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How to get a doubles and triples endorsement for your CDL

A white Schneider truck hauling double pup trailers in front of a large hill.

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes 

Are you looking to increase your job opportunities and boost your earning potential? Adding endorsements to your Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) is a great way to do thisA doubles and triples endorsement, known as a “T” endorsement, is less known than many other CDL endorsements, but could put your skills in demand.

Let’s explore what a doubles and triples endorsement is and why you should get one. Then, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of how to get a doubles and triples endorsement.

What is a doubles and triples endorsement?  

A doubles and triples endorsement authorizes a CDL holder to pull multiple trailers at the same time. These unique trailer configurations are also referred to as longer combination vehicles (LCVs).  

With a “T” endorsement, drivers can pull up to three trailers at once. The number of trailers you pull will depend on what you are hauling and for which carrier.  

Each state has rules about trailer number, length and weight. Doubles and triples are even restricted in some states, so make sure to research what opportunities are available in your area before deciding to obtain your endorsement.  

A great resource to use is the Department of Transportation’s Freight Transportation Extent and Use.

What are the benefits of getting a doubles endorsement? 

Now that you are familiar with what a doubles and triples endorsement is, let’s dive into the benefits.  

  • Hauling efficiency – Companies love to hire drivers with a doubles and triples endorsement because you can transport more cargo in a single trip, saving the company time and money.
  • Earning potential As driving doubles and triples requires more skill and certification, you can expect to earn more than single haul drivers. This also depends on the cargo and area you serve.
  • Easy to obtain – Adding a “T” endorsement to your CDL is relatively easy. It only requires you to pass a short, written test.
  • Inexpensive –  The cost will vary by state, but the price to obtain the endorsement generally ranges between $0-$50. Plus, the “T” endorsement never expires, so you’ll never have to pay any renewal fees.

How to get a doubles and triples endorsement 

You are probably wondering, how hard is it to get a doubles and triples endorsement? The answer is, it’s relatively simple and can be accomplished in four easy steps.  

1. Start with your CDL

Before anything else, you must get a valid CDL. You cannot get an endorsement of any kind until you have gone through the steps, state and federal requirements for a CDL. 

2. Be sure to study

Just like with any test, preparation is key. You will need to study and memorize several topics before taking the exam, including: 

  • Coupling and uncoupling.
  • Skills for driving multiple trailers in adverse driving conditions like steep grades, longer passing times and diminished views.
  • Safety protocols for emergency situations.

All this information can be found in your state’s study guide. There are also many free resources and practice tests available online.  

Passing the doubles and triples CDL test for the endorsement is achievable with a little studying. 

3. Schedule and take the exam

The next step is to schedule an appointment with your state’s DMV to take the written test. The test is brief, averaging only 20 questions. You must pass the test with a score of 80% to get a “T” endorsement. At this time, you will also pay your state’s licensing fee. 

Examples of test questions: 

  • In a set of triples, where should the heaviest trailer be?
  • Why should you never disconnect the pintle hook with the dolly still under the rear trailer?
  • Why should you never disconnect the pintle hook with the dolly still under the rear trailer?
  • What is it called when the rear wheels follow a different path than the front wheels when a vehicle goes around a corner?

4. Practice your driving skills

Once you pass the written exam and officially have your “T” endorsement, it is important to practice coupling and uncoupling, as well as driving with multiple trailers.  

Training is instrumental to your success. Generally, the company you work for or plan to work for will have hands-on training. They want to make sure you are confident in your abilities to haul multiple trailers safely. 

For example, Schneider offers account-specific training for doubles and triples drivers. 

Ready to start your truck driving career?

Check out Driver Resource Center today to apply for the high-quality Class A CDL training you need to start your career as a professional driver.   
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Driver Resource Center (DRC) has been providing industry leading CDL training through its network schools since 1993. DRC is proud to be a partner school with Schneider to provide sponsored CDL training. DRC network schools offer 13 locations across the U.S.

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