Does Your Moving Company Really Need a Commercial Drivers License (CDL)?

Moving company regulations are constantly in motion and it’s necessary to stay on top of the changes so that your business can keep moving forward. Among the most significant regulations to adhere to are those regarding the licensing of your drivers. In most cases, your drivers will be required to possess a valid CDL license in order to move your customer’s goods and possessions.

Drivers Who Need a CDL

Federal regulations require drivers of commercial motor vehicles must have the corresponding CDL if the vehicle they will be operating meets the following qualifications.

Class A – Vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 pounds or greater. This includes a towed trailer weight on a trailer that is greater than 10,000 pounds.

Class B – Vehicles that have a gross vehicle weight of 26,001 or greater, but have a towed weight of 10,000 pounds or less.

Class C – Any vehicle that is designed to transport 16 or more passengers, or for a vehicle that is carrying any hazardous materials as identified by the US code as a toxic substance or agent that could be considered hazardous.

In addition to federal requirements, states have the authority to regulate whether drivers operating within their state need to have a CDL. Because there is considerable variance in these regulations, it is a good idea to check with the appropriate overseeing state agency prior to sending drivers down the road. This is especially important if you are planning to expand your operations across state lines and into another jurisdiction.

An important consideration to consider in regard to moving company regulations is whether your drivers will need endorsements for double/triple trailers, hazmat, liquids, etc. The need for these endorsements will vary depending on the types of cargo you intend to move for your clients.

Obtaining a CDL

Each state has different requirements for obtaining a CDL so it is necessary to first check your state’s requirements prior to applying. In general, drivers who meet the minimum age requirements are required to submit their personal information, pass a medical exam, and pass a commercial drivers license exam. Once a driver passes the exam, they will be issued a CDL learners permit prior to the taking of a driving test. Often, this test must be scheduled two to three months in advance. While on the learners permit, drivers will be restricted in where they can drive and what types of cargo they can carry.

While it is not required, it is a good idea to ensure that your drivers have taken and successfully completed courses from a reputable trucking school. This takes between one and two months, and it is well worth the investment. A qualified driver will not only keep your vehicle safe, but also help ensure that the cargo they are carrying for your clients will arrive safe and in one piece.

The Benefits of a CDL

While some moving company regulations can slow business to a standstill, requiring drivers to obtain a CDL keep the industry moving forward. Drivers who have a CDL are generally safer and better trained that other drivers on the road.

This helps reduce the liability for your company, and it also helps ensure quality, reliable, and on-time service for you customers. In turn, this helps build and strengthen your company’s reputation. As they say, it is money in the bank that you can build your business on. Thus, while your drivers may not be required to have a CDL to operate your vehicles, it is a good investment to make before your drivers hit the road.

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