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You Might Need a CDL if…. - Printable Version

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You Might Need a CDL if…. - Trailer Review - 01-11-2013 04:31 PM

Blog submitted by Jerry Gustafson, jerry@whitespruce.com
This article is copyright of White Spruce Trailers. All rights reserved.


"White Spruce Trailer Sales customers often ask us about state or federal DOT regulations regarding use of trailers. The information in this blog is our best understanding of these regulations after discussions with Alaska DOT personnel. Anyone buying a trailer needs to be aware that they may fall under some of these requirements even though they only own a small single axle trailer.

You may need a CDL if…

A commercial drivers license (CDL) is required if the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) as noted by the manufacturer’s sticker on the vehicle exceeds 26,000 pounds. This 26,000 pound weight requirement applies to either a single vehicle or a tow vehicle in combination with a trailer.

• If the tow vehicle alone is rated at over 26,000 pounds it requires the driver to have a CDL. If it is a straight truck (no trailer) this can either be a Class A or Class B CDL.
• If a truck as a tow vehicle has a GVWR of less than 26,000 pounds but is coupled with a trailer with a GVWR such that the combination of truck and trailer totals over 26,000 pounds, the driver must have a CDL.
• If the trailer GVWR exceeds 10,000 pounds and the combination is over 26,000 pounds, the driver must have a Class A CDL.
• If the trailer GVWR is less than 10,000 pounds and the combination is over 26,000 pounds, the driver can have a Class B CDL.
• The requirements for the CDL say nothing about commercial use vs. personal use of the equipment; so all operators of highway vehicles falling within these parameters need the CDL.
• The only exception is for large recreational RV’s where no CDL is required.

Some newer one-ton pickups such as a Ford F350 can have a GVWR of 14,000 pounds, which when coupled with a trailer with tandem (2) 7,000 pound axles would put the combination in the CDL requirement category. Also, all gooseneck trailers with tandem dual axles even if pulled by a ¾-ton pickup would fall into this category.

To find out if you are required to have a CDL, simply look at the manufacturer’s data tag on the inside of the truck door and on the trailer you are going to tow. Trailer manufacturers usually place their data tag on the tongue or on the front left side of the bed."

Source - White Spruce