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CDL Endorsements & What They Mean

March 29, 2022

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A new truck driving career starts with learning the types of CDL endorsements.

Types of CDL Endorsements & What They Mean

Trucking can be an extremely rewarding career, but figuring out what types of CDL endorsements you should get can leave a newly graduated trucker confused. With numerous types of CDL endorsements and restrictions, it can feel a little bit like alphabet soup.

Coastal Truck Driving School aims to make the transition from student to professional as simple as possible. By offering Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) compliant courses, experienced advice, and job placement assistance to graduates, you’ll be confident in your new career when you’ve finished your trucking course at Coastal. Call our offices at 800-486-3639 today to find out what your options are.

[Related: The Types of CDLs]

Types of CDL Endorsements

Though some states have more, there are generally six types of CDL endorsements that permit you to transport certain types of cargo. These endorsements require special training and tests to be added to your commercial driver’s license.

Hazmat Endorsement (H)

The H, or hazmat, CDL endorsement permits drivers to transport freight classified as hazardous materials. Hazmat cargo isn’t limited to just explosives and radioactive material. Even items like household cleaners can be classified as hazardous materials. This endorsement can be added to A, B, and C class CDLs.

Passenger Endorsement (P)

Passenger, or P, endorsements allow drivers to operate vehicles with 16 or more seats. This endorsement is required for those who wish to drive buses or large passenger vehicles. It should be noted that most Class A vehicles do not qualify as passenger vehicles, so if you wish to drive tractor-trailer trucks, this may not be a useful endorsement for you. This type of CDL endorsement can be added to A, B, and C licenses.

Tanker Endorsement (N)

The tanker (N) endorsement is used for drivers transporting liquid or gas cargo. This endorsement training & exam teaches drivers about weight distribution and how it shifts during transportation. Since carrying non-solid cargo cause the weight balance in the tanker to shift, altering how the truck handles, additional training on driving trucks with this type of cargo is needed. The tanker CDL endorsement can be added to A and B licenses.

School Bus Endorsement (S)

School bus operators must obtain both the P endorsement as well as the S endorsement. This endorsement can be added to A, B, and C CDLs.

Double/Triple Trailer Endorsement (T)

This type of CDL endorsement permits you to drive double and triple trailer freight. These extended trailers have higher risks of rolling over and pose distinct challenges due to the amount of weight and length of the trailers. The T CDL endorsement can be added to class A and B licenses.

Combination Hazmat & Tanker Endorsement (X)

Many hazardous materials are transported in liquid or gaseous form, meaning they must be hauled in tankers. This type of CDL endorsement combines the hazmat and tanker endorsements, allowing truckers to transport more types of hazardous materials. The X endorsement can be added to class A and B CDLs.

[Related: Financial Assistance for Trucking School]

What CDL Endorsements Should I Get

The CDL endorsements you should get will vary depending on the career path you choose to take. At Coastal, we highly encourage graduates to at least become endorsed for Hazmat cargo. Many types of freight are considered hazardous material, so this type of CDL endorsement is a great one to have.

Other endorsements you should consider are the T endorsement for double or triple trailer trucks, the N endorsement for tankers, and the X endorsement for the hazmat and tanker combination. This removes limitations and opens up route and job possibilities for drivers.

Get The Best CDL Endorsement Training from Coastal

When you’re carrying hazardous materials, transporting passengers, or driving a triple trailer, you want to be confident in your abilities and know you can handle any situation that may arise. Coastal Truck Driving School offers unparalleled ELDT compliant training for aspiring and experienced truck drivers with new driver training and refresher courses.

When you’ve graduated from our CDL training and endorsement programs, you’ll have the confidence you need to hit the road. Contact our representatives today to find out how Coastal can help you start your new career with our CDL courses and CDL endorsement training.