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Non-CDL with air brakes ?

Discussion in 'Truck Talk' started by Crazynuff, Feb 28, 2005.

  1. Crazynuff

    Crazynuff New Recruit

    In the latest issue of " Popular Mechanics " Jay Leno test drove the new International pickup . This vehicle has a gvw of 25,999 but has air brakes . I have never heard of a truck with a gvw under 26,000 having air brakes . Wouldn't a CDL be required to operate this truck ?
  2. terryandrene

    terryandrene Active Expediter

    Just checked the MO CDL Manual and it sez personal use vehicles or using a comm'l vehicle for personal use such as moving ones own personal property are exempt from CDL requirement. No mention of air brakes in the exemptions.
  3. ATCO

    ATCO New Recruit

    I believe Airbrakes are becoming more and more popular with the commercial type trucks under 26,000GVW. However they are coming from your medium duty manufacturers (International/Freightliner)... New Penske straight trucks are (to my knowledge) being ordered with airbrakes, which are under 26,000GVW so that people holding Class C's can utilize their trucks (moving)...

    At least in California, as per commercial enforcment, You do not have to have a special endorsment to use a truck like this with airbrakes...

    -Joe Bohannon
    Bakersfield, CA

    Disclaimer: I am not a Commercial Enforcment officer. Information I provide is based on laws I've read regarding these vehicles, in addition speaking and asking specific questions with several California Commercial Enforcment officers.
  4. merkurfan

    merkurfan New Recruit

    This is from the boys in the coop in WI. A truck with a GVW of LESS than 26001 that is equpited with air brakes CAN be operated with a standard drivers license.

    Not sure why, even the officer was confused. I mean, air brakes are air brakes. I guess it is because the newer systems need less attention and adjust themselfs. I still cringe everytime I see someone diving a rental.

    Speaking of that international pickup. The heck with the Hummers, I want one of those! (cost about as much too).
  5. dirions

    dirions New Recruit

    This has been a confusing issue for everybody. I sell Freightliners in Orlando Florida and called the Florida Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles. I was told that you ARE required to have a CDL to drive any truck that had air brakes.I explained to the lady that you could not take a CDL test in the truck in question because the GVW was only 25,500. She said that it would have to be taken in another truck. This made no sense to me, so I wrote to a Compliance Officer (Kathy Daws) and I now have it in writing that you do NOT need a CDL to drive a truck under 26,000GVW, even if it has air brakes. I informed her that there were several enforcement officers who were not aware of this, including whoever answers the phone there. Hope this helps.
  6. Crazynuff

    Crazynuff New Recruit

    I would think the logical answer would be this vehicle would require a Class C CDL with air brake endorsement . I haven't seen a GCVW given but with an empty weight of 14,500 non-CDL drivers are restricted to towing less than 6 tons .
  7. Broompilot

    Broompilot New Recruit

    It is crazy, not to have at least the Air Brake Endorsement. As far as I am concerned it is a safety issue (I know my opinion means jack poop). But should safety not take rule here? What if? No let me rephrase when the air lines do break whos gona be at fault?

    If we failed to do a Pre-trip and our airlines went WOW talk about trouble. That is why it was explained to me in the DMV NC hand book how to handle an emergency. Next they will begin putting these on Motor Homes, without any explanation to the guy who loans it to his Grandfathers retired next door nieghbor. Thinks he is now a truck driver.

    Ever watch these things backing up, get out of the way.
  8. terryandrene

    terryandrene Active Expediter

    Just a point of clarification, the topic truck driven by Jay Leno is a noncommercial vehicle driven for private use.

    Regardless of GVWR or brake type, a non-commercial vehicle operator is not required to have a CDL. So sez the MO CDL Guidebook. I suspect the guide is based on the same federal regs to which all states must adhere.
  9. Broompilot

    Broompilot New Recruit

    Sure it is. I got to see one when I was working at Joe Gibbs, everyone used this place a test pilot. Guys loved it but for what? It had Air Brakes was under the GVW for a commercial plate, but still had A/B.

    It stinks that you can go out buy something like this with professional equipment that should be driven by only an expierenced lic. driver. Next you will 24 year old mothers at Day Care because Johny needs all that metal around him while she runs over your family member.

    The Vehicle in question is Overkill but seems that Americans will buy anything that is bigger badder than the last.
  10. ATeam

    ATeam Senior Member

    To elevate your blood pressure further, consider the 80 year-old retiree that decides he wants a 45 foot motor coach with large toy hauler towed behind. No problem. No training or special license needed. His coach can be longer than my 40 foot straight truck. His front axle can far exceed the front axle weight standards that apply to CMV's.

    I'm not concerned about RV driver safety. I'm not aware of any statistics that show they are worse drivers than others. I'm envious. I'd love to be able to add five more feet to my sleeper and not worry much about front axle weight.
  11. Broompilot

    Broompilot New Recruit

    Thank you I could go on and on. Perfect example who of us has not been on I-70 near Springfield OH. Trucks, Buses sign says STAY IN LEFT LANE thru Construction. Right?

    Guess whos got to pass me on the right with no room, sits besides me for about 4 miles until I finially decide I have had enough of Bozo sitting in my blind spot. Put on the R signal to see if he is paying any attention to get him either behind me or pass which there is not enough safe room to get two large vehicles buy. Then when he does get buy me just like the song flips me the bird. Sorry I have to use the highway to make a living and keep the Country Moving.
  12. woodman5455

    woodman5455 New Recruit

    There seems to be alot of confusion out there on the under 26,000 GVW with air brakes. I used to drive a 1996 FL60 and it had air brakes. Some other guys who do the same trade shows as I do ran into some problems. They finally turned in there rental trucks to non air brake trucks after getting stuck in some state that i can't remember and had to get a CDL driver to move the truck out of the Coop. At that time I did not have a CDL but never ran into a problem. I think it depends on the state your driving in. I do believe that anyone driving a truck with air brakes should have to take the test.

  13. TravisT

    TravisT New Recruit

    Just today, I bought my first truck, a 26,000GVW Int'l 4700 with air brakes. One salesman told my I would not need a CDL, the other told me I would. I've been driving box trucks for a few years without a CDL and no a/b, but need one or not I plan to get a class C cdl before I get on the road in this truck. My brother is an A-driver and although he doesn't yet know it he is soon going to be giving driving lessons.

    Instead of starting a new thread, can someone tell me what kind of mileage I can expect? 7 sp (granny & o/d), 410 gears, 22.5 tires, 210 hp. This is a '98 w/278,000 actual miles, a sleeper and a liftgate. I've always thought I would at least get 10-12 mpg loaded (granted, at no more than 60 mph), but the salesman said only 6-9.
  14. JohnMueller

    JohnMueller Moderator Staff Member

    To all respondents of this post. I have encountered this problem in the past on a few instances. The last cost a fleet owner leased onto our company a good driver. That driver just could not live with the uncertainty of how each law enforcement official he encountered would interpret the regs. He left to drive a non-cdl vehicle without airbrakes. The problem exists because many of the law enforcement officials are not propperly trained or do not understand the regulations. This applies to both roadside inspectors and persons employed within the state or federal governmental offices. The posts on this thread clearly show discrepancies in the interpretation of the regs. Listed below are definitions that are posted the the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website, which contains all of the regulations and their definitions. The address for this website is

    The following definitions were pulled from the webiste for your convenience:

    Commercial driver's license (CDL) means a license issued by a State or other jurisdiction, in accordance with the standards contained in 49 CFR part 383, to an individual which authorizes the individual to operate a class of a commercial motor vehicle.

    Commercial motor vehicle (CMV) means a motor vehicle or combination of motor vehicles used in commerce to transport passengers or property if the motor vehicle --
    (a) Has a gross combination weight rating of 11,794 kilograms or more (26,001 pounds or more) inclusive of a towed unit(s) with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds); or
    (b) Has a gross vehicle weight rating of 11,794 or more kilograms (26,001 pounds or more); or
    (c) Is designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver; or
    d) Is of any size and is used in the transportation of hazardous materials as defined in this section.

    Endorsement means an authorization to an individual's CDL required to permit the individual to operate certain types of commercial motor vehicles.

    Gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) means the value specified by the manufacturer as the loaded weight of a single vehicle.

    Non-CMV means a motor vehicle or combination of motor vehicles not defined by the term "commercial motor vehicle (CMV)" in this section.

    By the definitions listed above, especially the last definition, a vehicle having a GVW of 26,000 lbs. with air-brakes, that has only 2 axles, is a NON-CDL vehicle provided it is not used to transport placardable amounts of hazardous materials. I see them as being legally operated by a person without a CDL. That is my opinion. We all know that my opinion may not be the same as the law enforcement official who issues you a citation.

    That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

    John Mueller, CDS
  15. dirions

    dirions New Recruit

    In the letter that I received from Compliance Officer Daws in Tallahassee, she says that "If you operate a noncommercial motor vehicle, with air brakes, you are not required to upgrade to a commercial license, as long as the gross vehicle weight rating is 26,001 pounds or less".She then goes on to say, "The license class is determined by the weight of the vehicle, not how the vehicle is used (example personal or business use)".

    Unfortunately,it seems that a majority of the law enforcement officers don't know this.

    It's a crazy law, but it is the law.
  16. Crazynuff

    Crazynuff New Recruit

    A 10,000 lb. van is not as a rule a CDL vehicle - unless it carries Hazmat . A van carrying 15 passengers is under 26,000 lbs. but requires a CDL . Hazmat requires an endorsement as does carrying over 15 passengers . Checking different state laws I found that some states say if a person gets a CDL and does not pass the air brake test it will be noted on his license he cannot drive air brake equpped vehicles .
  17. TravisT

    TravisT New Recruit

    Sorry, next post.
  18. TravisT

    TravisT New Recruit

    I just realized something important by reading the definition of a CMV in HotFr8Recruiter's post above. I was under the assumption that a "CMV" meant any commercially tagged vehicle, but that isn't correct. I realize now that a 26,000 lb truck is not a "CMV" under the law, that's where I was wrong.

    If a 26,000 lb truck is not a CMV, then a CDL holder with an a/b restriction is only restricted from driving a >26,000 lb truck equipped with a/b.

    But that still doesn't solve the other riddle, why would a non-cdl holder get a ticket for driving a non-CMV truck, i.e. a 26,000 lb truck, with air brakes? This means that the enforcement officers think that air brakes constitute a CMV regardless of weight class, and that is ridiculous.

    They should CREATE an a/b endorsement which non-CDL licensed drivers must obtain in order to legally drive under-cdl a/b trucks.
  19. tazman

    tazman New Recruit

    No CDL required.....It is not considered a commercial vehicle as it is not over 26001 lbs......even with air brakes (intersting glitch in the law)

    I have sold several F-650 pickups (similar to the these new I trucks)...from an upfitter in Ga.
    Again no CDL required.........

    Consider the thousands of Rv'ers driving the big diesel pushers out there...all without a CDl and most all with air brakes....

    Lobbying is a powerful thing !!!!!!!!!

    Just an FYI...

    "The Beast in the East";)

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