Times are changing, and a lot of people find themselves dissatisfied with their current jobs. Maybe the pay isn’t enough, or maybe they’re just tired of working in a cubicle all day. Whatever the reason, people are looking for new options – and that means it might be the perfect time to attend CDL classes in Ontario!
Demand for drivers with a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) is at an all-time high, and that means it’s very much a seller’s market. If you have a CDL, it’s a free pass to numerous new job opportunities – and many that pay very well!
For many people, the perfect option is getting a DZ License. In this article, we’ll talk about what the DZ license does, what opportunities it can bring, and the process for obtaining one.
I. What Is A DZ License?
There are two components to the DZ license – basically, the D and the Z. A D-class license grants you the right to drive heavy equipment, over 11,000 kilograms (24,000 lb) gross weight, while also possibly towing cargo up to 4,600 kilograms (10,000 lb).
The Z indicates you’ve passed a certification course to drive vehicles that use air brakes. This is technically not necessary to obtain a D-class license. However, because air brakes are nearly always used in heavy machinery, you pretty much need to get the Z certification if you want to find work. Fortunately, that part is easy, which we’ll talk about below.
II. What Can You Do With A DZ License?
DZ licenses are commonly held by people who drive municipal working vehicles or construction equipment. A DZ license is not for trucking, because it doesn’t cover the heavy loads that trucks pull. Truckers have AZ licenses instead.
However, for many people, this is a good thing. Trucking requires being away from home for a very long time. A DZ license allows you to find jobs near to home, or in your very own city. This allows you to enjoy the benefits of commercial driving while still being there for your family.
Some examples of the sort of driving work you could find include:
- Fire trucks
- Ambulances and other rescue vehicles
- Dump trucks
- Snowplows or salters
- Cement trucks
- Straight trucks
A DZ license is also needed to operate many types of heavy construction equipment. However, you would typically also need special certification in whatever type of machine you wanted to operate. Most schools that offer CDL classes also include options for training on construction equipment.
III. What Are The Requirements To Get A DZ License In Ontario?
Regulations vary slightly between provinces, but here in Ontario, the basic requirements are:
- You need to be at least 18 years old.
- You must hold a G-class driver’s license. (Ie, a regular four-wheeled vehicle license.)
- Passing a vision test. Corrective lenses are fine.
- Submit a medical report. Some medical conditions can potentially disqualify a driver if they’d be a danger on the road.
- Pass both written and practical on-road tests demonstrating your ability to operate large vehicles.
- Pass a separate air brake test for the Z certification.
There are no formal primary or secondary education requirements to get a DZ license. However, employers do typically expect a minimum of a grade 10 or equivalent like a GED. Also, if you’re thinking of entering the field for the sake of moving into management later, some relevant college business classes would help with that. But it’s not a requirement, however it is a requirement of training.
On the topic of getting employed, you can also expect to have a background check, a driving record check, and a drug test. For obvious reasons, too many criminal or driving infractions would be a significant barrier to finding work as a driver.
IV. What’s The Best Way To Get A DZ License?
By far, your best option is to attend a respectable school that offers CDL classes in Ontario and has its own training yard.
There are requirements on how many hours of training you need to get a DZ license. However, they aren’t too much of a burden and can be completed relatively quickly. A typical DZ license class would look like:
- In-class work: 72 hours
- In-vehicle practice: 22 hours
- In-yard practice: 6 hours
- Z-certification air brake training: 8 hours
Of course, there are a lot of CDL classes out there. Which should you choose?
The best options are not in the middle of the city. To be an effective driver, you need plenty of experience in actual working conditions. Cheap CDL classes in the city often focus almost exclusively on classroom work and leave it to the students to find a way to get practical training.
A great CDL school will be located outside the city so that they have room for their own training course. This will give you the direct hands-on experience you need to easily ace your tests and put you in a good position to get hired as soon as you’ve got your license.
On the topic, a good CDL school is also recognized by employers and have partners in the commercial driving industry. They typically offer job boards or other resources to help you find work. They may even bring employers to observe classes and recruit directly from new graduates.
If you put in the time and are serious about your studies, you could have your DZ license in just a few months – that makes it one of the fastest and easiest ways to transition into a brand-new career!
The 5th Wheel Training Institute Is One of Ontario’s Premiere CDL Schools
Since the 1985, we’ve been focused on providing the best possible education for new truck drivers, municipal drivers, and heavy machine operators. We recruit faculty directly from the industry, with a focus on giving our students practical real-world training in realistic scenarios.
We’re well known and respected across the industry, and we’re one of the top choices for recruiters looking for new hires.
If you’re ready for a new job that’s exciting, varied, and lucrative, click here to learn more about us.