been researching this topic alot lately, what ive learned is there are alot of guys who comment and dont seem to know much about much. no offense to those that really do. so let me lay it out for you on what i learned. understand my sources are officials and law i looked up. everyone should verify for there own protection and knowledge and i make no claim to be an attourney or legally advise anyone who reads this.
Hotshot under 26k lbs
1. YOUR TRUCK+ TRAILER+ EVERYTHING IN IT AND ON IT CAN NEVER EXCEED 26K LBS TOGETHER OR YOU WILL BE REQUIRED TO HAVE A CDL CLASS A
2. truck and trailer are registered as regular vehicles at a regular dmv office. truck registration should not exceed 26k lbs. STATES AND FEDERAL LAW ONLY REQUIRE REGISTRATION AT A COMMERCIAL DMV WHEN YOU ARE OVER 26K LBS RATING OR WEIGHT OR STATED WEIGHT
THEY WANT TAX MONEY FOR BEATING UP THERE ROADS WITH HEAVY LOADS.
- you do NOT need apportioned plates for your truck or trailer
- you do NOT need IFTA
- you do NOT need a CDL if your GVWR is within the following
1. does your truck alone weight more than 10k lbs or have a GVWR of 26,001 lbs or more? (If you said yes, You need a CDL class A) If you said no YOU DO NOT NEED A CDL.
2. does your truck and trailer combined have a gvwr of 26,001 or more ( add both your truck sticker, and trailer sticker together) (if you Trailer DOES NOT HAVE A STICKER - THEY WILL GO OFF YOUR AXLE RATINGS, IF YOU AXLES DONT HAVE A RATING OR THEY CANT VERIFY, THEY WILL GO OFF YOUR TIRES RATINGS COMBINED, AND THEN YOUR ACTUAL WEIGHT!!.)
if you said YES- You need a CDL Class A
if you said NO- You do not need a CDL
3. in some states like California if you have a Trailer rated at 10,001 lbs or more, they Require a CDL CLASS A no matter what your truck is rated for! even if its under 26k lbs rated or weight on the scale!!
in short THINK OF 26K LBS AS A MAGICAL BUDGET!
EXAMPLE OF GVWR
TRUCK GVWR TRAILER GVWR TOTAL GVWR
14K LBS 12KLBS = 26K LBS
16K LBS 10K LBS= 26K LBS
12K LBS 14K LBS= 26K LBS
YOU CAN NEVER EXCEED 26K LBS OR YOU ARE REQUIRED FEDERALLY TO HAVE A CLASS A CDL!!!
AGAIN IN SOME STATES ie... CALIFORNIA YOUR TRAILER CAN NOT EXCEED 10K LBS GVWR OR ACTUAL WEIGHT WITH LOAD OR WITHOUT NO MATTER WHAT OR THEY REQUIRE A CLASS A CDL.
IF YOU DO NOT GET IRP APPORTIONED PLATES- understand there are so many uninformed, ill informed, and just plain idiot cops or dot guys that "Think they know the law" and if you go to a weight station they "just like a traffic cop"" can give you a ticket for not havinng apportioned plates, or put you out of service unless you pay their fee for not having irp or trip permit. i have heard of this happening. and guys take it to court and win. in the meen time you will be out that money and time do to their ignorance off the actual LAW.
SIDE NOTE 1- some states have different weight limits and regulations for their requirements of who needs a trip permit or not. IRP apportioned plates can spare you this trouble in some states.
SIDE NOTE 2- Some states (oregon, new mexico & others) dont give a flying F about apportioned plates or not. you need a seperate type of registration to even drive through their states. this is done by filing for permits for each individual state that has those type of laws for your company to drive their.
NON CDL also does not require the drug testing stuff.
Conclusion- YES YOU CAN HAVE A SUCCESFUL NON-CDL HOTSHOT BIZ.
BUT YOU ARE LIMITING YOUR BUSINESS. so immediatly start working on getting your CDL A to expand your business and possibillities.
when you do get your CDL A and want to take largeer loads over the limits above. you will need IRP plates and IFTA & Drug testing stuff and some other goodies!
if anyone has something to add or correct about this. PLEASE POST THE ACTUAL PROOF OR LINK TO WHERE IT CAN BE FOUND.
NO- my cousin timmy's, sister kimmy's, boyfriend tommy's niece said kinda stuff.
too much mis-information is already availible everywhere. we dont need another place for it.
i have a new Non-CDL HOTSHOT biz and this is the fruit of my research
WAY TOO MUCH MISINFORMATION! HOTSHOT UNDER 26K
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Trailer GVWR is most critical to determining when a CDL is required. When a trailer has a GVWR of 10,001 pounds or more and the combined GCWR of the truck and trailer is 26,001 pounds or more, a CDL is required by the operator.
The FMCSA defines a “commercial motor vehicle” as a motor vehicle, or a combination of motor vehicles, in certain GVWR-based configurations, when used in “commerce” to transport “property or passengers.” The physical configuration component of the CMV definition is very mechanical, very objective. When dealing with a tow vehicle-trailer combination, you look at the gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of the tow vehicle if the tow-vehicle manufacturer has assigned it a GCWR and displays it on its cert label. With regard to the familiar combination, a tow vehicle (whether truck, automobile, or tractor) towing a trailer, the driver needs a CDL if the tow-vehicle manufacturer’s assigned GCWR exceeds 26,000 lbs. (as shown on its cert label) and the trailer’s GVWR exceeds 10,000 lbs. If there is no assigned GCWR, the FMCSA requires a CDL only if the sum of the GVWRs of the tow vehicle and the trailer together exceeds 26,000 lbs. and the trailer’s GVWR exceeds 10,000 lbs. In either case, the driver will need a Class A CDL.
Key word - COMMERCE
Good info and basically what I've come to understand. Now to dive into CDL vs non-CDL Class A.
I run farm plates on my truck and trailers and I'm not above 26k (Texas). I understand that if your trailer is over 10k, you need a class A unless it's farm tagged and then your trailer can go up to 20k but still no GCVW over 26k. Good luck pulling a 20k trailer with a 6k truck. Anyway, I have a 14k GVWR/30k GCVWR f450 on order which with my 14k trailers will be over 26k combined GVWR (truck and trailer GVWR). So, I plan to get a non-CDL class A. That should cover me for farm and personal RV use.
What I don't know is how much more I can do with a non-CDL class A. For example, if my buddies truck breaks down in Oklahoma, can I go tow it back to Texas? I'm not getting paid for it.
stillwurkin Thanks this.
- Is used to transport the types and quantities of hazardous materials requiring a safety permit in intrastate commerce (see 49 CFR 385.403).
- Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating, or gross vehicle weight or gross combination weight, of 4,536 kg (10,001 pounds) or more, whichever is greater; or
- Is designed or used to transport more than 8 passengers (including the driver) for compensation; or
- Is designed or used to transport more than 15 passengers, including the driver, and is not used to transport passengers for compensation;
Trade, traffic, or transportation in the United States—
- Between a place in a State and a place outside of such State (including a place outside of the United States);
- Between two places in a State through another State or a place outside of the United States; or
- Between two places in a State as part of trade, traffic, or transportation originating or terminating outside the State or the United States.
States that Require a DOT Number
Apart from federal regulations, some states require their intrastate commercial motor vehicle registrants to obtain a USDOT Number. These states include:
MACK E-6 Thanks this.
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Carolina
- Puerto Rico
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
We are just starting out and small is the word right now - we are running a 20ft - max weight 11k - one car hauler. It is doing the job now as we build and tie other loose ends up, but plan on going larger soon!! At that point I know a lot of things will change which I am prepared for. Honestly knowing how to operate on small scale is more difficult to figure because the answers just aren't readily available, I always get the run round when talking to the "officials" who set-up and enforce all the regulations. So #1 thanks for all the info, it is exactly as I have understood after way too many research sessions. #2 The only thing I am confused on - I know I do not need an IFTA license - BUT I do plan to go interstate so what is my best option to stay legit with fuel tax? I was told i ca still get the license to streamline the process, but this mandates quarterly reports as well - which I am also fine with. GOAL - I want to be legal in all facets of the industry! Thanks to any and all that can help!!
WeBeTruckin Thanks this.
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