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CDL Licensing Information

When you are in business in the portable restroom rental industry and own a truck with a gross vehicle weight of over 26,001 lbs., the driver must have a CDL, or Commercial Driver’s License, in order to legally drive the vehicle, which is needed to tackle the big jobs with big payoffs. Just as you want a secretary or administrative assistant with excellent working knowledge of computer applications, communication techniques and customer service, you’ll want a driver who is licensed with a CDL who also has a safe driving record and meets the necessary requirements for the position filled.

Driving a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) requires a heightened level of awareness when it comes to the mechanics of the truck that is being driven. Knowledge, experience and skills are necessary requirements for a driver of a CMV to obtain his or her CDL, especially if they work for you! In addition to the heightened skills and knowledge needed to operate a larger, heavier vehicle on the road, your driver will need to be aware of the ramifications if they are found in violation of the DMV or MVD rules governing CMV drivers.

A CDL can be obtained from any state DMV or MVD facility, and anyone driving the truck in your fleet that weighs in at over 26,001 will need to visit the DMV to obtain his or her license. Driving records will be scrutinized, and medical records and residency requirements will need to be submitted before the time of the test.

According to the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration), these are the initial steps that must be taken before obtaining a CDL license:

  • Obtain a copy of the driver’s state Commercial Driver’s Licensing Manual, which is available from the website and can easily be printed. Each state varies in the specific rules and requirements that guide the process, so stay informed of your state rules and regulations.
  • Record the vehicle type that your employee will be driving. Most pumper/septic trucks fall into the CDL category and should be indicated as such.
  • Study for your CDL class that specifies the endorsements for the truck your employee will be driving. There are risks associated with each individual vehicle, and your driver will need to pass the specified risk assessments.
  • Before obtaining a CDL, your driver will receive a CLP (Commercial Learner’s Permit) and drive with a CDL license holder to practice the skills necessary on the road to obtain a license.
  • Obtain a license through a skills and written test!

It should be noted that tanker endorsement will also depend on tank size; an add-on to a CDL license is obtained if the tank is over 100 gallons and should be investigated in a new hire if this is applicable to your septic truck or vehicle. The tanker endorsement is a different test requiring knowledge that affects the movement of the truck on the road given the variable size and weight of the truck. For your business purposes, it is also important to note that a driver who has experience with a CDL and has operated a septic truck will normally require a higher salary than a driver of a flatbed truck because of the license and work experience maneuvering a heavy truck. It is important for you to factor their larger salary requirements into your budget.

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