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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New member looking at AT4 I am trying to decide on carbon black, onyx black or dark sky metallic. I plan to visit a few dealers to see the carbon black. I am also thinking I should go 3500 just for the towing capacity. I have gone back and forth over the years on a 5er purchase to pull my Harley.

I can't find any reference on the PennDOT web site that says I will need a CDL for the 3500. Anyone from PA that can confirm that?

I did search and read many threads on 2500 to 3500 comparison a lot of great information here.

TIA.

Luke
 

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Both 2500 and 3500 have GVWs over 10,001 lbs. They both could qualify for being a commercial motor vehicle depending on your state regs. You can order a 2500 with the option CGO that restricts GVW to 10k and GVW to 26k.

GCW of 2500 crew cabs is over 26k so you could require CDL if you pull a trailer rated over 10k and are considered a CMV.
 

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First of all, CDL requirements are regulated by the feds but the states can add their additional requirements but not delete any fed requirements. The CDL is based on weights only and LEO's look at data tags on towing vehicle and towed vehicle for gross weights and add them for GCW total.
If you look at your state's website it will give you the info you need including all fed requirements as well as states and what class CDL you MIGHT need.
 

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I'm pretty certain that you would only need a CDL if you were going to tow a trailer with a GVWR above 10k.

I base this off of the following:

"A CDL must be obtained by the driver of any of the following vehicles: Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds."
 
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Does a 2500HD have a GVW over 10K? Mine was only in the 9K range if I remember correctly and the 2019 GM towing guide shows same.
 

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"A CDL must be obtained by the driver of any of the following vehicles: Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds."
This ^ is misunderstood by many.

Where it comes into play for example, is with a MD Class 6 box truck.
Like you'd rent to move household stuff.
Single axle, that truck has a GVWR of 25.9 (Or, 26 if you will, and not a oz over).

Any trailer hooked to it would put you into CDL territory (combined now exceeds 26k).
But this provision allows you to hook a trailer on and not be pushed into CDL, as long as the trailer towed doesn't exceed 10k gvwr.

Even though you're now at 35.9k lbs GCW.
It doesn't mean that because you hook onto your tandem 7k axle utility trailer (14k gvwr) with your 1-ton truck, that you now need a CDL.

Which you don't, because the sum of the two doesn't exceed 26k.

You'll see this combo all the time, a box truck (Penske / Haul-U) with a car hauler hooked on, moving the family on their merry way across the Country.
 
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Looked at Penn Dot site. This is what I see

Pennsylvania Driver’s License Restrictions
Pennsylvania driver’s license is issued for specific driving requirements. The most common type of driver’s license allows drivers to operate standard passenger vehicles. However, drivers are only able to drive vehicles within their assigned classes. For instance, a Class A non-commercial driver’s license is required to operate vehicles weighing 26,001 pounds or more including the weight of towed vehicles

https://pa-portal.org/drivers-resources/new-license.html?utm_source=google&utm_campaign=PA_Driver_License_US&utm_content=driver-license&utm_term=%20pennsylvania%20%20dot&edw_id=9334eac9-a6cb-4ef1-b3d4-5a9dba88d826
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm pretty certain that you would only need a CDL if you were going to tow a trailer with a GVWR above 10k.

I base this off of the following:

"A CDL must be obtained by the driver of any of the following vehicles: Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds."

Thanks for this, I went back and found this on the PA CDL web site. I agree that I would only need it if I end up getting a 5th wheel!

Thanks to everyone else who responded to my questions..
 

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New member looking at AT4 I am trying to decide on carbon black, onyx black or dark sky metallic. I plan to visit a few dealers to see the carbon black. I am also thinking I should go 3500 just for the towing capacity. I have gone back and forth over the years on a 5er purchase to pull my Harley.

I can't find any reference on the PennDOT web site that says I will need a CDL for the 3500. Anyone from PA that can confirm that?

I did search and read many threads on 2500 to 3500 comparison a lot of great information here.

TIA.

Luke
Why don't you just call them and get it from the horses mouth,
 

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Doesn't matter what kind of trailer or hitch type you use as far as CDL requirements. You need to look at GVWR on the truck as well as trailer. In your owners manual it will explain what the truck is rated for.
If your GVWR on the truck is 12,001 and you hook a 14K trailer to it, that totals 26001-- Class A CDL required.

Hook is correct as long as the truck GVWR doesn't put you over the limit. From what I see, the 3500HD's have a GCWR of 31K--

After all this conversation, I doubt that you would get pulled over for just weight. At least here in Texas I hardly ever see ranchers or construction drivers pulled over and those boys really overload the trucks and trailers.. When a 3500HD is on the rear bumps that is serious weight!
 

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If it's not used commercially even with a 12,000 gvw 3500 and a 16,000 lbs 5th wheel you don't need a CDL. It's an RV and private truck and you don't have to hit weight stations either.
 

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If it's not used commercially
Now you're getting into the DOT number/signage tags, compliant, not a death threat card...and inspection stations.

But unless you've got an AG exemption, even for personal use, 26001+ combo = CDL A
28k lbs...you're there, RV or not.

True, most States overlook the RV for inspections. "Overlook", as in they've got bigger fish to prey on.
Some States (TX is one) now offer a Non-Commercial CDL license just for this.
 

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Go to FMCSA and read 383 for federal definitions and requirements for CDL's. The term "commercial" actually does not mean that you are making money using your truck just that it is over 26K.

As for the AG exemption, it only applys to vehicles being operated within a 150 mile radius and must meet certain requirements as to what is being carried etc. And IIRC it is only good for a crop season.

As you intend to pull your 5er, it might not be required for you to have a CDL because it is an RV which is exempt from the Class "A" cdl but your state might require you to have a "Class "A" license because of the size.
 

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It's not the end of the world, stepping into CDL areas.
Just study the book and go take the test.
You're not messing with HazMat, Passenger, multiples, or air brakes, so none of that testing is required.

Just the basic general test is all. It's not difficult.
And you'll most likely learn something you didn't know. :neener
 
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Well, you might have to get a medical inspection but usually that consist of you walked in, paid, and walked out with a med card. I took my driving tests with a 2013 3500HD ext. cab 4X4 SRW(GVWR 11,300) and a 3 horse aluminum trailer GVWR 16K. Piece of cake as long as you can remember how to parallel park with a trailer following you. Never did understand that requirement. Sometimes a CDL will get you a deduction on your insurance premium as well.
 

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I will give my 2 cents. I’m from PA
just got my class A non cdl a few months ago. For this reason. I’ve been towing everything from. TT fifth wheels all My current one is a 40’ toyhauler. Gvw 17000 lbs. it is 6 years old. Was pulling it with a 2005 3500Srw. Pulled fine. Stopping was the problem lol. Upgraded to a 2020 Denali DRW last year.
I found out last year that it’s not just GCVW over 26,001. It is if the truck and tow vehicle CAN be over that weight and also you must have a class A if your trailer can weigh over 10,001. It can be non cdl if not used for your business. I got it because I was not afraid of getting a ticket from a cop or weigh station. The problem comes in if your ever in an accident you can be sited for not having a license. Even if it’s not your fault. Lawyers and insurance companies will go for that.
hope that helps
 

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I will give my 2 cents. I’m from PA
just got my class A non cdl a few months ago. For this reason. I’ve been towing everything from. TT fifth wheels all My current one is a 40’ toyhauler. Gvw 17000 lbs. it is 6 years old. Was pulling it with a 2005 3500Srw. Pulled fine. Stopping was the problem lol. Upgraded to a 2020 Denali DRW last year.
I found out last year that it’s not just GCVW over 26,001. It is if the truck and tow vehicle CAN be over that weight and also you must have a class A if your trailer can weigh over 10,001. It can be non cdl if not used for your business. I got it because I was not afraid of getting a ticket from a cop or weigh station. The problem comes in if your ever in an accident you can be sited for not having a license. Even if it’s not your fault. Lawyers and insurance companies will go for that.
hope that helps
Check this link - RV Driver's License Requirements In Every State | Campanda Magazine

Also from website - License Types & Restrictions (pa.gov)

Classes of Driver's Licenses
Non-commercial Driver's Licenses

  • CLASS A (minimum age 18): Required to operate any combination of vehicles with a gross weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more, where the vehicle(s) being towed is/are in excess of 10,000 pounds. Example: Recreational Vehicle, when the towing vehicle is rated at 11,000 pounds and the vehicle towed is rated at 15,500 pounds (total combination weight of 26,500 pounds).
  • CLASS B (minimum age 18): Required to operate any single vehicle rated in excess of 26,000 pounds. Example: Motor homes rated at 26,001 pounds or more.
 
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