The Class-A license allows you to drive tractor-trailers, tandem tractor-trailers, and tractor-trailer buses. This category covers all the big rigs, and if you add on the right endorsements, you can also drive just about any vehicle in the Class B and C categories, too.
If you want to tow a commercial trailer behind a big truck, you’ll need to have a Class-A license. Tractor-trailers carry a huge range of goods long and short distances. When you go through your driver training process, think about what kinds of endorsements you’d like to have. Special endorsements allow you to drive different kinds of vehicles and cargo, like a tanker truck or hazardous materials.
Flatbed trucks haul steel, lumber and machinery. These drivers may take long trips with mileage pay, stop pay and tarp pay, safety and performance bonuses and mileage bonuses.
Refrigerated trucks haul cheese, ice cream and frozen peas from packing plants to warehouses, grocery stores and restaurants. Refrigerated trucks can either do long-haul runs (from processing plant to regional distribution centers) or local (from warehouses to customers).
To drive a fuel tanker, you have to have a Class-A license with a tanker endorsement. If you want to drive a fuel tanker (or other hazardous materials) you will also need a hazmat endorsement. Fuel delivery trucks often move gas from a regional distribution center to area gas stations. Working in a small geographic area means you will probably get paid by the hour with the possibility of overtime pay. You might also be able to get a predictable work week that lets you be home every day.
Chickens, cattle, pigs and horses sometimes need to move from place to place. Horses travel for shows and races or from breeder to buyer. Animals destined for the grocery store need to make the trip from farm to slaughterhouse.
New cars must be moved from dock or factory to dealership. Used cars are moved from one owner to another, and some are sold for parts to other areas of the country. Some of these vehicles move in open-air carriers, while owners of expensive custom or antique cars will pay more to have their cars shipped in closed trailers.