Say you’ve already obtained your commercial driver’s license (CDL).
And a Class A CDL at that.
Can you now drive any type of commercial vehicle — even a double/triple trailer?
You need to get a special endorsement for that…
This is to prove that you have the right knowledge to operate such a big vehicle.
Now, in this article, we’ll dive deep into this endorsement.
We’ll answer the questions:
- What is a T – double/triple trailer endorsement?
- When is the T endorsement required?
- How to get the T endorsement?
- And much more!
So let’s dive right into it!
What is a Double/Triple Trailer Endorsement?
With a Class A CDL, you can pull one trailer at a time.
But what if you need to haul multiple trailers at once?
This is when the double/triple trailer endorsement (also called the T endorsement for short) comes in.
This is a certification that you can add to your Class A CDL. It gives the driver the right to tow double or triple trailers in one go.
It’s as simple as that.
When is the Double/Triple Trailer Endorsement Required?
The double/triple trailer endorsement is usually for commercial vehicles known as Longer Combination Vehicles (LCV).
You can guess why it has this name.
The most common LCV is a combination of two sub-53-foot trailers joined together.
Other LCVs that require the T endorsement are:
- 53-foot trailer joined with a 28.5-foot trailer.
- Two 43-foot trailers.
- Three 28.5-foot trailers.
- Two 33-foot trailers with eight axles.
But here’s something you should know.
Each state has its own laws and regulations for double/triple trailers. ALWAYS check the weight and length limits in your area.
Let’s give you an example.
Do you ever wonder why you rarely see trucks hauling 3 trailers?
This is because it is illegal in most states, barring a few exceptions, of course.
In other states, these LCVs are only allowed on certain roads, like highways or turnpikes.
So again, always make sure you look into this before anything.
How to Get the Double/Triple Trailer Endorsement
Now that you know about the T endorsement, let’s look into how you can add it to your Class A CDL.
Requirements to Get the T Endorsement
To add the T endorsement, you’ll need to satisfy these requirements:
- Have a valid Class A CDL
- Have proof of state residency
- Be a US citizen or permanent resident
- Pass a vision test
- Pass a knowledge exam
How to Apply for the T Endorsement
You can’t apply for the T endorsement unless you already have a Class A CDL.
So first things first, go ahead and obtain your Class A CDL.
You can click here to find detailed articles about how to get a CDL in each state.
If you already have one, then you simply need to:
- Go to a local DMV office.
- Apply for a T endorsement.
- Provide proof of identity, birth date, state residency, US citizenship or legal presence, Social Security Number, and any other document required from the state’s DMV.
- Present your valid Class A CDL.
- Pass a vision test.
- Pay the T endorsement knowledge test fee (this will depend on the state, but it usually costs around $2 to $5).
- Take and pass the T endorsement knowledge test.
- Pay the T endorsement fee (again, this will depend on the state you apply from).
- Have the T endorsement added to your Class A CDL.
And that’s it.
FAQs About the Double/Triple Trailer Endorsement Test
What Double/Triple Trailer Endorsement Tests Do I Need to Take?
To get your double/triple trailer endorsement, you’ll only need to pass 2 tests:
- Vision test
- T endorsement knowledge test
There is no skills or road test required.
How Many Questions Are on the Double/Triple Trailer Endorsement Test?
The double/triple trailer endorsement test will vary from state to state, with each state having its own guidelines.
However, typically, you can expect 20 to 25 multiple-choice and true/false questions that’ll quiz you on the following topics:
- How to operate a vehicle with double or triple trailers
- Coupling and uncoupling your trailers
- Inspecting your double and triple trailers
- Checking your air brakes
To name a few.
What is the Minimum Score to Pass the Double/Triple Trailer Endorsement Test?
The minimum score to pass the double/triple trailer endorsement test is 80%.
So if there are 20 questions, you’ll have to answer at least 16 correctly to pass.
To prepare for this, a lot of state DMVs upload online materials to help you study for the test. They may even have a FREE practice test that can help you get a feel for the actual thing.
How Much Does the Double/Triple Trailer Endorsement Test Cost?
Typically, the test itself can cost anywhere between $2 to $5.
But again, this will depend on where you live — some states may offer it for lower or higher.
Also, this cost doesn’t include the endorsement fee yet. It’s just for the test.
If you combine all the expenses, you might have to pay around $20 to $100.
FAQs About the Double/Triple Trailer Endorsement
What Happens if I’m Caught Without a Double/Triple Trailer Endorsement?
If you are caught hauling multiple trailers without a T endorsement, this will lead to a serious offense with steep consequences.
In addition to high fines, you may face license suspension and maybe even jail time, especially if you caused harm or damage.
However, it is extremely difficult to find employment hauling multiple trailers without the required T endorsement. So you won’t normally find truckers hauling these huge trailers without the proper certification.
Do I Need a Background Check to Get the Double/Triple Trailer Endorsement?
No, background checks are not required to get the double/triple trailer endorsement.
The only requirement is to have a Class A CDL, pass a vision test, pass the T endorsement knowledge test, and pay the certification fee.
How Long Does the Double/Triple Trailer Endorsement Last?
The T endorsement validity will depend on the state you’ve received the certification.
For most states, it’ll be valid for 3 to 5 years.
After that, you’ll need to renew the endorsement by retaking the T endorsement knowledge test and paying a fee.
Do Double/Triple Trailer Drivers Earn More than the Average Trucker?
Yes. Truckers certified with the T endorsement often enjoy better pay. This is due to the technical and difficult nature of the job.
That said, the T endorsement has limited opportunities — with most hauling agricultural or food products. This is a more seasonal job than driving other trucks.
But still, the pay is better.
What is a T – double/triple trailer endorsement?
It is a certification that you can add to your Class A CDL.
This will allow you to haul 2 or 3 trailers in one go.
And as we saw, the process to apply for one is very simple — you only need to take a vision test, pass the T endorsement knowledge test, and pay the fees.
Of course, you’ll also need a Class A CDL.
And don’t forget, each state has its own double/triple trailer regulations — so check that out, too.
So now that you know all this, you can start working on your double/triple trailer endorsement.
From there, you can start hauling these huge trailers.