Truck Driving Jobs

Do You Need a CDL to Drive a Dump Truck?


If you’re wondering whether you need a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) to drive a dump truck, the answer depends on the type of dump truck you plan to operate. In this informative guide, we’ll explain the requirements and tests you need to meet to obtain your dump truck license. Whether you’re just starting your journey or are already in the process of getting licensed, this article is here to help.

What License Do You Need to Drive a Dump Truck?

The specific CDL you need for driving a dump truck is determined by the type of truck or vehicle you intend to drive.

Class A CDL:

You need a Class A CDL if you plan to operate a combination dump truck with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 26,001 pounds or more, towing in excess of 10,000 pounds. For example, a tractor-trailer dump truck falls under this category.

Class B CDL:

If you’ll be driving a single unit dump truck with a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more,  but towing less than 10,000 pounds, you should obtain a Class B CDL. This category includes straight dump trucks.


For dump trucks with a GVWR of 26,000 pounds or less, you do not require a CDL. Examples of under-CDL dump trucks include the Freightliner M2, International 4300, and Ford F650.

In general, obtaining a Class A commercial driver’s license is a wise choice, as it offers greater flexibility and more job opportunities for driving various types of trucks.

Dump Truck Endorsements:

Endorsements are additional written knowledge tests related to specific technical knowledge areas. They are taken as part of the written examination process and can be especially relevant for dump truck drivers. The following endorsements are associated with dump trucks:

1. Combination Vehicles: This endorsement is necessary if you’ll be driving a combination vehicle, like a tractor-trailer dump truck.

2. Air Brakes: If your dump truck is equipped with air brakes, you’ll need this endorsement.

3. Tanker Vehicles (N): If you plan to transport liquids in your dump truck, such as water or chemicals, you should obtain the tanker vehicles endorsement.

4. Hazardous Materials (H): Transporting hazardous materials in your dump truck requires this endorsement, as it involves handling potentially dangerous substances. Take our online course now for $149!

5. Double and Triple Trailers (T): If you’ll be operating dump trucks pulling double or triple trailers, this endorsement is essential to ensure safety and compliance with regulations.

Understanding these license and endorsement requirements is crucial for anyone aspiring to drive a dump truck. It ensures that you’re legally qualified and well-prepared for the specific type of dump truck you’ll be operating.

Dump Truck License Requirements

As outlined above, getting a Class A CDL is your best option if you want to become a dump truck driver. A Class CDL A will allow you to drive any weight of dump truck and qualify you to drive a wide range of commercial trucks. Let’s review the process of how to get a CDL to drive a dump truck:

1. CDL Learner’s Permit:

The first step is to obtain a CDL learner’s permit. This permit allows you to practice driving a commercial vehicle under the supervision of a CDL holder. To obtain a learner’s permit, you’ll typically need to pass a written knowledge test.

2. ELDT CDL Training Program

Next, complete an Entry Level Driver Training (ELDT) program or CDL School. It is important to ensure the program is listed on the FMCSA Training Provider Registry. All our DRC network schools are registered and provide a comprehensive curriculum designed to provide you with the knowledge and skills required to pass the CDL skills test, which includes a pre-trip inspection, basic control skills, and an on-road driving test.

3. CDL Skills Test:

Passing the CDL skills test is a crucial step. The test evaluates your ability to operate a commercial vehicle safely.

4. Endorsements:

If your dump truck operation requires specific endorsements, such as the N or H endorsement, you’ll need to pass additional written knowledge tests. All DRC network school graduates receive preparation for the tanker and hazmat endorsement. Take our online course now for $149!

Get a Dump Truck License from a Driver Resource Center Network School

Obtaining a CDL is an essential step towards becoming a professional dump truck driver. The training and testing associated with CDLs are designed to ensure the safety of both drivers and the general public when operating these large, heavy vehicles. If you’re planning to pursue a career in dump truck operation, start by checking your local CDL requirements and enrolling in a reputable CDL training program. With the right license and training, you can safely and legally operate dump trucks and contribute to various industries that rely on these essential vehicles.

Frequently Asked Questions


Popular Posts