Do You Need a CDL to Drive a Delivery Truck?

Many people associate a commercial driver’s license (CDL) with long-haul truck driving. This is definitely one of the most popular careers available to CDL holders, but it is by no means the only option. There are a wide variety of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) that you can operate with a CDL, including box/straight trucks, which are the kind typically used as delivery vehicles. If you are interested in a local trucking job, you may be wondering whether a CDL is necessary to become a delivery truck driver. This depends on a variety of different factors.

In General, Who Needs a CDL?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the operation of CMVs. Their rules determine when a CDL is necessary. Any vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 pounds or more requires a CDL. This is the general guideline to keep in mind when determining whether a delivery truck driving job requires a CDL. If the trucks in question fit this definition, the answer is yes.

Determining Which Delivery Truck Driving Jobs Require a CDL

It can be difficult to figure out whether a given delivery truck job requires a CDL based on the FMCSA criteria, especially if you aren’t familiar with the trucks being used. The easiest way to determine this is to look up the requirements for the specific company or position you are interested in. Their job listings should clearly state if a CDL is necessary.

In general, delivery trucks for consumer packages are less likely to require a CDL since these vehicles are smaller. However, this is not always the case, so you should double-check the requirements for the exact job opening. Frequently, companies that deliver larger items or larger quantities locally require a commercial license. The goods/materials being delivered can include furniture, medical supplies, food, and more.

What Is a Delivery Truck Driving Job Like?

The day-to-day schedule of a local delivery driver varies depending on the company and what is being delivered. In general, these types of jobs allow you to be home nightly and you will often travel the same or a similar route each day. This can be a great option for CDL graduates who are not interested in the lifestyle of over-the-road trucking.

Earn Your CDL

If the delivery truck driving job you are interested in requires a commercial license, Phoenix Truck Driving School can help you earn your CDL. Our students have access to a wide variety of opportunities and trucking is only one of the many possibilities. A local driving job may be a great fit for you and you can also consider regional trucking, highway maintenance, and more. Our job placement assistance team can discuss your goals with you and help you find companies that are hiring.

To learn more about how we can help you become a delivery truck driver, contact us today.

What is Regional Trucking?

There are many different jobs you can get with a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Over-the-road (OTR) driving is one of the most common careers for CDL school graduates, so you will likely hear about this option often. However, it is definitely not the only choice available. Regional trucking is another possibility. You may want to consider becoming a regional driver if you like the freedom of the open road and want to drive a semi-truck, but prefer to spend less time away from home compared to long-haul trucking.

Regional Trucking vs OTR


In many ways, regional driving is fairly similar to long-haul trucking, especially in terms of your day-to-day life on the job. Regional truck drivers, like those with OTR jobs, spend most of their day behind the wheel and transport freight in a semi-truck.


The length of the route is what differentiates regional from OTR trucking. Long-haul drivers transport freight from coast-to-coast and travel through many different states for a given route. They will spend several weeks on the road at a time, usually between three and four. On the other hand, regional routes cover a smaller portion of the country. This may be within 1,000 miles of a central location or on one coast. As a result, regional truckers can often be home every weekend or every other weekend. Home time policies vary depending on the specific company, but as a general rule, regional truckers are going to spend fewer days at a time on the road.

Is Regional Trucking Right for You?


The main reason drivers choose to work regionally is the increased home time. These truck driving jobs are a middle ground between OTR and local deliveries, both in terms of time on the road and pay. This can make regional driving a great fit for individuals who like some aspects of long-haul trucking but prefer to be home more frequently.

Another potential benefit of regional trucking is that you can become familiar with your specific route. This may make it easier to prepare for weather changes, traffic, and other factors that can be more complicated if you are traveling through several states as an OTR driver.

What to Consider

Although the pay for regional trucking is typically more than local jobs, it is also generally less than OTR driving. It’s important to keep in mind that truck driver salary is influenced by many different factors, so it is possible for some drivers to make as much working regionally as they would on coast-to-coast routes. However, the overall trend is that regional jobs are not as high-paying as long-haul trucking.

Another thing to keep in mind is that while some drivers prefer a familiar route, others find this to be repetitive. If you are drawn to trucking because you want to see more of the country, an OTR job would likely be a better fit.

Get Your License and Start Earning

At Phoenix Truck Driving School, we help our students earn their CDL and find rewarding careers. Our job placement assistance team will consider what type of driving you are interested in and look for companies hiring drivers like you.

To learn more about entering the regional trucking industry, contact us today.