would take to join a company such as Veriha Trucking as one of our VIP Drivers? If so, you would need to obtain your Class A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).
There are three different types of CDL:
- Class A – This classification certifies you to drive vehicles with a gross combination weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more, including a towed vehicle weighing more than 10,000 pounds.
- Class B – This classification is required to operate a single vehicle with a GVWR over 26,000 pounds and/or a vehicle towing another vehicle weighing up to 10,000 pounds.
- Class C – This classification enables you to drive vehicles that do not meet the criteria for either Class A or Class B and is designed to transport more than 16 passengers or hazardous material.
Though each of these CDL classifications has its own merits, there are five reasons to make a Class A CDL your top choice.
Reason #1: It Provides a Diverse Range of Employment Opportunities
Having a Class A CDL opens up a wide variety of driving opportunities, with options including the following:
- Truck and trailer combinations (including double and triple trailers)
- Tractor-trailer buses
- Tanker vehicles
- Livestock carriers
If you have a Class A CDL, you might also need to pass additional written or driving tests to obtain endorsements for certain kinds of vehicles; testing requirements are determined by each state. For example, if you wanted to drive vehicles containing hazardous materials (HAZMAT), you would need to pass a written test to obtain an H Endorsement. When a Veriha driver hauls a hazmat load, they earn an additional $.05 per loaded mile. It also gives the driver additional flexibility when our team is trying to locate the best load for a driver.
Having a Class A CDL automatically opens up a wide variety of employment opportunities, while obtaining additional endorsements enables you to customize your career choice.
Reason #2: Many Companies Offer Direct Employment Through Training Programs
If you do a little research, you will find that courses for Class A CDL training are available all across the country. Not only do private driving schools offer courses, many companies offer direct employment through company-run training programs. This means that you are guaranteed a job upon completion of your certification. Not many careers can offer that kind of guarantee!
These company-sponsored training programs also typically offer an accelerated schedule for completion, getting CDL drivers on the road more quickly than private driving schools. Many companies offer full benefits and pay raises (on top of employment) upon completion of the program.
Veriha Driving Academy is a value-driven, safety conscious, professional driving school that is dedicated to the education and development of future drivers. Veriha Driving Academy provides quality instruction utilizing PTDI (Professional Truck Driver Institute)-certified curriculum taught by knowledgeable and highly skilled instructors. It is our desire that our career training programs will contribute to the economic growth of the individual, community, and state.
After obtaining your Class A CDL, Veriha also offers student training programs that are customized for each individual. While your orientation will be in a group setting, individual students are paired with a VIP trainer for one-on-one, hands-on driving experience.
At the end of your training, you will have a final assessment of your skills. Following this assessment, you will be dispatched as a solo driver and begin your career as a Veriha Industry Professional (VIP)!
Reason #3: The Pay Is Higher Than for Other Classifications
The simple truth is that having a Class A Commercial Driver’s License is more financially valuable than having another classification. While a Class A CDL certifies you to drive "combination vehicles" (i.e. a tractor or truck pulling some kind of trailer or other vehicles behind it), Class B CDL only certifies you to drive a straight truck or bus. For this reason, there are more employment opportunities available for Class A CDL drivers and the pay tends to be higher than Class B or Class C drivers.
Truck drivers are generally paid by the miles they travel, not by the hours they work. Rates vary depending on the driver’s level of experience, the region where they drive, and the individual company for which they work. Our Veriha drivers earn a range from $0.33 and $0.47 per mile. Experienced Veriha drivers earn up to $70,000 per year!
Reason #4: There Are Ongoing Training Programs & Opportunities for Continuing Education
If you plan to obtain additional endorsements for specialty vehicles like HAZMAT, you might be required to attend continuing education classes to prepare for the written knowledge test. Continuing education for Class A CDL drivers is more commonly available than for Class B drivers, simply because the demand is much higher.
In addition to continuing education to obtain endorsements, you will also need to keep your training current in order to renew your license. Most Commercial Driver’s Licenses are valid for four years and some states require additional training for recertification. Because the Class A CDL is the most common option, there are many training programs available.
Here at Veriha, we are in constant communication with our drivers on safety and continuing education. Drivers may have coaching conversations on topics such as safety, best practices to idling their truck, etc. If a driver is struggling with a skill, they can come in and work with our safety department using our driver stimulator to practice a variety of skills, ranging from right-hand turns to winter weather conditions.
Reason #5: Jobs Are in High Demand, Which Ensures Job Security
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the United States unemployment rate as of December 2017 was 4.1%. Recent college graduates enter the workforce drowning in student debt and have difficulty obtaining anything other than a low-paying, entry-level job. Along with the debt that recent college graduates accrue, it takes at least 4-5 years to earn a bachelor’s degree. After you obtain your Class A CDL, you are entering the job market years earlier and are in high demand with excellent job security.
Production rates in the United States have skyrocketed in recent years, which puts companies and distributors in a position of great need for CDL drivers. Unlike many jobs in the U.S., trucking jobs cannot be outsourced – another reason this field offers excellent job security.
If you are looking for a career that offers steady pay, job security, and training, a trucking career is an excellent option. The five reasons discussed above are just a handful of the many reasons to get your Class A CDL.
If you have any additional questions about obtaining a Class A CDL, click the link below or reach out to us at (800) 333-9291.