20 Tips: Commercial Driver License (CDL) is Needed When | Law Office of James Medows

20 Jun 20 Tips: Commercial Driver License (CDL) is Needed When

20 Tips: Commercial Driver License (CDL) is Needed When

You may be wondering when you will be required to get a commercial driver’s license (CDL). To help you get answers to this question, this article, with the help of ny-defense.com, will highlight 20 tips on when a CDL is needed.

What is a CDL?

As captured at ny-defense.com, since the passing of the Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) Safety Act of 1986, the Federal Government in the United States requires drivers to have a commercial driver’s license to be able to drive particular types of commercial vehicles. These licenses are more commonly referred to as CDLs. Only those with a CDL can drive a commercial vehicle for work.

Why was the CMV Safety Act of 1986 passed?

The CMV Safety Act of 1986 was passed by Congress to address the problem caused by irresponsible and unqualified bus and truck drivers who are damaging the image of what is a safety-conscious profession. Unqualified drivers are the cause of tragic accidents and other threats to highway safety.

The major loophole before the CMVSA

Before the passing of the CMVSA, many times, unqualified drivers sought to escape responsibility for their actions by carrying driver’s licenses issued by many states and spreading their traffic convictions among these licenses – therefore, avoiding suspension or revocations as discussed at ny-defense.com.

How did the CMVSA fix this loophole?

The CMVSA was designed to stop these abuses by prohibiting drivers from holding more than one license. A nationwide information system prevents the issuance of multiple licenses, allows states to exchange information on traffic violations, and makes it easier to remove problem drivers from the road. Those drivers who violate the law are subject to tougher penalties.

Why are CDL holders held to a higher standard?

Those with a commercial driver’s license (CDL) are held to a higher standard than the average driver because of the nature of what they do. Given that they carry heavier loads, hazardous material, and transport people, such drivers need to be held to a higher standard.

Drivers who must obtain a CDL

A CDL must be obtained by the driver of any of the following vehicles according to ny-defense.com:

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 more than 10,000 pounds.

Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not over 10,000 pounds.

Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.

Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

What is the GVWR?

The Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) is the value specified by the manufacturer as the maximum loaded weight of a single vehicle or combination of vehicles or the registered gross weight.

What is the GCWR?

The Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) on the other hand is the value specified by the manufacturer as the GVWR of the power unit plus the GVWR of the towed unit or units or the combined registered weight of the power unit plus the towed unit (s).

Some drivers are exempt from obtaining a CDL

As the excellent ny-defense.com points out, under state and federal laws, certain drivers are not subject to the requirements of the CDL program. However, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has determined that these exemptions will not diminish the safe operation of commercial vehicles on the highways.

Vehicle operators who are not required to obtain a CDL

The following are vehicle operators who are not required to obtain a CDL:

Farm equipment operators

This exemption covers legitimate farm-to-market operations by farmers, not commercial grain haulers. CDLs are not required to operate vehicles:

Controlled and operated by a farmer, a member of the farmer’s family, or an employee;

Used to transport farm products, equipment, or supplies to or from a farm (including nurseries and aquacultures);

Used within 150 air miles of the farm; and

Not used in the operations of a common or contract carrier; and

Used in nursery or agriculture operations.

An important consideration for farm equipment operators

According to ny-defense.com, you should note that for the drivers of truck-tractor semitrailers, the farmer, his/her spouse, and their children, parents on both sides, brothers and sisters on both sides, and their spouses operating a truck-tractor semitrailer and meeting the above criteria also are exempted from the CDL program. These drivers must be at least age 21, and the vehicle must have Farm plates. These drivers are, however, still required to take the appropriate CDL written, skills, and road tests to be licensed.

Firefighting equipment operators

Since most firefighting organizations have extensive initial training and re-training requirements for their equipment operators, most states waive CDL requirements for operators of firefighting equipment owned or operated by of or a government agency, when responding to or returning from an emergency.

Military vehicle operators

Operators of military vehicles for military purposes are exempt from obtaining a commercial driver’s license (CDL) as discussed at ny-defense.com.

Recreational vehicle operators

Finally, recreational vehicle operators, when using the vehicle primarily for personal use, do not also need a CDL.

These are some of the exemptions when it comes to obtaining a CDL.

What is the difference between a CDL and non-CDL?

A non-commercial driver’s license (non-CDL) is what most people get when they apply to legally drive a car, truck, or SUV under 8,000 pounds. In many cases, a common vehicle serves as your main transportation for daily travel and errands. However, a commercial track license comes in handy when your business requires a vehicle larger than a standard car.

When is a CDL required for your business?

There are many reasons to upgrade to a CDL, some of which include:

If your current mode of transportation is slow

As is discussed over at ny-defense.com, the use of a commercial vehicle for all classes of business can be beneficial if your current mode of transportation is slowing down your operations in any way. Time is money when it comes to business, and you don’t want your operations being dragged back by your transportation mode.

You need to transport more equipment that your car can handle

If you run a business that requires you to supply equipment and other material and you find that your pickup truck isn’t able to do the job, then you should upgrade to a commercial vehicle, meaning that you will have to get a CDL. This will prevent you from making unnecessary trips back and forth because what you are looking to transport cannot go in load as a result of the size of your vehicle.

Your business grows

If you started a business where you’d use your vehicle to transport goods to clients, and the business is really starting to pick up, you may find that your small personal vehicle may not be able to cut it anymore. Here, you may have to get a commercial van to give you the room you need to load up full orders in one trip, which means you will have to get a CDL.

These are just some of the practical examples of when a CDL may be required for your business.

Qualifications for a CDL

Anyone wishing to qualify for a commercial driver’s license in New York must be at least 18 years of age as covered at ny-defense.com. In addition, that person must obtain medical certification and pass a vision exam. Until a driver is 21 years of age, they may not transport cargo over state lines.

Getting your CDL

Finally, persons applying for a CDL must take an exam and a practical test. To obtain a CDL, an applicant must pass a driving test while driving the class of vehicle for which they want a license. For example, a person will be issued a Class A license after passing a practical exam while driving a Class A vehicle.

This article only just begins to scratch the surface as far as this topic is concerned and you can uncover more by visiting the highly-reliable ny-defense.com.