How Are GVWR and GCWR Related to Non-CDL Trucks?

non-CDL trucks
June 06, 2019

We are going to discuss how non-CDL trucks, GCWR, and GVWR are all related. But, before we can do that, we’ve got to set the stage.

Some Definitions and Explanations

Okay, first things first. What do GVW, GCWR, and GVWR standard for?

  • GVW – gross vehicle weight
  • GVWR – gross vehicle weight rating
  • GCWR – gross combination weight rating 

In the world of CDL and non-CDL trucks, those are terms that are frequently used. GCWR may also be referred to as MAM (maximum authorized mass), GTW (gross train weight), GCM (gross combination mass), or gross combination weight rating (which still uses the initials GCWR). It refers to the combined mass of vehicle cargo, passengers, and a road vehicle that is legally allowable combined with the mass of the trailer cargo and the trailer itself.

When it comes to vehicle ratings, they are set by the vehicle manufacturers.

What is GVW?

GVW and GVWR refer to the same thing – gross vehicle weight. The “R” just adds “rating” to the term. You may also hear this referred to as gross vehicle mass (GVM). Once again, this is set by the manufacturer. It refers to the maximum operating mass/weight of the vehicle. It includes cargo, passengers, driver, accessories, fuel, engine fluids, engine, body, and the chassis of the vehicle. Trailers, however, are excluded.

CDL Versus Non-CDL

CDL stands for commercial driver’s license. It is necessary to operate certain commercial vehicles in the United States. Non-CDL licenses are still necessary to operate a vehicle that isn’t considered commercial.

To operate a truck with a gross weight of under 26,000 pounds, you do not need a CDL. That’s because 26,001 pounds is, for the requirement of a CDL, the general weight criterion.

Professional drivers will need a Class A CDL if they want to drive a big rig. Additionally, though it is not a requirement, that license will also allow them to drive box trucks. To drive a single vehicle of any and all weights (unlimited), a Class B CDL is needed.

To drive a combination of vehicles, or a single vehicle, with a GCVWR or GVWR of less than 26,001 pounds but more than 10,001 pounds, a CDL is not required.

Driving Various Types of Trucks

When trying to find out whether someone will need a CDL or not, they often specify by saying “Do I need a CDL to drive a ____ truck?” The blank might be filled in by box, hotshot trucking, gooseneck, straight, low, or something else. The type of truck is not what matters. What matters is that the GCWR be below 26,000 pounds. That’s it in a nutshell!

Mickey Genuine Parts Has Trailers

At Mickey Genuine Parts, we carry trailers of all shapes, sizes, weights, and weight capacities. For the frugally minded, we even offer used trailers. Click here to see what’s currently in stock.

When it comes to parts and labor, we’ve got you covered there as well. If you order any part before 2 PM Eastern Standard Time, we can start shipping it the very same day (as long as it’s in stock). We also have Mickey certified service centers located throughout the United States. Chances are, there’s one close to you right now.

Contact us at Mickey Genuine Parts to see what we can do for you and your trailer needs – be it for CDL or non-CDL transportation.

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