A Class-B license works for single vehicles with a GVW greater than 26,001. This single vehicle could also tow another vehicle, as long as the one being towed weighed less than 10,000 lbs. With a Class-B license, you can drive a big tourist bus, a straight truck, or a segmented bus. With endorsements, you could also drive Class-C vehicles.
Dump trucks are single, high-weight vehicles with a bed that lifts up so the contents can drop out of the open tailgate in the back. These trucks carry bulk materials like gravel, sand, mulch, top soil and stone. They are widely used in the landscaping and construction industries. In areas where real estate markets are booming and new construction of homes and roads is going on daily, dump truck drivers are busy hauling as many loads per day as they can. However, when the market slows down and there’s little construction, it can be tough to find work. Dump truck drivers can be self-employed owner-operators who deliver product to customers, or they could work directly for an employer like a landscaping company, construction firm, or state department of transportation. The amount of money you make depends on the kind of work you do, what region of the country you live in, what your local economy is like, and how reliable and professional you are.
Tourist bus drivers carry large groups of people from one destination to another, frequently crossing state lines. Usually, they have to follow an assigned itinerary and make sure the group stays on time. The driver may have to act as a tour guide, explaining points of interest along the way. Bus drivers must have a CDL with a P, or passenger vehicle, endorsement. The ability to relate well to large groups of diverse people is critical for a tour bus driver, as is a good deal of patience. You may be stuck in frustrating rush hour traffic while your passengers are relaxing, joking, laughing and possibly partying in the back.
Straight trucks or box trucks are all one piece. Unlike a tractor-trailer, you can’t detach the back of a straight truck at a delivery site. Straight truck drivers usually have to load and unload cargo several times a day. UPS and FedEx delivery drivers often use straight trucks, which are easier to maneuver down city streets and through neighborhoods. Many straight truck drivers have local, rather than long-distance, routes, and they are often hourly employees with predictable schedules who are home every night.
If you live in a large metropolitan area, you are probably familiar with articulated buses. These are fairly common on city bus routes, and they look like two-or three-sectioned vehicles glued together with an accordion in the middle. Basically, they are tandem buses with one engine bus towing one or two trailer buses. The chassis of the vehicles are connected by movable joints and the bodies are attached by folding polyester elbows. To drive an articulated bus, you need a Class-B CDL plus the passenger vehicle endorsement. If you can drive an articulated bus, you can also drive a standard city bus.
If you live in an agricultural area, there may be a strong market for feed hauling. While some feed haulers delivering to large farms use tractor-trailers, smaller-farm operations often need straight truck deliveries. You can load a straight truck with bag feed to deliver direct to the customer, or invest in a truck/feed-bed combination for bulk feeds that you deliver with either a blower or an augur system. Since feed hauling is an essential part of the food supply, this job requires scrupulous cleanliness and attention to detail. Delivering the wrong kind of feed to a specialized breed of animal can spell disaster for your customer, and for you.