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

Trailer Vs Truck Lease and Commercial Rental!


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 26000 pound truck 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.

box truck carrying items

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

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. 

driver wearing cdl shirt

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 26000 pound truck or seats less than 16 people.

Driver hand on steering

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.

dump truck at work

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!

In other words, like most vehicle types, the non CDL box truck are 26000 pound truck or less!

driving past fellow driver

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.

u haul biggest mover

Do you need a CDL to rent and drive Uhaul?

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.

lady pro driver

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

Do I need a cdl for air brakes? No, you do not. As long as you are certain your truck weighs under 26000 pound truck, you do not need a CDL, air brakes or not.

This is because air brake restrictions or permissions are only applicable to CDL drivers.

liftgate box truck locked

26 ft Box Truck With Liftgate

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.

medium refrigerated truck

Do you need a CDL to drive a refrigerated truck?

When Do You Need A CDL? Here Are 3 Major CDL Weight Classes of Licenses

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.

SUV towing

Do tow truck drivers need a CDL license?

  • Class A CDL Weight Limits

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.

heavy ford truck

Which pickup drive need CDL to haul?

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 CDL weight classes C truck and Class B vehicles using a Class A CDL license.

Stakebed truck

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

A Class B CDL weight classes limits 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.

Fleet of Dually trucks

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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.

pickup with lift gate

Facts about CDL for pickup and trailer!

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.

mixed vehicles sizes

  • 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.

new cdl requirements

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

On the other hand, there is non CDL Class C license, for motor vehicle with a GVWR of over sixteen thousand pounds (16000), but less than 26,001!

The medium duty class C trucks used for hotshot trucking business fall within this category!

fully loaded truck speeding

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.

traffic road signs

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.

average sized cabin truck

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 for cdl 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.

double container semi

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.

Ryder semi trucks

Questions about GVWR for Non CDL Trucks

How does a non cdl box truck for sale work and price range?

In the U.S., it’s possible to drive a box truck even if you don’t have a CDL. However, you can drive a non cdl box truck only if such vehicle has a gross vehicle weight rating of not more than 26,000 lbs.

The price of non cdl box trucks depends on the type you intend to buy. Used box trucks go for as low as $1600, whereas new box trucks cost from $12,000 to $24,300. 

trailer and van

What vehicles require a cdl license?

Trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating larger than 26,000 lbs will typically require a CDL.

A CDL is mandatory to drive or rent these types of vehicles which are usually driven for commercial purposes.  Vehicles that need a CDL are often classified under heavy-duty vehicles.

However, some vehicles that fall under class 6 of medium-duty vehicles, such as flatbeds, dump trucks, cargo trucks, and box trucks, also require a CDL. 

lady posed with red truck cab

Do you need a CDL to drive a ups truck?

No, you don’t need a CDL to drive a UPS truck. What you need to drive a UPS truck is a valid driver’s license.

Also, you must pass the DOT test before you can become a delivery driver for UPS.

Do you need CDL to own 26000 pound truck in Canada?

Yes, you need to own a CDL to drive a 26000 pound truck in Canada. Both Canada and the United States have slightly similar regulations for commercial drivers to obtain a CDL.

In Canada, any driver of a bus, truck, taxi, tractor-trailer, or large snowplow must have a CDL. Therefore, Canadian law does not limit CDL to just heavy-duty vehicles. 

multi colored cube van

What are dot requirements for trucks under 26000 lbs?

Drivers of trucks under 26,000 lbs are exempt from having a CDL, but they must meet other requirements.

For instance, according to the Department of Transportation, they must be able to present a medical certificate, a fire extinguisher, maintenance records, a qualification file, and logbooks.

Likewise, the driver has a responsibility to inspect the vehicle annually and ensure that its equipment is working properly.

Also, the DOT requires drivers hauling vehicles to follow specific procedures and maintain insurance of $1 million.

towing trucking business

What are prices of non CDL reefer trucks for sale?

The price range of non CDL reefer trucks depends on whether you are buying a new or used truck. New non CDL reefer trucks cost as much as $10,000 to $66,000.

Used refrigerator trucks’ price range is between $6,000 and $45,000— besides, some engine models are more expensive than others.

You can check the Truckbuyersguide or Mylittlesalesman for the price range of these trucks.

unloading family household goods

What is GVWR for CDL?

GVWR is an abbreviation for Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. The U.S. Department of Transportation uses CDL GVWR to classify vehicles that require a CDL and those that don’t.

Drivers that own a vehicle with a GVWR above 26,000 lbs require a CDL, while those with a lower GVWR don’t need one. 

driver taking stock

What are non cdl hotshot requirements? 

For you to go into hot shot trucking no cdl, you must make sure that your combined GVWR is 26,000 lbs or less.

This means you would be able to drive with no CDL if both the GVWR of the truck and trailer has a maximum GVWR of 26,000 lbs or less.  That is CDL hotshot max weight must be considered!

UPD driver handling package

New or used non cdl garbage trucks for sale?

Whether you should buy a new or used CDL garbage truck depends on many factors, including your budget. Generally, new garbage trucks are more expensive than used ones.

So, if you want to save some money, you could buy a used garbage truck instead of the new ones.

However, new trucks are more durable than used ones. So, if you’re going for durability, it’s advisable to buy a new truck. You can get used garbage trucks for sale from Higher Trucks

driving through lonely path

What are max trailer length without cdl?

Whether you can tow or drive a trailer without CDL depends on the GVWR and not its lenght. However, federal regulations specify that the maximum length of a straight truck towing either a trailer or a semitrailer is 65 feet.

Are there under cdl garbage truck?

Yes, there are under cdl garbage trucks. Garbage trucks from under cdl are particularly ideal for hauling residential wastes by non-commercial users.

This is because they provide garbage trucks that don’t require CDLs and are not subject to federal excise tax. The price range of their garbage trucks ranges from $114,000 to $149,000.

getting driving license in school

What are class 4 truck licence?

The class 4 truck license is one of the six licenses issued in New Zealand. It is available to owners of rigid vehicles with a GLW of a minimum of 18,000 kg.

Before you can qualify for a class 4 truck licence, you need to have a class 2 licence that has been active for a minimum of 6 months.

Drivers above 25 years with a class 2 licence that has been valid for at least 3 months can also apply for it.

medium delivery trucks

Do tow truck drivers need a cdl?

If the tow truck has a GVWR above 26,000 lbs., the driver needs a CDL. But tow trucks with a lesser GVWR don’t need a CDL. There are different classes of CDL for tow truck drivers. 

The class A license is for drivers who tow vehicles with a GVWR above 10,000 lbs with their trucks. On the other hand, drivers towing vehicles below 10,000 lbs with their trucks need a Class B license. 

do owners need cdl

When do you need a cdl in Illinois?

You need a CDL in Illinois if you are driving a vehicle with a single or combined GVWR that is above 26,000 lbs.

Besides, drivers of a vehicle with 16 or more passenger seats need a CDL to operate in Illinois.

Also, anyone driving a vehicle containing hazardous material or any toxin contained in 42 Code of Federal Regulations Part 73 needs a CDL to operate.

Do you have to have a cdl to drive a dump truck?

Yes, you need a CDL to drive a dump truck. Typically, dump trucks have an average GVWR of 27,000 lbs.  So, if you are going to drive a dump truck in the U.S., you should get a Class B Commercial Driver’s License.

And if you are wondering how big of a dump truck you can drive without a CDL, the GVWR must be less than 26,000 lbs.

yellow cube truck

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.

While is fine to look for a paying no CDL driving jobs, we recommend you gradually scale up your ratings to acquire better certificates. 

2 box trucks on speed

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.

26 ft box truck

Where can I get non CDL box truck for sale online?

You can get a non-CDL box truck from many places online. Moving truck companies such as U-Haul and Penske usually have used non CDL truck for sale online.

Moving truck companies generally have the best used box trucks for sale because they usually take good care of their trucks.

You can also purchase non CDL box trucks online from websites such as commercialtrucktrader, machinio, and soar.

cube truck in warehouse

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. 

brand new commercial rigs

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 limits 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.

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

No, you don’t. You do not need a CDL to drive a 20-foot box truck. This is because 20-foot box trucks typically have a GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) of less than 26,000 pounds.

Only persons who intend to drive vehicles with a GVWR of more than 26,000 pounds need a CDL.

moving to offload goods blue color

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.

loading cold items

What is considered a non CDL truck?

Basically any transport truck that has a GVWR that is under 26,000 pounds or whose weight is under 8,000 pounds needs a non CDL truck.

Non CDL trucks do not need a CDL holder to drive them. They can be driven by anyone with a regular driving license.

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.

medium box vans

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).

How much can a 26 ft box truck carry?

The typical 26-foot box truck can carry items weighing as much as 12 pounds. This is plenty of weight. In fact, most sedans and pickups weigh less than 12,000 pounds.

In terms of space, a 26 foot box truck can accommodate up to 500 medium boxes or up to 15 big furniture item.

a line of trucks in warehouse

Do you need a CDL to drive a Chevy 4500?

No, you do not need a CDL to drive a Chevy 4500. This is because the vehicle has a GVWR that is below 26,000 pounds; its GVWR is 14,200 pounds.

You only need a CDL to drive vehicles with a GVWR above 26,000 pounds.

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.

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.

Is cdl needed for Ryder

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 drive relatively big trucks without a CDL. There are many big trucks that are over 20 feet long that can be driven without a CDL.

Some are even as long as 26 feet and they do not need a CDL. You just need to make sure the GVWR of the truck you are driving does not exceed 26,000 pounds.

loaded with boxes and sealed

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?

The maximum combined weight you can drive on a public road without CDL is 26,000 pounds (combined weight means the weight of the power vehicles plus the weight of the trailer).

Also, if the trailer is more than 10,000 pounds and you are doing a commercial transport, you will most likely need a CDL license. This is the case even when the combined GVWR is below 26,000 pounds.

driver handshake

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.

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.

Carrying large cargo

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.

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