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Old 07-25-2011, 02:48 PM   #1
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Important: You May Require a Special Licence to Tow a Trailer

This is something all potential trailer purchasers should know!

Someone recently mentioned that I may need a special driver's licence before I hit the road with my Airstream.

I was initially alarmed, then puzzled. If I needed a special driver's licence, surely the woman I bought the trailer insurance from would have said something.

Thanks to the internet, these questions are easily answered. In my province of B.C., you do need a special endorsement on your DL if your trailer is over 4,600 kg. fully loaded (10,141 pounds). Thankfully, my trailer is within the non-endorsement range.

The endorsement requires the passing of certain medical, visual, written and on-road tests.

I'm curious about other states/provinces. Do you require this endorsement?

Secondly, I wonder what the situation is for those wanting to visit
B.C. who may not have this endorsement?
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Old 07-25-2011, 03:13 PM   #2
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Sounds much like CDL requirements. Fortunatly "MOST" travel trailers will fall below this threshold and not require any special licensing. If in doubt check on the GVW established by the trailer manufacturer. I suspect that these requirements are aimed at commerical haulers but may, of course, also target travel trailers if they are over the weight limits.
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Old 07-25-2011, 03:19 PM   #3
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In my state, ordinary licenses are valid for trailers up to 10,000 pounds and all recreational vehicles.

That's typical. There are a few states that restrict the licenses they issue to RVs below a certain size such that a few larger rigs do require a special license.
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Old 07-25-2011, 03:22 PM   #4
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In most states of the US, RVs of any type are exempt for requiring a CDL, regardless of weight or length.
I see a lot of converted semi trucks are labeled as “private coaches” to differentiate themselves from OTR rigs.
No doubt there will be posts of locales in which this not the case, hence the “most states”. In any case, if you meet the law where your rig is tagged, you are legal in the US.
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Old 07-25-2011, 03:53 PM   #5
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A CDL may be needed in the future for RV's, as this story shows they now are going after farmers. RVers may be next.

Proposed road rules for farmers anger some
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Old 07-25-2011, 04:10 PM   #6
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RV's are generally not used in interstate commerce, but farmers transporting grain long distances may be considered to be doing so, and that seems to be the basis of the proposal.

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Old 07-25-2011, 04:34 PM   #7
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Gene,

The article goes on to say even the local haul to town would be considered interstate, thus making the need for a CDL. The reasoning is that the wheat eventually travels out of state. (But the elevator does the hauling, either by truck or rail, when hauled out of state)

All I wanted to point out is that I would need a CDL to haul an 18ft flatbed to town, but not to haul my 19' AS across the country.

The gov wants more revenue, and RV's may be next. Most farmers I know don't transport their crops very far.
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Old 07-25-2011, 04:54 PM   #8
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CDL = Commercial Driver's License. Transporting grain or other farm products for sale, or transporting your equipment from location to location in order to produce goods for sale is pretty close to the essential definition of commercial activity. The fact that farmers have generally been given a pass on it up to now doesn't mean it's not commercial, and growing up in rural NE Texas gave me plenty of opportunity to see some "git 'er done" transport work that would have been much safer if done to commercial specs.

I can't think of anyone with a hay trailer/flatbed that had brakes, for example, but they were often well beyond what would technically require trailer brakes to have on the road. Our own flatbed didn't have brakes, and my dad was a diesel mechanic who mostly worked on over-the-road trucks, so he knew better. He just taught me to be a very conservative tow driver, which was good since the '69 Chevy 1-ton dually had drums all around!!
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Old 07-25-2011, 05:04 PM   #9
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Generally a CDL is not required as long as the GVW is below 26000 Lbs, or combined weight in the case of a trailer/tow vehicle combination.
I hauled new trailers to dealers for 11 years and did not need a CDL I. Did have to have the med card and keep a log and have my truck DOT inspected however.

It does create an interesting situation tho as the driver delivering a large motor home (26k PLUS) does need a CDL but the 90 year old that bought it probably does not need to meet any special requirements in most states
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Old 07-25-2011, 07:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickDavis View Post
Generally a CDL is not required as long as the GVW is below 26000 Lbs, or combined weight in the case of a trailer/tow vehicle combination.
I hauled new trailers to dealers for 11 years and did not need a CDL I. Did have to have the med card and keep a log and have my truck DOT inspected however.

It does create an interesting situation tho as the driver delivering a large motor home (26k PLUS) does need a CDL but the 90 year old that bought it probably does not need to meet any special requirements in most states
Could not have said it better. I was trying to relay the message that if a farmer (who has probably been driving rigs since childhood, and knows how to back a trailer), is soon to be put under extra driving regs, RVers may be next, when considering Triple trailer rigs being driven for the first time by anyone that has the money to buy the toys, no tests required. Not saying it is wrong for someone driving large vehicles down the road to be qualified, but why only farmers, and not another person running down the highway with several tons of apparatus.
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Old 07-25-2011, 07:38 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LFM View Post
Could not have said it better. I was trying to relay the message that if a farmer (who has probably been driving rigs since childhood, and knows how to back a trailer), is soon to be put under extra driving regs, RVers may be next, when considering Triple trailer rigs being driven for the first time by anyone that has the money to buy the toys, no tests required. Not saying it is wrong for someone driving large vehicles down the road to be qualified, but why only farmers, and not another person running down the highway with several tons of apparatus.
CDL, the "C" stands for Commercial. RVers are not by definition involved in commerce. Farmers are.
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