If you want to make money with a box truck, do you need a CDL to drive a it?
Well, you usually don’t.
Box trucks are made so that anyone with a basic driver's license can drive one.
However, there are cases when driving a box truck may require a CDL.
Exclude the CDL type that box trucks don't relate to
There are several types of CDLs.
To understand under which of them a box truck might fit, let's exclude the type of CDL a box truck doesn't fit in.
The most common CDL types are A and B.
A CDL A type refers to:
- The driver who operates any vehicle with a semi-trailer or a trailer with two or more axles.
- This includes any combination of vehicles with a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) greater than 26,000 pounds, provided the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of the towed vehicle is greater than 10,000 pounds.
From the description above, we see that the box truck driver doesn't need a CDL A because if you know what is a straight truck then you know that a straight truck's GCWR rarely exceeds 26,000 pounds. Besides that, the straight truck consists of a cab and a body attached to the same chassis making it one single unit.
This unit length doesn't exceed 26 feet.
Now, let's dive into CDL B to see if there are cases when a box truck driver may need one:
● A CDL B type allows a driver to operate any straight vehicle with a GVWR greater than 26,000 pounds.
● Also, any vehicle towing another trailer or vehicle, not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
Obtaining a Class B CDL allows you to get such jobs as a bus driver, local delivery driver, or dump truck driver.
The following types of vehicles may be driven with a Class B:
- Large buses, such as city buses, tourist buses, and school buses.
- Segmented buses.
- Box trucks, including delivery trucks and furniture trucks.
- Dump trucks with small trailers.
- Some Class C vehicles with the correct endorsements.
- Bingo! Box trucks are among the types of vehicles that may require a class B CDL. Let's see in which cases a box driver might need CDL B.
Situations when a straight truck driver needs a class B CDL
Generally, straight truck with a gross weight of 26,000 lbs or less does not require a CDL of any kind.
There are situations when a straight truck driver might need a CDL B type. And these are when:
- the driver is driving a bus that requires a passenger endorsement (15 or more passengers + the driver).
- the driver hauls hazardous materials.
One very important thing to note is that GVWR does not actually refer to how much the truck currently weighs. It wouldn’t make sense to have the licensing requirement differ based on the weight of the contents in the truck.
In fact, the GVWR actually refers to how much weight the vehicle is rated to carry, which is just another way of saying how large the truck is.
A vehicle’s GVWR is the most amount it can weight—including cargo—and still be operational.
Any straight truck with a rating of 26,001 pounds or more requires a CDL.
How to determine the GVWR of the vehicle?
To find the GVWR, you simply have to look inside the door jam of the truck. The inside sticker lists the Gross Axle Weight Rating (GARW) for both the front and rear axles.
Add those two numbers together and that equals your vehicle's GVWR number.
That GVWR number should tell you whether you need a CDL to drive the vehicle or not.