What Are The 6 CDL Class A Endorsements and Should You Have Them?

CDL truck drivers have many different options when it comes to jobs. However, some of these jobs require different endorsements on your commercial drivers license.

CDL Endorsements

The six CDL Endorsements you can get are “H” for HAZMAT, “N” for Tanker, “P” for Passenger, “S” for School Bus, “T” for Double or Triple Tailers, and “X” for HAZMAT Tanker. Depending on the type of trailers you pull, and the freight you haul will determine which, if any, additional endorsements you need on your CDL.

Let’s dive a little deeper into each one of these CDL Endorsements and look at the potential reasons to add them to your license.

H Endorsement (HAZMAT)

The CDL (commercial driver’s license) H endorsement is a type of endorsement that allows a driver to operate a commercial vehicle that is transporting hazardous materials. Hazardous materials are defined as any substance or material that is capable of posing an unreasonable risk to health, safety, or property during transportation. Examples of hazardous materials include chemicals, flammable liquids, explosives, radioactive materials, and many others.

A driver would add the H endorsement to their CDL if they plan to transport hazardous materials in their commercial vehicle. The H endorsement requires a separate knowledge and skills test, and the driver must meet specific eligibility criteria before obtaining the endorsement.

FMCSA Training Provider Registry

N Endorsement (Tanker)

The CDL (commercial driver’s license) N endorsement is a type of endorsement that allows a driver to operate a commercial vehicle carrying liquid or gaseous materials in bulk using a tanker trailer. This includes vehicles such as tanker trucks that transport fuel, chemicals, and other liquids, as well as compressed gas vehicles that transport gases such as propane and hydrogen.

A driver would add the N endorsement to their CDL if they plan to transport liquid or gaseous materials in bulk in their commercial vehicle. The N endorsement requires a separate knowledge and skills test, and the driver must meet specific eligibility criteria before obtaining the endorsement.

P Endorsement (Passenger)

The CDL (commercial driver’s license) P endorsement is a type of endorsement that allows a driver to operate a commercial vehicle that is designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver. This endorsement is required for drivers who transport passengers for compensation, such as charter bus drivers and tour bus drivers.

A driver would add the P endorsement to their CDL if they plan to transport 16 or more passengers in their commercial vehicle. The S endorsement requires a separate knowledge and skills test, and the driver must meet specific eligibility criteria before obtaining the endorsement.

FMCSA Training Provider Registry

S Endorsement (School Bus)

The CDL (commercial driver’s license) S (school bus) endorsement is a type of endorsement that allows a driver to operate a commercial vehicle that is designed to transport school children. This endorsement is required for drivers who transport students to and from school or school-related events.

A driver would add the S (school bus) endorsement to their CDL if they plan to transport school children in their commercial vehicle. The S (school bus) endorsement requires a separate knowledge and skills test, and the driver must meet specific eligibility criteria before obtaining the endorsement.

FMCSA Training Provider Registry

T Endorsement (Double or Triple Trailers)

The CDL (commercial driver’s license) T endorsement is a type of endorsement that allows a driver to operate a commercial vehicle that is designed to transport double or triple trailers. This endorsement is required for drivers who operate commercial vehicles that are equipped with two or three trailers, such as tanker trucks and other specialized vehicles.

A driver would add the T endorsement to their CDL if they plan to operate a commercial vehicle that is designed to transport double or triple trailers. The T endorsement requires a separate knowledge and skills test, and the driver must meet specific eligibility criteria before obtaining the endorsement.

X Endorsement (HAZMAT Tanker)

The CDL (commercial driver’s license) X (HAZMAT Tanker) endorsement is a type of endorsement that allows a driver to transport hazardous materials in a tanker. This endorsement is required for drivers who transport hazardous materials, such as flammable liquids, in a tanker truck.

A driver would add the X (HAZMAT Tanker) endorsement to their CDL if they plan to transport hazardous materials in a tanker truck. The X (HAZMAT Tanker) endorsement requires a separate knowledge and skills test, and the driver must meet specific eligibility criteria before obtaining the endorsement. Additionally, drivers must undergo a background check and meet security clearance requirements before they can be granted the X (HAZMAT Tanker) endorsement.

FMCSA Training Provider Registry

It’s important for drivers to have the proper endorsements, as transporting materials without the proper endorsement is a serious offense and can result in significant penalties, including fines, license suspension, and even imprisonment. These endorsements ensure that drivers have the knowledge and training required to transport materials safely and in compliance with federal and state regulations.

Entry-Level Driver Training Regulations

Referred to as ELDT, these regulations set the minimum Federal requirements for training that entry-level drivers must complete before being permitted to take certain commercial driver’s license (CDL) skills or knowledge tests on or after February 7, 2022.

an entry-level driver is considered anyone who is obtaining a Class A CDL or Class B CDL for the first time; upgrading an existing Class B CDL to a Class A CDL; or as is relevant to ths article, anyone who is obtaining a school bus (S), passenger (P), or hazardous materials (H) endorsement for the first time.

Harold
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