Class A vs Class B CDLs: what you need to know

Our Halvor Lines recruiters are often asked, “What’s the difference between a Class A and a Class B CDL?” They also want to know other details, like if you can have both a Class A and Class B license, and if a Class A CDL allows you to drive Class B vehicles.

Halvor Lines Recruiting Director Stacy Peterson

Our Halvor Lines Recruiting Director Stacy Peterson answers these questions in this video – or if you prefer to scroll through the answers, we’ve included them below:

Do I need a special driver’s license to drive a commercial rig or big delivery truck?

Yes! If you’re considering a driving career, your first step is getting a commercial driver’s license (CDL), either a Class A or a Class B license, depending on what you plan to drive.

What is a Class B CDL good for?

With a Class B CDL, you can drive a truck or a tractor trailer with a maximum gross weight of up to 26,000 pounds. Tractors or vehicles being pulled cannot weigh more than 10,000 pounds. The most common vehicles driven by a Class B holder include school busses, delivery trucks, garbage trucks and road work vehicles like cement mixers.

With a Class B license, you can also operate farm machinery, though many states do not require a Class B CDL for farm work.

What is a Class A CDL good for?

With a Class A CDL, you can drive trucks and trailers with a maximum gross weight of 80,000 pounds, far more than allowed with a Class B CDL.

You also need a class A CDL if they want to drive commercially outside the state of where your license was issued.

Class A CDLs are required to drive semis or 18 wheelers.

Do I need both a Class B and a Class A license? Will a Class A license cover everything?
While most Class A license holders drive semis, a Class A allows you to drive vehicles listed in the Class B CDL section.

Now that you know the difference between a Class A and a Class B license, we’d love to help you earn your Class A CDL through our Halvor Gold paid CDL training program.

Please check out our website at or reach out to a Halvor Lines recruiter at 800.579.2114.

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