View Full Version : CDL and GVWR Info.

02-18-2001, 11:38 PM
Folks, I hope this post will shed some light on a series of questions developing as a result of a couple of my posts regarding GVWR and licensing requirements while traveling through various states. I'll quote from the Commercial Driver's License Manual (Massachusetts Document Number: 10026 50M G001718 10/97) Verson 2. 0
(There may be a later version but given the way the Feds work, this information may still be in effect. ) The Preface: Mass. CDL Information states;
"On October 26, Congress passed the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986. This law required each State to meet the same minimum standards for commercial driver licensing. The standards required commercial motor vehicle drivers to get a Commercial Driver's License (CDL). You must have a CDL to operate any of the following Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMV's):
A. A single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 26,000 pounds.
B. A trailer with a GVWR of more than 10,000 pounds if the gross comgination weight rating is more than 26,000 pounds.
C. A vehicle designed to transport 16 or more persons (including the operator).
D. Any size vehicle which requires hazardous materials placards. "
The CDL is a Nation wide license requirement. I would tend to think that what's written above would be the norm across the country.
If any of you know of any different Weight or
licensure requirements feel free to make any corrections.
Mass. License classifications are as follows:
Class A - Any combination of vehicles with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds provided the GVWR of the vehicle(s) being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
Class B - Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing a vehicle not in excess of 10,000 pounds GVWR.
Class C - Any single vehicle that is less than 26,001 pounds GVWR, or any such vehicle towing a vehicle not in excess of 10,000 GVWR, that is placarded for hazardous materials or designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the operator.
The above obviously deals with the COMMERCIAL DRIVER. The question should really be, "given the GCVWRs of many or our rigs, how do States classify them? Especially if we're NOT DRIVING FOR HIRE!!
I hope this info is enlightening.

White 2001, 3500, Auto,3:54,QC,2WD,LB,34' DBL slide Cardinal 5er

[This message has been edited by Tagalong (edited 02-19-2001). ]

Alan Reagan
02-19-2001, 05:49 AM
This confuses it a little more. Note the with the class C license, you are restricted to a towing vehicle under 10,000 and a vehickle weight less than 26001.


Georgia driver's license are classified according to the type and weight of vehicles which may be operated by the person to whom they are issued.

Class A

Truck tractor-semitrailer combination in which the combination weight exceeds 26,001 pounds and trailing unit exceeds 10,000 poundsand vehicles in Class B and C. Applicants must possess a Class C license before obtaining a Class A and be at least 18 years of age.

A single driver's license, with a combination of classifications, will be issued to qualified persons who wish to drive various types of vehicles.

Applicants for a drivers license in Classes A or B (non-commercial) must submit a DPS form #36 (Affidavit showing minimum driving experience of 3 months and/or 3,000 miles in type of vehicle for class of license being applied for. )

Class B

Single vehicles weighing 26,001 or more pounds; may tow a trailing unit of less than 10,000 pounds; and motor vehicles included within Class C. Applicants must possess a Class C license prior to obtaining a Class B license and be at least 18 years of age.

Class C

Motor vehicles less than 26,001 pounds and all vehicles not included within Classes A, B and M. This includes passenger cars, trucks and vehicles pulling a trailing unit that weighs less than 10,000 pounds. All recreational vehicles may be operated with a class C license. Applicant must be at least 18 years of age.

Larry Willard
02-19-2001, 06:47 PM
I think the key word in that is commercial, but you raise a good point about the trailer over 10000 lbs though. I checked here in MD and was told that if private trailer not used in commerce didn't need a CDL, but many of us have 5ers over 10000. I will be doing some checking on that though. I am not worried about myself since I do have the CDL but want to satisify my curiosity.

Ram Rod
'01 3500 white quad cab sport 4x4 ETH DEE SLT+ 4:10s posi Pac brake combo gauge tow/camper pkg. 20k reese 5th hitch
35' holiday rambler 5th wheel

Larry Willard
02-19-2001, 06:51 PM
Forgot to add, MD does issue non CDL liscenses of the same class as CDL.

02-19-2001, 07:01 PM
I have posted several responses and questions recently trying to get an accurate answer as to what is being said. I don't think the entire picture is being looked at because nobody has yet quoted the drivers license regulations pertaining to NON-COMMERCIAL drivers license. I was told by the Texas Highway Patrol that with a Texas Class C NON-Commercial Drivers license (referred to on the license as DL, as opposed to CDL for a commercial license) I can tow any combination of weight so long as the sum total is less than 26,001 pounds. I specifically used the example of a 13k trailer with equipment on it, not an RV, with my RAM. He said that if I exceeded 26,000 then I could not legally tow anywhere without first obtaining a commercial drivers license.

I believe that these regulations every one keeps quoting relate only to commercial operations which require commercial drivers license. One technicality I question that I have not been able to get an answer to is the CDL statement that the 10k requirement does not apply to RV trailers, but does to equipment trailers. The implication is that I would have to have a CDL to tow the equipment trailer even if towing for personal purposes, not for business.

However, if you read the requirements to get a CDL, the 2500 Ram with a dual axle gooseneck would not qualify to even take the CDL driving tests for several reasons. One is that they require air brakes on the equipment . Some items listed can be waived, but this is not one of them. Evey one was closed today so I could not get any more answers on this from Texas DPS. I will try again tomorrow.

If anyone has specific knowledge about these issues I have raised please respond. I need to purchase the trailer and equipment in the next few weeks and this obviously could affect what I do.

02-20-2001, 06:38 PM
our trucks do not haul for hire, we haul to take our equip from one job to another. we all drive one ton's because of the weight that we haul. we all [except for our larger trucks] gross combination under 26000. we all are interstate drivers. we are basically driver, salesmen. forget rvs, forget hotshot haulers, where do we fall in this equation?


02-20-2001, 08:14 PM
Beware, this is long!

I'm not a commercial driver, and profess no profound knowledge of the law, but I think that the key is B.

"B. A trailer with a GVWR of more than 10,000 pounds if the gross combination weight rating is more than 26,000 pounds. "

The GCWR is the maximum weight rated for a given drivetrain/truck. All Dodge trucks have a GCWR less than 22,000 pounds and thus can tow trailers up to 15,150 lbs. (1 ton HO) without needing a CDL unless you are pursuing commerce (getting paid to pull).

To be sure that a class A license is required (I'm 90% sure it's not. ) you would have to look at the legal definition of "vehicle".

Since trailer and vehicle are mentioned seperately in all parts of the statute as posted. I am assuming (I hate that word) that a trailer is not a vehicle, but is a trailer so a Class A license would not apply in this case. (Trailers and vehicles being seperate legal entities under the law per my assumption. )

A class A license would probably apply for large tow trucks because the GVWR of the tow truck and the truck that is being pulled would exceed 26,000 pounds.

Notice that a light duty tow truck towing a light duty truck or any passenger vehicle would not have a combined (both vehicles) GVWR over about 22,000 lbs assuming that both the tow truck and the towed vehicle were 1 ton trucks.

So the question is:
What is the legal definition of the word "vehicle"?

2001 HO Forest Green Quad Cab
On Order!

[This message has been edited by Windrider (edited 02-20-2001). ]

Alan Reagan
02-21-2001, 08:14 AM
Finally reached someone from the Ga Dept of Public Safety and here's what they said. In Georgia, the recreational user can drive/pull anything they want without a CDL as long as it doesn't exceed the 26001 pound limit. But. . . here's the catch, if you exceed the gross combined weight on the towing vehicle's ID tag, then they can get you for that even if you are recreational. Probably the only time they would be interested in that is in case of an accident. In other words, they aren't going to weigh you, force you to keep a log book, or anything else. Clear now?

02-21-2001, 06:43 PM
thats all pretty much true as far as rvs go, most states really arent concerned with private use vehicles, and you shouldnt be concerned with any of the cdl laws because of the way you use your truck and trailor. what ive been trying to find out is that, if you work for a company that uses one tons to transport equipment across state lines, in the performance of your job, and lets make this clear, you are not a for hire driver, nor a common carrier, but a contractor that has to use the 3500's to safely handle the weight of your load, where do you stand in the eyes of federal laws. they supercede all state laws, as far as transportation across state lines. no state laws can exempt or overide federal regs as far as the usdot is concerned. if you only traveled in your home state, thats the only regs that you would be concerned with, but when you go across state lines, the federal laws come into effect. thats the biggest difference. forget what your state dot tells you, if you are interstate, look at the fed dot regs, there you will get the true picture of what the laws mean.


Alan Reagan
02-22-2001, 05:21 AM
Packman, I think that your question falls into the category of Private Carrier, Not for Hire. That is regulated by DOT. Second, I received a written response from Georgia DOT on the classes. I'll include the text of the entire email so you can see the question. The response is first.

From: Vicki Sheddan [Department of Public Safety, State of Georgia]

Class C allows only up to 10, 000 lbs.

-----Original Message-----
From: Alan Reagan
Sent: Wednesday, February 21, 2001 8:57 AM
Subject: Comments and Questions

Comments from page: Georgia Department of Public Safety

The question. . . . . The Class C license definition states that any recreational vehicle can be operated with the Class C. Does this include pulling a travel trailer over 10,000 pounds? Classes A and B seem to be the only classes that allow the driver to pull over 10,000 pounds.

I'll see what they say about out of state license. Alan

[This message has been edited by Alan Reagan (edited 02-22-2001). ]

02-22-2001, 06:38 PM
thanks for the info alan. i can see what is happening here as far as the regs go. what we seem to have here are regulations that are full of loopholes and exceptions that nobody can clearly define. as all types of pickups get more powerful and heavier gvws [we have a couple of ford 550 psds that, although they are still "pickups" have a larger rear end, frame, and wheel size than our dodges] theres going to eventually be another class of tow ratings. but as of now we'll just have to live and learn.

02-22-2001, 08:47 PM
See my comment about NM lisc in the other form about CDL's. I only used the printed info on the back of my lisc, as this is what a officer in another state would see and have to go by.

So, who needs to use NM for their home base??? (barring Fed DOT rules "destroying" what I posted - keep in mind we are dealing with NON-Commerical use)


02-23-2001, 01:54 PM
It is actually fairly simple you can pull any weight trailer up until you hit 26,001 lbs gross for BOTH truck and trailer.

This bit from tagalong is wrong class A and B are reversed I don't know how or where it happened. But A is all vehicles B is over 26,001 truck/trailer with less than 10,000 lb trailer.

A. A single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 26,000 pounds.
B. A trailer with a GVWR of more than 10,000 pounds if the gross comgination weight rating is more than 26,000

As far as what regs apply to who. There are weight and there are paper work requirements.

Weight, safety, and license checks are at 26,001 lbs federally, local may be less regardless of for hire private or RV.

some paper work reg apply to anyone over 10,001 lbs gross truck/trailer if for a business. The paper work reg at this level are fairly easy nothing over 10 hrs driving 8hrs off. Not sure about drug tests and alcohol in vehicle.

At 26,001 lbs for business weight requirements come into effect, no alcohol in vehicle, drug and alcohol tests, a medical certificate (physical).

Hope this helps. Gov't says a business use is anything that is done to further commerce be it a delivery, a service performed out of truck, or transport of own product to do some thing that could generate income. Example used by them was a race team pulling flatbed 7. 5k trailer with a dually would hit paper regs but would not have license or weight checks. They said if the the race pays any purse it is a business even if you do not win or purse does not cover cost.

[This message has been edited by Eric_77 (edited 02-23-2001). ]

Powder Extreme
02-23-2001, 11:07 PM
I'll add my 2 cents worth. Last week I hauled some columns for a canopy at my own truck stop. I was pulled over in Iowa by the highway patrol. He read me the riot act!! Wrote me up for 10 violations. Not running a log book (which he then put me out of service for 8 hours). Not having a current annual inspection on my gooseneck. 2 of the 3 ICC lights in the center were burnt out. Having tinted windows on my pickup. Not having a current medical card (I do have a CDL). Not carrying a fire extinguisher and warning triangles. Trailer plates that were expired 1 day (I had the new plate with me, just not on) Not displaying current DOT numbers on my pickup. I can't remember what else. He also said he "could" put me out of service for the cracked windshield that just happened on their **** gravelled interstates. He informed me that because I weighed over 10,001 lbs (16,920) and was transporting items that were used in a business, I was a commercial vehicle and needed to abide by all laws. He even told me that if I was travelling with my camper and decided that nice new computer would work great at my truck stop, I would become a commercial vehicle while hauling the computer home. How **** ridiculous is that??!!
Then he allowed my girlfriend who has no CDL, (said you didn't need one till 26k) had no log book, and had no current medical card to drive my truck to the next truck stop where I would obtain log books. Her first dose of pulling a trailer was in I-80 rush hour traffic with a cop on her butt http://www.turbodieselregister.com/ubb//wink. gif did pretty well.

Hope this small novel helps shed some light. Basically it depends on the mood of the cop. But technically you do need to be DOT registered and run a log book etc. but you do not need a CDL till 26k

2001 Quad Cab Dually, ETH, SLT Plus, 275 injectors, Banks Power Pack.

02-24-2001, 05:20 AM
Remind me to stay out of Iowa. You are very right about the mood of the police officer making the differance in how the laws are enforced.

2001. 5 3500 Quad Cab 4X2
HO, 6 spd, 3. 55AS, Jacob's brake, patriot blue, 22K Reese 5th wheel,Reese digital brake controller, Isspro pyro & boost gauges, Snap-On tool box

Steve M
02-24-2001, 09:29 AM
What is required to obtain a CDL license? Our son is looking into driving for one of the medium duty delivery companies and would need a CDL license. Is it a written test only or does it also require a driving test? He has driven trucks in the military but hasn't been required to have a CDL.

98 2500 CC SB 4X2 12v 5spd 4. 10, -silencer, AFC+20, Edelbrock IAS, VDO gauges, Reese 15k Classic
97 Dodge Stratus 150HP
92 Harley Fatboy, Dynojet fuel management, Supertrapp 2-1
00 Jayco 25' 5th wheel, single slide

02-24-2001, 10:57 AM
I think your question is when do you need a CDL when using your own vehicle.

We all know if you are hauling for hire is one.
If you use your vehicle to haul your equiptment to a job,
is this also a requirement for a CDL.
My father-in-law did this for many years with his stucco company.
He had to have a commercial liecence for this.
Also my uncle has his own dozer he moves around from place
to place, says he will get a ticket if he gets caught without
his CDL.
I think the differance of a reg. liecence and a CDL is going
to be the type of driving you are doing and not the equiptment
you are driving. The type of equiptment you are driving will
be the differance in the type of CDL required.

So, if you drive your own vehicle, to haul your own equiptment
to a job, you are then performing a commercial act requiring
a commercial liecence.

When driving your own vehicle hauling your own equiptment, you are
required to stop at weight stations to weight and check papers,
commercial insurance, regestration, liecence and etc. But you are
not required to keep logs.
This is all from experiance from relatives.

Also, a vehicle is classified as any vehicle that travels on the
pavement either on its own or pulled.
In short, if a liecence plate is required,
it is a vehicle.

02-24-2001, 02:26 PM
ZZMAN, I think there might be a misunderstanding here. According to the trooper I talked to at Texas DPS, license & weight division, the only requirements to have a CDL in Texas when using a pickup is:
1. If total combined weight exceeds 26000 lbs.
2. If you are driving for hire

I currently tow a 25' triple axle enclosed car hauler loaded with tools and equipment to my job sites and do not need a CDL.

I have had to show my license one time while towing the trailer after I got rear-ended but there was no question raised at all about my class C non-cdl license.

If you worked for an employer, and was paid to use your truck to tow his trailer around, technically you might have to have a CDL. However, I doubt that you would ever be checked. I have towed many a trailer around Texas, sometimes empty, sometimes with a car on it to take it to one of our kids with a broken down car at school, as well as having painting and other construction equipment on them (and visable) and have never been asked for a CDL.

02-24-2001, 03:41 PM
I think you are correct with the issue of hauling your own things on a trailer for yourself. But when you haul your own things for the purpose of a business, are you not doing this as a part of a job? Is this not another form of hauling for hire?
I don't mean to sound like I know all the laws, but I guess the interputation of "for hire" may be the issue with me.
With the experiance from my father-in-law this would fall in this catagory to me.
I use to have my own backhoe business and hauled it around. But I already had a CDL and never even thought about that.
Rick you seem to be hauling in that same manner, I am really curious to know what the law states on this issue. The example my father-in-law gave me, when he went to New Orleans to do a job, they stopped at the weigh station and was asked for the mentioned documents. I remember when I had the backhoe business that I did have to get commercial insurance. This may be where I am getting so hard headed about this issue. I guess if I needed commercial insurance that I figured I needed a commercial liecence too.
Well good luck, I think I spent my . 02 long time ago.
Thanks, Ron

02-25-2001, 02:37 PM
Okay there are two issues one is license one is record keeping. The license is 26,001 the paperwork insurance and such is 10,001 lbs for interstate (Texas nad some other states set it higher for intra-state. Tx 26,001)

The major word is commerce is the travleing for a business purpose like the delivering of the computer that makes it business. The hauling of cars if you are taking it to your daughter not business and if under 26,001 then no CDL requirements either.

The CDL is based on weight only.

The ICC now Federal Motor Carrier Safety Commission rules regarding hours of operation, inspections, insurance, medical records etc are by weight and type of driving. To fall under this you must be both in commerce (for a business purpose) AND be over 10,001, These are just interstate rules intra state can and in most agricultural states does differ.

02-25-2001, 03:44 PM
Anyone pulling a gooseneck horse trailer have any comments on this forum? Would this fall under farm use? Trailer empty/loaded weights? Number of horses you haul? Licensed trailer weight? Experiances crossing state lines?
My current needs are just local use with a 2 horse bumper pull. A few years down the road, I will be needing a gooseneck and will be running interstate for shows.

R.E. Miller
02-25-2001, 03:56 PM
Don't fret folks, being a landscaper who has more then just a pick-up and a wheelbarrow I know that this topic is hot. IMO, soon you will have to carry a different class of CDL for trucks that are larger then 3/4 ton. Here in MD the roads suck, everyone has a new car that is capable to travel at twice any speed limit, eight cell phones ringing, and no real driving experiance. The new age person has never worked with their hands and may never, now thru our lovely government, the total responsiblity of every living thing will be placed in our hands. Think about it, eventhough none of us want to; no one on the road understands how trucks work, handle, stop, drive, nor do they care UNTIL YOU WRECK. Then the trucker is the bad guy no matter what his records state, it is his fault. Sorry I am not living in a shed in the woods, but the lack of other peoples common sense makes our work more difficult, and the government loves stupid people. I'm going to go spill coffee on my lap HE HE HE http://www.turbodieselregister.com/ubb//biggrin. gif.

1992 W-350 Club Cab Dually 3. 5" straight pipe(thanks jardine!)
W-350 8' contractors dump with 3. 5"BD exhaust, 16cm^2 housing, DI pyro&boost

02-25-2001, 06:31 PM
the "hauling for hire" rules are also complexing. weve all seen the vehicles on the road such as the mini freightliners, etc pulling rvs, souv trailors for racing, and most have not for hire stickers mounted somewhere on their rig. in my humble opinion, the hiring for haul means that you are in the business of hauling someone else load from point a to point b, and should cover your bases by having all the proper paperwork and neccessary licences. the kicker here is that the equip that we haul is ours, not someone elses, we pay for the ins, etc. we dont get paid by the mile, we dont charge our customer freight, we just get to the job, do our work, and go home. i dont get paid to tow, i get paid to "keep golf green" i might be wrong, but i just dont see how someone that hauls equip to perform a job can be considered a "carrier" after all, its just a matter of opinions.

R.E. Miller
02-25-2001, 10:05 PM
I think that the point that the gov is trying to make is if you in any way produce revenue with what you hook-up to your truck, that is commerce, you are their business http://www.turbodieselregister.com/ubb//eek. gif It sucks to have to deal with the anus pucker nit picker detail they want, but on the other hand, sorry cost of business is high in your district price increase http://www.turbodieselregister.com/ubb//frown. gif.

Alan Reagan
02-27-2001, 06:05 AM
Check out this Michigan site. This is the same thing the State of Georgia finally told me. Based on this site, the statement is based on federal law that towing a vehicle or trailer over 10,000 requires a CDL.
http://gopher. sos. state. mi. us/drlic/cdl_req. html

In 1986, the United States Congress passed the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act establishing a uniform licensing system for all commercial drivers in all 50 states. The goals of the federal law are to:

provide uniform commercial license nationwide,
prevent drivers from having multiple licenses,
improve driver testing, both written and road testing,
ensure driver fitness through minimum physical standards, and
impose strong penalties for poor performance and alcohol and/or drug abuse.
You will need a commercial driver license (CDL) if you:

a single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more,
tow a vehicle or trailer with a gross vehicle weight rating over 10,000 pounds,
drive a bus designed to carry 16 or more passengers (including the driver),
drive a vehicle transporting hazardous materials in amounts requiring the display of a placard.

I think states such as Texas can still do what they want, but when you cross state lines it becomes a federal issue.

02-27-2001, 07:00 PM
alan now you see what ive been trying to say, according to the mich regs all vehicles that pull trailors that gross over 10000 lbs would be considered commercial. that is not what the FEDERAL laws imply. beleive it or not the federal laws are very simple and to the point. go to the usdot commercial regs and then compare them to your state regs, they wont match up. try traveling in 10 different states and meeting every different level of requirement. ive said it before and ill say it again, up until jan 1 2001, all that would happen would be a written warning, accompanied by a copy to be sent back to the usdot, to give you 30 days for compliance. now you will be fined and impounded until whatever violation that you are written up for is corrected. the best way to handle the grey matter in this situation is to use yours, let them have their say, then prove them wrong in court. heres another idea for everyone that belongs to a motor club, [aaa, nmc, etc. ] if you are ticketed use that $200 allowance, get a lawyer, and fight it. we have and weve never paid a fine yet. the trouble is the motor clubs are like ins co's they will only put up with so many claims before they ***** . heres the kicker, i have ten trucks and trailors that are covered under our mc,and it was told very simply to me, that as far as they were concerned, we were not commercial, and would be covered under their group plan. it just gets stranger and stranger.

Alan Reagan
02-28-2001, 06:07 AM
I agree Packman. I emailed the USDOT yesterday morning about the weights and have received no response. I'm in the Coast Guard Reserve (part of the DOT) and you would think I could get an answer in writing from them. I'll keep trying. I vaguely remember on the DOT website I was looking at for information that it said something about the weight limits AND traveling interstate. That's why I made the comment above about states do what they want but once you cross into other states, you MAY fall under different rules depending on the weight and distribution of weight. I'm still working on getting a final answer from the DOT. I have a CDL but don't carry the physical exam card cause I'm not driving for hire. I wonder if I'm stopped would I be fined? Probably not, but I could be and then would have to spend the time and money to get it dropped.

Boldt's Wagon
02-28-2001, 10:19 AM
From the DOT at:
http://www. fmcsa. dot. gov/safetyprogs/cdl. htm

Drivers need CDLs if they are in interstate, intrastate, or foreign commerce and drive a vehicle that meets one of the following definitions of a CMV:

Classes of License:

The Federal standard requires States to issue a CDL to drivers according to the following license classifications:

Class A -- Any combination of vehicles with a GCWR of 26,001 or more pounds provided the GVWR of the vehicle(s) being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.

Class B -- Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing a vehicle not in excess of 10,000 pounds GVWR.

Class C -- Any single vehicle, or combination of vehicles, that does not meet the definition of Class A or Class B, but is either designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver, or is placarded for hazardous materials.

The difference between Class A and Class B appears to be the Class A CDL is licensed to tow trailers (GCWR) and Class B CDL is not licensed to tow trailers but can drive a truck to carry over 26,001 lbs (GVWR). The Class B allows towing a small trailer up to 10,000 lbs.

The GCWR or GVWR of your tow vehicle (on the vehicle license), determines if you need a CDL provided you are towing something for hire or used in commerce.

The case of using your RAM to tow your backhoe to the next job (e. g. backhoe for hire) could get you a ticket if weighed and the total is over 26,001 lbs. Your 3500 truck was licensed for GVWR, should have been licensed for GCWR, and you need a CDL.

The federal law implies that a RV with a combined weight over 26,001 lbs still does not require a CDL if towing for your own use. That is probably why you periodically see big rigs with "Not for hire" painted on the door. I would check regulations for GCWRs over 26001 more carefully. Someone delivering big fifth wheels (combined rig weight over 26,001 lbs) for pay with a RAM needs a Class A CDL.

[This message has been edited by Boldt's Wagon (edited 02-28-2001). ]

R.E. Miller
02-28-2001, 12:04 PM
Thanks for the good info, yikes. http://www.turbodieselregister.com/ubb//frown. gif

03-01-2001, 06:32 PM
we register our one tons at 25999 gross, we register our trailors at whatever the axle wghts dictate. the fifth wheel that i pull is a tandem axle 10 ton gross. when i scale loaded, im at 23500 lbs pretty consistantly. i have much more trailor than i need as far as axle weight goes, but i like the 8 wheels on the ground vs 4, the awesome brakes, and the better ride when running empty. the trick here is that i could overload the hitch capacity if i ran the trailor fully loaded. the problemn that i had with the reg 5th wheel trailors that we run with 6ooo ld axles is that by the time that you considered the weight of the trailor and our load, we were right at the weight limits of the axles and tires, especially tires. from what ive learned, and this has been preached to me enough to know, your truck registration needs to carry the gross of the truck, trailor, and load. so if the combination is less than 26001, i still dont see commercial regs applying to alot of us. what they look for is someone that is carrying a regular gross on the truck and trailor and thinking that the combination of the two, if under 26001 exempts them from weight regs. its like my boss was saying to me on our last trip, "i really dont think that they consider us commercial, but they do want to check that we have the proper wght regs for what we are hauling" its the dot men that cant understand that fine line that can make life miserable.

Alan Reagan
03-02-2001, 06:14 AM
My earlier post about Georgia agrees with you, Packman. If for some reason the DOT pulls you over or you are involved in an accident and the State Patrol investigates, on of the first things they will do is check the info plate on the truck to see if you may be exceeding the GCVW. Also, GA has the 10,000 lb rule for towed trailers/vehicles which indicates you are supposed to have a CDL if you exceed 10,000. I finally got a number for the Federal Highway Safety Program and will call them in Atlanta this morning and see if there is an answer to this question. I'll try to get them to email the answer so I can post it.

Alan Reagan
03-07-2001, 06:07 AM
Allright, Finally got an answer from the US DOT field office in Atlanta. According to them the DOT is only interested in commercial stuff. However if you are pulling equipment to a job and cross state lines you come under federal jurisdiction for weight limits and driver's license classifications. On the RV side there are no rules from the DOT because it is state. And to everyone's relief (I'm sure) all states have reciprocal agreements concerning license classes. In other words, if you get your license in Texas and can haul any weight you can pull, then if you come through Georgia, the license is honored. Still you may have a problem if involved in an accident and you exceed the GCVR. Hope this helps. By the way, this is part of the CFR part 383 and the following was the interpretation of the rules. . . .

Question 3: Does part 383 apply to drivers of recreational vehicles?
Guidance: No, if the vehicle is used strictly for non-business purposes.

There you go. Alan

03-10-2001, 01:40 AM
After reading the posts on this subject I e-mailed the Missouri Highway Patrol for their advice. A Commercial Vehicle officer said the same thing that if you are operating a vehicle in commerce you may need a CDL. One example he gave was a cabinet maker that has a truck, now the cabinet maker is not engaged in a for hire operation, but he needs to use a truck to get his cabinets from his shop to the place where the cabinets are to be installed. He says that CDL regulations may be applicable even for an RV if it is being operated in a business enterprise, such as hauling crafts to craft shows for the purpose of selling those crafts.

One point he made though would apply to everyone that is towing a trailer. He said that you need to make sure that the licensed weight of the truck is sufficient to cover the truck, trailer and everything carried on the truck and in the trailer. I see many trucks that are already illegal because they are overweight on their license. At least in MO they will ticket you for that. I run 18,000lb plates on my truck for that very reason.

03-10-2001, 12:05 PM
Whiteknight, I don't think I agree with him. If you read the DOT regulation above for CDL requirements, it says hauling for commercial purposes AND the vehicle (and trailor if applicable) must meet one of the 3 requirements listed. If the vehicle does not fall into one of those you don't need a CDL.

From other postings, I don't believe that states can have any other CDL requirements.

Also, not all states license pickups by weight. Texas does not. They, and the DOT, go by the GVW that is stamped on the tag on the door jam plus the licensed weight of the trailer. This info I got straight from the Texas DPS License and weight enforcement office.

98. 5 24V QC 4x4 SB 3:54 5sp

Alan Reagan
03-12-2001, 07:41 AM
Rick, You are correct on not needing the CDL if the use is private. That's from the USDOT. Again all states have reciprical agreements on licenses so there is not a problem there. Different states, however such as California and Maryland can required a different class of license for towing but the license is only for residents.

03-12-2001, 08:46 AM
Maybe I wasn't clear, the examples he gave was taking into account that the vehicle and/or traiiler met the weight requirements for a CDL. The fine line is the definition of personal use and used in commerce. Basicly he said you MAY need a CDL if you are operating a vehicle in one of the examples he gave and met the weight requirements. So if you are operating a vehicle that meets the weight requirements and you you using the vehicle for anything other than personal or recreational use you may need to look into getting a CDL.

Another problem exsists when you cross state lines. The feds leve it up to each state to enforce the law and each state may enterpet the law and the definition of used in commerce differently. I know that doesn't sound correct but that is just the way it is. I install and service fire alarm systems for a living and although there are model codes that are the exactly same used from one area to another, their interpetation and enforcment by code officals very gertly at times. Also enforcement of the CDL regs fall under different agencies or departments with-in the states. In some states the highway patrol has a division who's only responsability is vehicle code enforcement. This is who I talked to. He is a commercial vehicle enforcement officer of the MO highway patrol. A highway patrol officer may stop you for speeding ect. but it will be more likley that a vehicle code enforcement officer that will stop you to check to see if you are in compliance with the CDL requirments and also I have known them to check trailer hitch connections, trailer lights, trailer brakes including breakaway switch if required.

As far as the license weight requirement, there are states including MO, AR, and KY that I know for sure that do license pickups by weight and in those cases you have to be midful of the combined weight of your vehicle.

Bottom line since my 11,400lb camping trailer is used only for my fishing and hunting trips, I am fine and dandy with the law so all I just said I don't have to worry about.

03-12-2001, 06:48 PM
The original license in Tx might go by the door sticker but you can up it to whatever you want and it will cost you more money. My 3500 was originally licensed for 10,500 and I jumped it up to 14,000 lbs the 1st time and then up to 15,000 lbs the last time. Each time it cost more to register because of the weight. I didn't go any higher on the registration because it was getting close to the tire rating. This is just on the TRUCK, not truck and trailer. I have gone through the Tx and La scales several times grossing over 10,500 and have only been asked for my paperwork 1 time and they were satisfied with my 15,000 lb registration. I do have a CDL with hazmat endorsement, I'm leased to a trucking co. , and I have to log, so I can't address the RV situation.

1997 3500 club cab, 10' flatbed, 3:54, auto, 4 Firestone air bags, 307,000+ miles

03-13-2001, 01:38 PM
Originally posted by Alan Reagan:
Rick, You are correct on not needing the CDL if the use is private. That's from the USDOT. Again all states have reciprical agreements on licenses so there is not a problem there. Different states, however such as California and Maryland can required a different class of license for towing but the license is only for residents.

There is one Class of Georgia license you left out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

REVOKED!!!!!!! http://www.turbodieselregister.com/ubb//biggrin. gif