Class A CDL: Any combination of vehicles with a GCWR of 26,001 or more pounds provided the GVWR of the vehicle(s) being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
Class B CDL: Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing a vehicle not in excess of 10,000 pounds GVWR.
Class C CDL: Any single vehicle, or combination of vehicles, that does not meet the definition of Class A or Class B, but is either designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver, or is transporting material that has been designated as hazardous under 49 U.S.C. 5103 and is required to be placarded under subpart F of 49 CFR Part 172 or is transporting any quantity of a material listed as a select agent or toxin in 42 CFR Part 73.
* The above is taken from the Department of Transportation website: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/registration-licensing/cdl/cdl.htm
Class A vehicles include:
- Truck and Trailer Combinations
- Tractor-Trailer Buses
Class B Vehicles include:
- Straight Trucks
- Large Buses
- Segmented Buses
Class C Vehicles include:
- Any vehicle not included as a Class A or Class B vehicle.
Vehicle classes are generally determined by their Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) and the manufacturer design. The class of vehicle also has an impact on the type of CDL Endorsements you’ll need. For example, a bus will most likely require you to obtain a Passenger Endorsement (P) or a School Bus Endorsement (S).
Find out more about the different CDL Classifications on the following pages:
US Department of Transportation – http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/registration-licensing/cdl/cdl.htm