When it comes to truck driving as a career, there are many types of endorsements and qualifications that will come into play. One such endorsement that is important to understand if you want to make a career out of truck driving is the Tanker Endorsement for CDL.
What is a Tanker Endorsement for CDL?
Put simply, the Tanker Endorsement is a supplementary CDL certification that will allow truckers to transport liquids of any kind or gas. This certification is then displayed on the CDL indicating that the trucker has gone through advanced safety and equipment training pertaining to the safe hauling of liquids. This is a necessary endorsement because, without this specialized training, a trucker could not be expected to know how to properly handle liquids and gas when it comes to transporting them via truck on the roadway. It is also legally required for any trucker that hauls at least 1,000 gallons of gas or liquid cargo. Therefore, not only is it a good idea, it’s necessary for those who want to be open to hauling liquid or gas.
There are two main types of tanker endorsements:
- N Endorsement: This is legally required for all truckers who haul liquids or gas within tank vehicles of over 1,000 gallons.
- X Endorsement: This endorsement varies slightly in that it combines the traditional tanker endorsement, mentioned above, and adds the hazmat endorsement, so truck drivers can also legally haul loads like gasoline.
Tanker Endorsement Requirements and Fees
The following are the standard requirements truckers must complete to get an N endorsement on their CDL:
- Must be at least 18 years old.
- Must possess and hold a valid residential status or passport.
- Must first apply for and obtain a CDL before applying for a tanker endorsement.
- Must be able to pass an eye test and submit to having a new photo made at the DMV.
- Must be willing to pay training fees and application fees for the endorsement.
- Must pass and clear each of the tankers and hazardous materials tests separately before achieving the endorsement.
- Must have a Class A or Commercial Class B type license to add a tanker endorsement.
The fees for getting a tanker endorsement are thankfully minimal. After getting a CDL, most truckers can add a tanker endorsement for between $10 to $50 depending on their state of employment and/or residence. This tanker endorsement will not expire as long as the trucker keeps their CDL up-to-date.
Why Get a Tanker Endorsement?
There are many reasons for a truck driver to pursue a tanker endorsement on their CDL. However, the main reason is that it gives truckers greater opportunities to work within the industry in a more specialized field. This can open doors for them that other drivers simply won’t qualify for if they don’t have this endorsement.
It also often goes along with an increase in pay as drivers who have this endorsement have been trained more extensively and have met additional requirements.
Is a Tanker Endorsement the Same as a Hazmat Endorsement?
No, it’s not exactly the same thing, but it can include a hazmat endorsement if a driver opts for the X endorsement option, which includes both training aspects. Many truckers opt to earn these endorsements at the same time.
How to get a Tanker Endorsement on a CDL
After obtaining a CDL, truckers can try to garner the tanker endorsement by applying for it. This is followed by them taking and passing the test, which contains between 20 and 30 questions. Truckers must achieve at least an 80% correct answer to pass and earn their endorsement. Truckers can take the test more than once, actually as much as necessary, to achieve a passing score and endorsement.