When You Don’t Need CDL. And, What License Needed to Drive A Dump Truck, Straight Or Box Trucks?

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The biggest truck you can drive without a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) otherwise known as non CDL trucks are those with a GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) of 26,000 pounds or less.

In other words, the max GVWR for non CDL trucks or any vehicle type  (non-commercial driver’s license) is 26,000 pounds! Legally all our cars, smaller box or cargo trucks and SUVs fall under GVWR for non cdl license.

List of Non CDL Trucks

There is a long list of trucks that do not require a CDL and while that list might not be exhaustible, there are a few examples that might be helpful to you.

Many truck types are both CDL and non-CDL, such as dump trucks, cargo trucks, flatbeds, box trucks, and many more. What this means is that it’s not the type that matters, but rather the weight.

That’s what differentiates one from the other, so what you need to do to know if your truck is non-CDL is to make sure that the gross weight of the truck is less than 26 thousands pounds or seats less than 16 people.

That said, here are some specific examples of non-CDL trucks:

  • Any class 5 truck, that is, any truck with a gross vehicle weight rating as high as 19,500 pounds and as low as 16,000 pounds. 
  •  2016 Ford F750 PM04
  • 2006 Ford F650 F-650 Straight Box Truck 
  • 2017 International 4300 Dry Box
  • 2013 International Terrastar Single Axle Roll Off Dumpster Container Truck
  • 2020 Chevrolet MD 5500.
  • Most 26 foot truck do not require license.

Do you need a CDL to drive a box truck of any size and weight?

In the western countries like USA and Canada, the regular box truck are allowed by law to used, or rented and be driven by a person or organisation without a commercial driver’s license requirements.

As you will read further on this guide and similar license pieces, only box trucks of Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 26k pounds or less, are qualified under this privilege!

What is the largest non CDL truck?

Looking to know more about how big of a truck you can drive without a CDL? Trucks like Gallon Chip Seal Tank and Ford 650 are some of the largest and most commonly used non CDL trucks. While it majorly depends on what state you are in, if you are a non CDL driver, you can drive vehicles under 26,000 pounds.

You will be allowed to carry groceries, mails, and packages as long as the total weight falls within the limit. Non CDL trucks usually transport within a city.

A typical non CDL driver is required to drive a truck weighing up to 26,000 pounds with towing not to exceed 10,000 pounds.

Do you need a CDL for a truck under 26,000 lbs with air brakes?

No, you do not. As long as you are certain your truck weighs under 26,000 pounds, you do not need a CDL, air brakes or not. This is because air brake restrictions or permissions are only applicable to CDL drivers.

What is a non CDL driver?

This is any driver who drives non-commercial vehicles that transport people or goods. In most cases, these are drivers of passenger vehicles or in the cases of trucks, lightweight vehicles; mostly vehicles under 8000 pounds.

3 Major Classes of CDLs

However, truck with a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more, requires a CDL. There are three classes of CDL. Class A, B, and C. Below I will present to you important details about them and when each of them is needed.

  • Class A CDL

A Class A CDL is a commercial driver’s license that is needed to drive any combination of two vehicles in which the lead vehicle has a GVWR of at least 26,001 pounds and the towed vehicle weighs at least 10,001 pounds.

Examples of two-vehicle combinations you can drive with a Class A CDL include flatbeds, livestock carriers, tank vehicles, truck and trailer combinations, and tractor-trailers.

You can drive the same two-vehicle combinations without a Class A CDL as long as the towing vehicle weighs less than 26,001 pounds and the towed vehicle weighs less than 10,001 pounds.

You can drive a number of Class C and Class B vehicles using a Class A CDL license.

RELATED: Do You Need a CDL To Drive a Box Truck?

  • Class B CDL – License Needed to Drive Dump Truck, Box etc

A Class B CDL is a commercial driver’s license that you need to drive any single vehicle that has a GVWR of at least 26,001 pounds. You also need this special license to tow any vehicle weighing less than but close to 10,000 pounds.

Examples of single vehicles you can drive using this license include tractor-trailers, dump trucks with small trailers, box trucks, segmented buses, big passenger buses, and straight trucks.

In my opinion, the CDL class implied when one asks “What is the biggest truck you can drive without a CDL?” is Class B.

This is because Class A CDL deals with two-vehicle combinations and Class C mainly deals with passenger vans and small HazMat vehicles.

So to answer the question, you simply need to know the biggest truck you can drive without a Class B CDL.

And based on the details I presented a few moments ago, the biggest truck you can drive without this license is one that has a GVWR of 26,000 pounds. So the answer to the question is: the biggest truck you can drive without a CDL is a 26,000-pound truck.

  • Class C CDL

A Class C CDL is the one that you need to drive any vehicle with at least 16 passengers or to drive a small HazMat vehicle.

A HazMat vehicle is a truck with a container for carrying materials classed as hazardous according to federal law.

Examples of vehicles you can drive with this license include passenger vans and small HazMat trucks.

RELATED: Do You Need A CDL To Drive A 24 ft. Box?

What Is The Biggest Truck You Can Drive Without A CDL

CDL may be needed for a truck with air brakes depending on GVWR or a GCWR!

How To Get A CDL License

To get a CDL license, you need to be 21 in most states. But before you get a CDL, you need a CLP (Commercial Learner’s Permit). This permit literally permits you to start training on how to operate a commercial motor vehicle. You need a CLP to get a CDL.

To get a CDL license, go to your nearest DMV office. Many state and federal requirements have to be met for one to be allowed to start training on how to operate a commercial vehicle. If you are permitted to go and train, you need to find an approved school to do the training.

After the training, you need to pass two tests – a practical test and a written test. The tests are designed by the state.

How to know a truck’s GVWR

To know if a truck requires or does not require a CDL, you need to know its GVWR. There are three ways you can find out the GVWR of a truck.

First, you can simply Google it. By doing this, you can find credible information on the GVWR of a truck within seconds.

Second, you can call the manufacturer of the truck. By calling the manufacturer, you can get the GVWR of a truck within seconds or minutes.

Lastly, you can inspect both door jambs of the truck for a sticker with information from the manufacturer. This information often includes GAWR (Gross Axle Weight Rating) information for both axles. By adding the two weights, you will get a GVWR estimate that you can use.

Once you find the GVWR of your truck, you simply need to ask yourself if it is more or less than 26,000. If it is less, you do not need a CDL license. If it is more, you need one and it is probably the Class B CDL.

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Questions about GVWR for Non CDL Trucks

How does non CDL driving jobs pay?

Non-CDL driving jobs have an average annual pay of $31,764. However, the pay range may differ according to several reasons such as the state, age, driving experience, education, certification, skills, and a couple of other things. This range falls anywhere between $29,211 and $43,867 on the average.

Are there 26 foot truck license?

Again, most 26″ trucks drive like SUV, with normal brakes, therefore no license is needed. Some specifics are 26 foot refrigerated, 26 footer flatbed truck. However, keep in mind that the GVWR is 26,001 lb. or more.

How big of a dump truck can I drive without a CDL?

Do you need a CDL to drive a dump truck? If your dump truck weighs one pound less than 26,000, you are good to go without a CDL.

Government laws allow truck drivers to operate trucks up to 26,000 GVW without a CDL or you may even have a trailer that weighs up to, but not more than 10,000 pounds towed with it without a CDL.

What does non CDL road test entails? 

Different states have things included in their road test but the major thing that the road test does is to see how well you can drive in accordance with your state laws.

It simply entails you driving a vehicle while your examiner tests how well you operate in different situations. It could involve your examiner asking you to make sudden actions or checking what you will do in certain situations. 

What size truck / max GVWR for non license requirements?

The federal requirement specifies that when a vehicle has a GVWR of 26,000 pounds or less, the operator does not need a CDL license.

The trailer GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) is what determines if a CDL license is required in the first place. If you drive a trailer that has a GVWR of 10,001 pounds or more and the combined GCWR of the truck and trailer is 26,001 pounds or more, this is where you will be needing a CDL.

A Class A CDL can drive a tractor-trailer, as well as combination vehicles. The gross combined weight must be that of 26,001 pounds. These are usually semi-trucks.

A Class B CDL is usually a single vehicle with a maximum GVWR of 26,000 pounds. These are not towing vehicles but usually include garbage trucks, and yes, they require a CDL license.

A Class C CDL does not have a weight requirement as Class B or A as per the DOT statement. Class C CDL drivers can carry up to 16 or more passengers or hazardous materials. These include CDL licenses for those who drive ambulances or passenger vans.

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Do you need a CDL to drive a 20 foot box truck?

The answer is NO. You do not need a CDL for 20-foot box trucks, like 22 – 18 foot refrigerated and 24 foot flatbed.

Do you need CDL to drive a UPS truck?

While the short answer is no, there are some driver requirements you need to have if you want to be a UPS ( United Parcel Service) truck driver.

However, you do not need to have a CDL (Commercial Drivers License) to work for UPS if you are opting for a standard delivery driver. But do keep in mind that the UPS tractor-trailer and freight drivers must have a valid CDL.

Is a bucket truck a commercial vehicle?

What is considered a non CDL truck?

Any truck which has a gross weight of under 26,000 pounds does not require you to have a CDL, which means these are non-CDL trucks.

Does a 26000 lb truck require a CDL?

According to the federal requirement, when a vehicle has a GVWR of 26,000 pounds or less, the driver does not need a CDL.

However, if 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 driver must have a CDL.

Is a 26 foot box truck considered a commercial vehicle?

A vehicle is considered a commercial vehicle if it transports goods or passengers for profit. For example, a box truck, semi-truck, vans, taxicabs, trailers, and trucks are all considered commercial vehicles.

What implies, in this case, is if the vehicle itself has a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more, then that is a commercial motor vehicle (CMV).

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How much can a 26 ft box truck carry?

A 26 ft. truck rental can hold up to 12,000 pounds. This can include 500 medium boxes or 1 to 15 medium furniture items.

Do you need a CDL to drive a Chevy 4500?

Yes, that will require a CDL. Any vehicle with a gross weight of 26,001 pounds or more will not require a CDL, and if you license it as an RV, no CDL is required.

Does an f550 require a CDL?

Whether you operate an f450, f550 or f650, what matters here is the weight. The F550 must weigh between 9,000-13,000 lb. If you are using this vehicle for work purposes and you are getting paid to drive it, you will need to have a DOT # on the side.

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However, if you are using the f550 for leisure purposes and do not tow a trailer and keep the weight under 26,000-lbs GCVW, you are not required to have a CDL.

What’s the biggest dump truck you can drive without a CDL?

As stated by the law, you can operate a truck up to 26,000 GVW and pull up to a 10,000 GVW trailer behind it. This will not require a CDL.

However, in most states, you can pull a trailer heavier than 10,000 GVW and that too without a CDL. As long as the GVWs combined do not out-weight 26,000, you don’t require a CDL, and that also implies to dump trucks.

How big of a truck can I drive without CDL?

You can operate a truck that weighs less than 26,000 GVWs (combined with towing) without a CDL.

Do you need a CDL to drive a Ford f650?

Yes, if you are using it for work purposes. No, as long as you are using it for play and pleasure purposes. However, the weight you carry in it must not exceed 26,000 pounds.

Do you need a CDL to drive a Kodiak?

Yes, you need a CDL if you wish to drive it unless you register it as an RV. If you have a combination of anything weighing over 26k pounds, and that too that doesn’t involve any RV rules, you will need a CDL.

How much weight can a non-CDL driver haul?

What Is A Non CDL Driver?A non-CDL driver can haul up to 26000 pounds of weight.

What’s the longest trailer you can pull without a CDL?

Again, it is not the length but rather the weight that determines whether you require a license or not.

Any trailers weighing more than 26,000 pounds will require you to attain a CDL license. Requirements are different in every country and state, but the length of the trailer is not much of a concern.

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Summary of CDL Classes

You need a CDL to operate virtually all types of commercial vehicles e.g. dump trucks, box trucks, semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, buses, and so on.

So if you want to rent or drive a commercial vehicle, you should know you will most likely need a CDL.

The biggest truck you can drive without a CDL is one that does not meet the conditions set for getting a Class B CDL license with the smallest of margins. In other words, it is the truck with a GVWR of 26,000 pounds.

By introducing the requirement for a CDL to operate different types of commercial vehicles, state governments have been able to reduce accidents, injuries, and fatalities due to individuals driving heavy vehicles without necessary training and experience.