While the towing industry is constantly in need of certified tow truck drivers, the trucking service business has been facing a driver shortage problem. Apparently, many of the Class A CDL drivers have been burned out by the stressful and dangerous nature of their driving occupation. Those entering retirement age are more interested in taking on truck driving jobs in construction projects and in towing firms.
What is CDL and What Distinguishes a Class A CDL from a Class B CDL?
CDL stands for Commercial Driver’s License, which a driver of a commercial motor vehicle in the U. S. must hold as valid credential. The Class A and Class B classifications create a distinction on the type of vehicle that drivers are permitted to operate; but only after passing testing requirements for the commercial vehicle they intend to operate as a professional commercial vehicle driver.
A Class A CDL qualifies a license holder to drive tractor-trailers for long distance intrastate, interstate or foreign commercial hauling operations.
A Class B License holder on the other hand, qualifies a driver to operate a single-unit commercial vehicles like buses, tow trucks, delivery trucks not hitched to a trailer, dump trucks and garbage trucks.
Will the Shift In Truck Driving Profession Create a More Competitive Job Market for Class B CDL Drivers?
Actually, the driver shortage phenomenon pertains to long distance trucking businesses, and the trending shift to tow truck driving, particularly heavy duty towing jobs, seems to create a more competitive job market for many Class B CDL drivers.
The immediate perception is that Class A CDL truck drivers have an edge as their license requirements include taking at least 180 hours of education by way of combined classroom and actual, behind-the-wheel truck driving sessions.
Industry wise, the training and experience acquired by tow drivers are different. In today’s towing industry, it’s important that tow truck drivers have skills not only in operating towing vehicles, but also in dealing effectively with customers when rendering towing services under different kinds of stressful situations.
License wise, both Class A and Class B CDL drivers passed a series of testings based on the endorsement they needed to qualify as tow drivers (T Endorsement.). In both cases they had to take a crash-course type of education that will help them pass different kinds of written and actual truck-driving road tests.
The quality of crash course education is also important since the issuance of Class A and Class B CDL depends on the results of the written exams and road tests.
In California, some major trucking companies are into sponsoring truck driving schools. The purpose of which is to ensure that those with high potential to receive a Class A CDL license will work for the sponsoring companies.
While sponsorships assure a ready job contract for passing CDL applicants, the contract could tie them to a job that they might not find gratifying in terms of compensation and driving conditions.