Weight Requirements for a CDL

By Timber Ferguson
Commercial vehicles are rated by weight.

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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires commercial drivers to pass knowledge and skills tests specific to the type of vehicle they will be driving. Vehicle weight is the main factor in deciding if a driver should have a Class A, B or C license. Commercial drivers who operate intrastate, interstate or foreign commerce must hold a commercial driver's license.

Class A

Tractors and heavy trailers can meet Class A standards.

truck image by max blain from Fotolia.com

Any driver who operates a combination of tractor and trailer that has a gross weight of 26,001 lbs. or more, or pulls a trailer or trailers that have a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 lbs., must have a Class A license.

Class B

Trucks pulling lighter trailers may qualify as Class B.

American container truck on road of my trucks series image by alma_sacra from Fotolia.com

Driving a vehicle that has a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 lbs. or more requires a Class B license. When such a vehicle is towing a trailer, the trailer's gross weight must not exceed 10,000 lbs.

Class C

Large passenger vehicles are usually considered Class C.

Bus. Bus in parking area/ parking lot/ car park image by L. Shat from Fotolia.com

If a vehicle is capable of transporting the driver and 15 or more people but is not defined as Class A or Class B, the driver must hold a Class C license. Also designated as Class C are vehicles transporting federally qualified hazardous or poisonous materials or select agents.

About the Author

Timber Ferguson began writing poetry and short stories in 1972. Her poetry has been published in the "Winchester News-Gazette" and "Muncie Star Press." She has also published a book of poetry and now writes for eHow. Ferguson holds an Associate of Arts in journalism from Ball State University.

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