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Have a Class B CDL? Consider Upgrading to a Class A

Earning a Class A CDL is easier when you already have a Class B. Using your Class B as a jumping-off point, you can get your Class A through a very similar process.

If you're uncertain about the economy, becoming a truck driver is a stable career option. And, while earning a Class B CDL is an achievement that can lead to success in the trucking industry, a Class A CDL can take you even farther by increasing your earning power and ultimately opening up doors to more opportunities.

The good news is that getting a Class A is easier when you already have a Class B. Using your Class B as a jumping-off point, you can get your Class A CDL through a very similar process.

Class B CDL vs. Class A CDL

The Class B CDL is the commercial driver’s license classification needed to operate a single vehicle with a gross weight of 26,001 pounds (or more), towing no more than 10,000 pounds. This type of CDL allows for the operation of garbage trucks, buses, straight trucks, dump trucks, cement mixers and delivery trucks. Usually, Class B vehicles do not have a trailer.

The Class A CDL allows you to operate a combination of vehicles with a combined weight of 26,001 pounds or more, with a towed vehicle of 10,000 pounds or more. Examples of vehicles that you can operate with a class A CDL include tractor trailers, livestock carriers, flatbeds, truck and trailer combinations and tanker vehicles. A Class A CDL with proper endorsements also allows you to operate Class B and C trucks.

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Simply fill out our form & you'll learn more about how you can get paid while you upgrade your Class B CDL to a Class A!

How to Obtain a Class B or Class A CDL, or Upgrade Your Class B CDL to a Class A CDL in 2024

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires that drivers who want to:

  • Obtain a Class A or Class B CDL for the first time,
  • Upgrade an existing Class B CDL to a Class A CDL, or
  • Obtain a school bus (S), passenger (P), or hazardous materials (H) endorsement for the first time.

Must complete Entry Level Driver Training (ELDT). Roehl Transport is a registered training provider.

There are many ways to get CDL training (from truck driving schools, company sponsored training, or even getting paid while you get your CDL, like in Roehl Transport’s Get Your CDL program).

From a high-level, whether you're trying to get a Class B CDL or a Class A CDL, you must complete driver training, including theory training and behind-the-wheel training, from FMCSA-approved training providers.

In all likelihood, you’re getting your CDL so you can get a job driving, so make sure you’re doing your research and the training program you select will actually help you achieve your goal.

Why Upgrade Your Class B CDL License?

Getting your Class A CDL is a process, whether you have a Class B or not. So why do it? The answer is clear. Class A CDL drivers have more opportunities. You can search for CDL-B jobs and check for yourself. Because Class A CDL drivers can drive anything a Class B driver can and then some, they enjoy a higher level of compensation.

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Simply put, Class A CDL drivers earn more than Class B drivers. In April of 2024, reported that the average Class B truck driver earns about $44,200 a year. Zippia also shared that Class A truck drivers earn an average of $52,200 a year.

Of course, the amount that any driver earns depends on a variety of factors, including where they work, how much they work, and what they are hauling. It’s also important to understand how pay is calculated (as examples: HHG versus practical route miles, and sliding pay scales versus a flat CPM). Roehl drivers consistently earn above the national average, so if you're driving for Roehl, you know you are a leader. As of April 2024, Roehl drivers with at least one year on the job are averaging $1,345 a week (about $70,000 a year). It's also important to know that the top 50% of Roehl drivers average $1,530 per week (more than $79,700) a year. See how pay transparency benefits Roehl Transport drivers.

Steady Work

Class A drivers typically also have more opportunities and find it easier to obtain steady work compared with a driver that only has a Class B commercial license. You can find opportunities to put your Class A CDL to work through Roehl's website, and we enourage you to review CDL-B driving jobs and compare them with Class A trucking jobs. 

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Job Opportunities

Roehl’s large size and diversity means the company offers a variety of fleet options. From traditional over-the-road (OTR trucking jobs) to home weekly regional fleets to dedicated and even home daily fleets, the company offers a variety of work and home time configurations. Additionally, Roehl has a diverse customer base that ranges from temperature controlled freight, to dry van to even flatbed freight, so there are many ways to expand your skills set. Again, having many options is one of the differences between a CDL-B job and a Class A CDL driving job. 

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Compensation, Benefits & More

Roehl’s long been known as the Take Home More, Be Home More trucking company. From innovative pay programs, to leading in how miles are calculated, to rewarding drivers for their safe behaviors as they drive, to passenger and pet programs, to health, wellness and financial programs, including profit sharing, Roehl is investing in our teammates.

If you are looking for CDL-B jobs, consider the options that Roehl offers so you can upgrade your CDL from a Class B to a Class A (if you're ready to move forward, complete our application!)

Remember, Roehl offers resources to help you be successful, including free CDL practice tests and plenty of how-tos, including a step-by-step guide to getting a Class A CDL.

Have more questions? Call us at 715-591-7050!

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