I'm new. Forgive me. If my post is in the wrong place, forgive me. Please just bare with me, I promise my logistical knowledge will help you in the future.
Here is my main question:
Do I require a CDL (class A?) in Georgia if I want the following truck/trailer setup?
-F350 SuperDuty Dually with 11,400 lbs GVWR
-Kauffman - 50ft, 3-car wedge with GVWR of 14k-18k
-Take3 - Ultra Lite 48ft, 3 car wedge with GVWR of 12k-14k (this trailer specifically weighs 5,120 lbs)
Here is where I am having a hard time. If I take the dually and pull the Ultra-Lite with the 14k GVWR, I believe I am within the "non-CDL" requirement because the truck is 11,400 GVWR and the trailer is 14,000 GVWR (11.4k+14k=25.4k<26k)
So, at the moment, that's where I am leaning. If I am incorrect about that math, please help me out.
Second big question here. I know the F350 dually does not weigh 11.4k lbs, that this is just its "GVWR"...the best curb weight answer I can find is that it weighs 7,400 lbs. Let's call it 8,000lbs.
Here is where I really, REALLY get confused. The Take3 Ultra-Lite specifically weighs 5,120 lbs and says the user must specify if they want it to be 12k GVWR or 14k GVWR prior to delivery. I decided on the 14k GVWR for this example.
Now here is the million dollar question: how much total weight can my 3 vehicles I load up weigh? My common sense says the three vehicles I load must weigh less than 8,880 lbs (even though the GVWR of the trailer is 14k lbs). I did this math by subtracting the trailers physical weight (5,120 lbs) from its GVWR (14,000 lbs)....which has me really bummed out because 8,880 lbs of actual vehicles to be transported is NOTHING. That means I could only take for example a Honda Accord (3400 lbs) and a Honda Pilot (4300 lbs) (total weight of the 2 cars being 7,800 lbs) with a measly 1,000 lbs of wiggle room.
This seems nuts. The truck weighs 7,400 lbs + trailer of 5,120 lbs + 2vehicles that are 7,700lbs together for a total weight of 20,220 lbs....almost 5,800 lbs under the 26,000 weight limit for a CDL!!
So if the trailers rating is 14k lbs GVWR does that mean I can load 14k lbs of vehicles and equipment (ie, 3 vehicles weighing 13k lbs, and winch/toolbox & spares, etc weighing another 1k lbs) onto it.....or do I have to subtract out the weight of the trailer itself and then I can load whatevers left over?
And when you read the CDL requirements, it says "the vehicle being towed must be under 10k lbs" or you are required to get a CDL...does that 10k lbs mean the trailer + the vehicles strapped onto it? (In my example, I had a 5,120lb trailer and 2 vehicles weighing 7,700...which is over 10k lbs....does that mean right there I HAVE to get the CDL?)
Thank you so much for your time.
Vehicle combination weights & keeping it under the Non CDL weight
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The gvwr is the weight of the trailer and cargo. In your example, a trailer with a gvwr of 14k means that the trailer and cargo on it cannot exceed 14k lbs. Also, any trailer with a gvwr of 10,001 or more requires a CDL class A.
As for the Op, yes those ultra light trailers can make it GCVWR less than 26k lbs, thus not needing a CDL You already calculated the kicker though. You will only get 1-2 vehicles on the ultralight before you hit the weight limit of the trailer.
You are likely better to get a true commercial vehicle (a semi) and a car trailer for it.
P.S. Flowchart is from WA's website, but many others have similar
Further confusion @ZVar ? This is from the FMCSA website;
Class A: Any combination of vehicles which has a gross combination weight rating or gross combination weight of 11,794 kilograms or more (26,001 pounds or more) whichever is greater, inclusive of a towed unit(s) with a gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle weight of more than 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds) whichever is greater.
It says there "whichever is greater" twice! Without the first one, the second one would imply that towing a 10,001 lb or greater trailer, on it's own would require a cdl A, but the first "whichever is greater" has nothing to compare which is greater. So it goes without saying that there is a lot of confusion!Oxbow Thanks this.
You take the gcvwr of the truck (not the gvwr!), and the trailer and add them together. Then subtract the actual weight of the truck and trailer. This gives you the total weight you may haul. Now, in your case, you're legally limited by the gvwr of the trailer.
I just looked on Ford's website. It lists the max 5th wheel towing at 27500. I'm assuming that would be the gcvwr for the truck. So for that truck, 27500 would be the max weight of the truck, trailer and cargo. Let's assume a curb weight of 8000 on the truck, and 5180 on the trailer. That's 13180. 27500-13180= 14320. That's the total cargo capacity of the truck and trailer. But here's the catch.... Your trailer is now overloaded. With a 14000 gvwr trailer, and a 5180 empty weight, the trailer is only rated to haul 8820 lbs. With some DOT cops, they may never know the difference. But you get one that knows the laws, and you risk a ticket for being overweight on the trailer.
As far as the CDL, my understanding is is as long as the trailer has a gvwr of 10001 or more, you need the CDL. I know a few people that have been busted for this.
Ok. New question for the CDL holders. My state does NOT require proof of a course taken.
I'm not saying I am some kind of genius, I'm not. But 15 years ago I read the Series-6 book 2 days before the test for my financial advisor license and passed with a 94%.
Can I do the same in this instance? Or do I really need some serious studying for this test?
Gross combination weight.
Also if you are for hire and carrying cargo for money for a third party that hired you to do so with a motor vehicle you need a commercial license.
I believe somewhere I have adopted a attitude it is always BETTER to have a CDL A than not to have one at all. In our area hot shots are sometimes (Once or twice a month) convicted for trying to drive a hotshot without a CDL or outside of allowable class among other things.
There is a enforcement that rolls on with that. Heck Ive been loaded a few times and the Law would eyeball me as a private vehicle and as soon they saw that grandfathered CDL in my pocket there is no issue. (Something to do with gross towed trailer weight vs basic car licenses)
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