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Old 08-07-2010, 09:42 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Over 26000 pounds, what do I need to do?

I currenlty have a 3/4 ton truck and a single wheel, dual axle (14000 pound gross weight) gooseneck trailer which I carry a tractor and other equipment on. Occasionally I need to carry more weight and I am considering upgrading to a one ton dually pickup and a 32 foot dual wheel trailer (24,000 pound gross weight rating.) This obviously puts me above the 26000 pound combination weight. Does the truck and trailer need a commercial inspection? Do I need some insurance other than my standard full coverage auto insurance? Do I need a cdl license? Thanks in adance.

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Old 08-07-2010, 11:19 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Occasionally I need to carry more weight and I am considering upgrading to a one ton dually pickup and a 32 foot dual wheel trailer (24,000 pound gross weight rating.)
24k for the trailer plus at least 9k for the tow vehicle = 33k gross combined weight. So a new 2011 F-350 DRW diesel with 30,000 GCWR ain't gonna hack it. And the older F-350 DRWs with only 23,500 GVWR for the normal dually or 26,000 for the TowBoss dually sure ain't gonna hack it.

As a minimum, you need a 2008.5-up F-450 with 33,000 pounds GCWR.

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This obviously puts me above the 26000 pound combination weight. Does the truck and trailer need a commercial inspection? Do I need some insurance other than my standard full coverage auto insurance? Do I need a cdl license?
Yes to all the above in most states.

If you have special farm or ranch tags, that might make a difference. Check with your state DOT. But farm tags in Texas means the truck cannot be used for anything but farming and farm-related travel, else a huge fine. Most Texas farmers (and ranchers) I know don't bother with farm tags because of the restrictions on where they can go and what they can haul without the danger of a huge fine.
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Old 08-07-2010, 02:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Where are figures for gcwr for different trucks? Can I legally pull a trailer with two 12000 pound axles as long as I don't actually load it over my gcwr? Thanks.

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Old 08-07-2010, 02:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If you pull a trailer Rated over 10K lbs you need a commercial class A driver's license. That means if the empty trailer you are pulling has a vin plate that states it is rated over 10,001 lbs, you cannot leagally pull it without a CDL Class A no matter what the power vehicle is. The only exception to that are camper trailers like a toy hauler and such and probably agriculture related exemptions or something.

If your truck is rated over 26,000 lbs you need a CDL Class B to drive it even if you are not pulling anything. If you are pulling an above mentioned (10K lbs +) trailer then you need the CDL Class A.

These are federal regulations I beleive and apply in all 50 states. California for sure.
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Old 08-07-2010, 03:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Since your profile does not say where you are - it depends on why you are pulling. If you are doing it for hire/for profit then your state may require a CDL.

If you are pulling for "personal" or farm purposes you may only be required to have a class A (non-CDL). Again - depends on where you are. Class A (Non-CDL) doesn't require air brakes (in some states) or DOT physical every 2 years. Check your states requirements.
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Old 08-07-2010, 09:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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CDLA combination vehicle you have to be over 10,000 lbs trailer rating AND over 26,000 lbs total for the truck and the trailer ratings. This is based on the ratings, not the actual weight. If you have a trailer rated at 12,000 lbs and a truck rated at 8800 lbs (like I do) you do not need a CDL-A to pull it.

LINK TO MICHIGAN SUPPORT DOCUMENTATION, information centered on the page.

LINK TO OHIO SUPPORT DOCUMENTATION, click on the area under WHO NEEDS A CDL and it will bring up Ohio's information. First paragraph.

If you take a few minutes to read both links you will see the trailer GVWR of 10,001 or more PLUS the combined GVWR (truck and trailer combined) of 26,001 or more.

My bonafides - I have been in the trucking business for over 35 years, 10+ of that as a driver, three of that as a driver manager, 21 of that in management.

Short answer, you will need a CDL-A to tow the F350 and the heavier trailer. You will also need a CDL-A for a new F350 dually and your existing trailer unless the GVWR of the F350 you are looking at is 12,000 or less.

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Old 08-07-2010, 10:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
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according to the BMV site for indiana as long as it is personal vehicles for transportation of personal property only it is not required to have a CDL. I looked into this before getting my GN to move my stuff for AF
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Old 08-08-2010, 12:56 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Believer45 View Post
CDLA combination vehicle you have to be over 10,000 lbs trailer rating AND over 26,000 lbs total for the truck and the trailer ratings. This is based on the ratings, not the actual weight. If you have a trailer rated at 12,000 lbs and a truck rated at 8800 lbs (like I do) you do not need a CDL-A to pull it.

LINK TO MICHIGAN SUPPORT DOCUMENTATION, information centered on the page.

LINK TO OHIO SUPPORT DOCUMENTATION, click on the area under WHO NEEDS A CDL and it will bring up Ohio's information. First paragraph.

If you take a few minutes to read both links you will see the trailer GVWR of 10,001 or more PLUS the combined GVWR (truck and trailer combined) of 26,001 or more.
OK, so after a review of a few codes, I see, but am not suprised, that my wonderful state of California once again makes it just that much more difficult for everyone. Any towed vehicle in CA with a GVWR of 10,001 lbs or more requires a CDL A no matter what you use to tow it with. (V C Section 12804.9 Examination and Driving Test Classifications). Even though federal regulations will let you tow a trailer over 10K GVWR as long as the the combined GVWR of all vehicles is 26K lbs or less (as you state above). And Michigan doesn't even seem to have a Class A or B just one CDL to cover everything.

Per Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration:
"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." (Commercial Driver's License Program (CDL/CDLIS) - Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration).
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Old 08-08-2010, 09:12 AM   #9 (permalink)
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You are correct to an extent. This is a federal law, not state by state. But this is off of the Texas BMV site...indiana has the exact same thing on their's too:

Are there any exemptions to being required to have Texas CDL?
Yes, a few . . .
1. Active Duty Military . . . with military licenses operating military vehicles.
2. Firefighters . . . meeting approved training standards and operating authorized emergency vehicles.
3. Farmers . . . in certain cases.
4. Individuals ....operating motor homes or other vehicles used exclusively to transport personal possessions or family members, for non business purposes.
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Old 08-08-2010, 03:55 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks for the explanations, guys. I have a chemical company and work all over the country. I was on the phone with my state highway police just this past week over these issues... what can I pull with my F-250 and trailer.

What I'm finding is the rules very state by state. It's REALLY confusing. My goal is to find out what I can legally haul withOUT having to get a CDL. And it can get pretty confusing.

Years ago I was in a 1/2 ton pickup pulling a trailer rated at 7000#. I have company signs on my trucks and the trailer was filled with drums, pumps and equipment- obviously commercial activity. I'd always passed by the scales as I'm not hauling for hire. These are the tools of my trade. Not so fast!

In North Carolina they chased us down and made us go back through the scales, which we tipped at a combined weight of just under 15,000#. A standard title/license for a 1/2 ton truck is something like 6500#. The fine was almost $400 for not having the correct tags.

The scales cop pointed out that their sign said ALL COMMERCIAL VEHICLES should pull in. "Does that mean an S-10 pickup truck with a box of parts should go through?" He said if there is a company sign on the vehicle and it is hauling anything for the company... you should pull through the scales.

I now run commercial tags with a designated rating of 20,000#. The DMV told me it doesn't matter how much my truck can haul. I could put 80,000# commercial plates on there if I wanted to. The point is... make sure your vehicle is registered for more than you're going to haul, even without a CDL.

So, do we need to go through the scales in all states? The cops told me that, again, was a state by state issue. Anyone have any experience or info on which states want company trucks going through the scales?
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Old 08-08-2010, 11:32 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Where are figures for gcwr for different trucks?
For Ford diesels, they are published in the annual RV and Trailer Towing Guides, new truck brochures, your Ford dealer's copy of the Ford Truck Source Book, and in the PowerStroke Supplement to the Owner's Guide.

The normal Owner's Guide has GCWR for gassers, but not for diesels. For diesels, it's in the diesel supplement.

GCWR is not usually a legal limit. It tells you the max gross weight that your truck can move at a reasonable speed up a reasonable grade without overheating anything. If you exceed the GCWR, it usually means you'll be the slow-poke blocking traffic going up the mountain pass, and you might burn up a tranny or an engine or a diff before you make it to the top of the pass.

Personally, I try to stay way below the GCWR. My GCWR is 20,000 pounds, and I rarely gross more than 17,500.
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Old 08-09-2010, 02:09 PM   #12 (permalink)
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You are correct to an extent. This is a federal law, not state by state. But this is off of the Texas BMV site...indiana has the exact same thing on their's too:

Are there any exemptions to being required to have Texas CDL?
Yes, a few . . .
1. Active Duty Military . . . with military licenses operating military vehicles.
2. Firefighters . . . meeting approved training standards and operating authorized emergency vehicles.
3. Farmers . . . in certain cases.
4. Individuals ....operating motor homes or other vehicles used exclusively to transport personal possessions or family members, for non business purposes.
Yes you are right. All states should meet or exceed (CA for example) the federal law and there are ALWAYS exemptions for special groups and such. The most common being Travel Trailers and motor homes. In CA, travel trailers are allowed be up to 10K GVWR trailer on a ball hitch behind the truck and up to 15K GVWR with a fifth wheel hitch. CA has it's own ClassA (Non Commercial) license that is required if you exceed those limits on your travel trailer. Your state will vary of course.

It does not sound like the op qualifies for any of these exemptions however.
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Old 08-09-2010, 02:27 PM   #13 (permalink)
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ya I saw that since he said it is for a chemical company. Just wanting to clarify some things I reckon. I know for me hauling my GN that is my ticket to not having a CDL since it will always be either for farm or for personal use only. It's hard to haul a trailer under 10k when the trailer empty weighs 9K.
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Old 08-10-2010, 04:10 AM   #14 (permalink)
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OK, so after a review of a few codes, I see, but am not suprised, that my wonderful state of California once again makes it just that much more difficult for everyone. Any towed vehicle in CA with a GVWR of 10,001 lbs or more requires a CDL A no matter what you use to tow it with. (V C Section 12804.9 Examination and Driving Test Classifications). Even though federal regulations will let you tow a trailer over 10K GVWR as long as the the combined GVWR of all vehicles is 26K lbs or less (as you state above).
That's not correct. In CA you can tow up to a 15,000 GVWR trailer with just a "41 endorsement" on your normal class C, as long as the trailer is a 5er RV (which isn't well defined, but a GN flatbed is definitely not an RV). You can tow any size RV with a non-commercial class A.

See the dl648 publication by the DMV.

For non-RV trailers, yeah CA sucks that you need a CDL for most anything else.

Last edited by formula racer; 08-10-2010 at 04:14 AM.
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Old 08-11-2010, 01:02 PM   #15 (permalink)
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That's not correct. In CA you can tow up to a 15,000 GVWR trailer with just a "41 endorsement" on your normal class C, as long as the trailer is a 5er RV (which isn't well defined, but a GN flatbed is definitely not an RV). You can tow any size RV with a non-commercial class A.

See the dl648 publication by the DMV.

For non-RV trailers, yeah CA sucks that you need a CDL for most anything else.
Yes you are right, I clarified that in post #12.
Have you tried to get a Non-Commercial Class A in CA by the way? I must have been the first one to do it in my city, because they did not seem to have any clue as to what the requirements were or which tests to give me. I waited 30 minutes while the instructor read up on the requirments and still was unsure of things. They treated it almost exactly like a Commercial license and almost made me do their commercial driving course they had in the back. Took him 10 minutes to figure out he couldn't give me an air brake restriction as that only applies to Commercial licneses.

I would bet almost any toy hauler has a GVWR over 10K lbs and most bumper pull owners in CA are driving out of class. My two axle 21' Attitude has a gvwr of 10,100 lbs.
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