Vac_Truck_For_SaleBefore a driver can get behind the wheel of a vacuum truck, one of the most important requirements is they must have a Commercial Driver’s License or CDL. A CDL is generally required for all drivers that operate any vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating over 26,000 lbs., which includes those that a company may consider purchasing when they see a vac trucks for sale opportunity.

The CDL is one way that the Road Safety Department can ensure that every driver sitting behind the wheel of a commercial vehicle, including a vacuum truck, is well-trained and equipped to drive the equipment safely on public roads.


Before a driver can complete an evaluation, they must first comply with the basic CDL requirements. These requirements vary from one state to another, so applicants must check with the respective CDL licensing agency of their state to determine those needs. Following are some of the most common CDL requirements implemented in most states:

  • Age Requirement – CDL applicants must be at least 21 years old. Applicants from 18 to 21 years of age may also apply for a CDL; however, they may only qualify for a restricted CDL which is limited to interstate operation only. Applicants must also meet federal medical standards and present a valid federal medical card during the application process.
  • Medical Standard – In order to prevent an accident from an emergent medical crisis and to ensure the physical capacity to operate commercial trucks, applicants for a CDL must meet all federal physical qualifications. The applicant must have no impairment which could interfere with their ability to perform tasks that are associated with controlling a commercial motor vehicle. The person must be examined by a professional medical examiner, and a certificate will be provided as proof they have passed the requirements of that examination.
  • Identification Requirement – Applicants must supply their Social Security Card along with their CDL application. The Social Security number will be used to identify the drivers’ records between states.

Securing Instructional Permits

Applicants must also secure an instructional permit, or CDLI, in order to practice driving an actual commercial vehicle. The CDLI is important because it permits the applicant to legally practice in preparation for the skills test, which is the second phase of the evaluation. The CDLI is only valid for six months, and lists the type of commercial vehicle that the trainee is being trained to drive.

Even with the CDLI, the applicant can only operate a commercial vehicle when accompanied by a person who is a qualified driving instructor or by someone who is already licensed to operate that particular commercial vehicle and is at least 21 years old. The applicant may practice driving while carrying a load; however, the vehicle should not be used for transporting passengers.

Types of Test

A CDL evaluation is composed of two different types of test – the written knowledge test and the skill test to accurately assess the driving ability of the applicant.

  • Knowledge Test – The knowledge test is composed of several sub-sections, which also vary depending on what type of commercial vehicle the license is being sought. When a company is looking for vac trucks for sale, the type of driver they will want to hire to drive that vehicle will usually need to take the General Test, Air Brakes Test, Hazardous Materials Test, and Tanker Test. The knowledge test is designed to determine the understanding of the driver about various safety rules and guidelines that apply to the type of commercial vehicle for which they need a CDL.
  • Skill Test – The skill test is the second phase of the exam; it determines the ability of the driver to apply their knowledge and skills behind the wheel and is divided into three sections.
  • Pre-Trip Inspection – The driver will be tested to see whether they know how to determine if the vehicle is safe to drive. The inspector will observe how the driver performs a pre-trip inspection, and may ask the driver why they are inspecting the vehicle.
  • Basic Vehicle Control – The driver will be assessed on their ability to control the vehicle. This includes: driving forward, backward and turning within a marked area, as well as control of the parts that are unique to the vehicle.
  • Road Driving Test – During the road driving test, the driver will be given an opportunity to show their actual driving skills under various traffic conditions. The examiner will observe how the driver follows road regulations and guidelines. The examiner will prepare the test route that the driver will follow.

The steps above are necessary to acquire a CDL . The CDL ensures that every driver that gets behind the wheel of any commercial vehicle including any vac trucks for sale has the skills required to operate that vehicle and does not pose a risk to surrounding traffic. So be sure to get that CDL license before getting on the road!