CDL/Non-CDL Tremor

RandallW201

Tremor Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2021
Messages
21
Reaction Points
27
Location
North Texas
Ok, so if you happened to catch my first post titled "Bummer..." you may have seen I have been recently disappointed in being able to order a 2021 F350 after the "cutoff"
Well, I'm thinking that may be a blessing in disguise now.


I am coming to you all whom may be more knowledgeable about this subject that I now find myself researching (CDL Requirements). And I want to make sure I am understanding correctly before I pull a trigger on something.
I live in Texas and the requirements state:

You need an Texas CDL when you operate the following vehicles:

CLASS A – Applies only to “combination” vehicles with a Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) more than 26,000 pounds, and the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is more than 10,000 pounds. A driver with a Class A CDL (plus any appropriate endorsements) can also operate all vehicles included in Class B, C, and D (below)

CLASS B – Includes single or combination vehicles where the GVWR of the single vehicle is more than 26,000 pounds. The vehicle being pulled must not be more than 10,000 pounds. A driver with an Texas Class B CDL (plus appropriate endorsements) can also legally operate all vehicles in Class C or D.



I do not want to get a CDL and we do plan on towing a 5th wheel in the 10K-14K lb range
Now, I'm considering the following options and have found these numbers from the Ford Tow Guide

2021 F-250 7.3 Tremor w/ 4.3 axle
24,900 GCWR
17,500 Max Trailer Weight

2021 F-350 7.3 Tremor w/ 4.3 axle
27,500 GCWR
20,000 Max Trailer Weight

So now I'm to my questions.
#1. If I do not want to get a CDL then that throws out the F-350, correct (since it has a GCWR of 27,500)?
#2. If I go with a F-250, can I pull a 14,000 lb trailer? I'm assuming the GVWR is about 10,000 though.
#3. What are my options here? I'm entering a new world for myself.
#4. Last but not least, THANK YOU ALL!!!!!!!

EDIT: I forgot to add this...
There is also the possibility in the near future of starting a mobile RV repair business, thus pulling a cargo trailer. I'm assuming such trailer would not weigh more than 10,000 lbs. BUT, at that point I'd be driving as a commercial business....
 
Last edited:

Big_Mack

Tremor Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2021
Messages
11
Reaction Points
10
Location
MI
Current Ride
F-350
I believe that those requirements are for "while operating a Commercial vehicle" In your case of buying a pick up and a camper to go camping, you would be under the "personal use" category and would not need a CDL because you're not getting paid to pull your camper and go camping.

Maybe I am wrong and maybe it is different for Texas, but what I stated is how I understand it.
 

soop

Tremor Fanatic
Joined
Mar 29, 2021
Messages
126
Reaction Points
160
Location
California 🍷
Current Ride
2021 7.3
Ok, so if you happened to catch my first post titled "Bummer..." you may have seen I have been recently disappointed in being able to order a 2021 F350 after the "cutoff"
Well, I'm thinking that may be a blessing in disguise now.


I am coming to you all whom may be more knowledgeable about this subject that I now find myself researching (CDL Requirements). And I want to make sure I am understanding correctly before I pull a trigger on something.
I live in Texas and the requirements state:

You need an Texas CDL when you operate the following vehicles:

CLASS A – Applies only to “combination” vehicles with a Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) more than 26,000 pounds, and the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is more than 10,000 pounds. A driver with a Class A CDL (plus any appropriate endorsements) can also operate all vehicles included in Class B, C, and D (below)

CLASS B – Includes single or combination vehicles where the GVWR of the single vehicle is more than 26,000 pounds. The vehicle being pulled must not be more than 10,000 pounds. A driver with an Texas Class B CDL (plus appropriate endorsements) can also legally operate all vehicles in Class C or D.



I do not want to get a CDL and we do plan on towing a 5th wheel in the 10K-14K lb range
Now, I'm considering the following options and have found these numbers from the Ford Tow Guide

2021 F-250 7.3 Tremor w/ 4.3 axle
24,900 GCWR
17,500 Max Trailer Weight

2021 F-350 7.3 Tremor w/ 4.3 axle
27,500 GCWR
20,000 Max Trailer Weight

So now I'm to my questions.
#1. If I do not want to get a CDL then that throws out the F-350, correct (since it has a GCWR of 27,500)?
#2. If I go with a F-250, can I pull a 14,000 lb trailer? I'm assuming the GVWR is about 10,000 though.
#3. What are my options here? I'm entering a new world for myself.
#4. Last but not least, THANK YOU ALL!!!!!!!
On question #2, my 7.3 250 Tremor does not have the high capacity tow package, but the hitch is rated to 18200#.

You’d have no problem pulling 14000# recreationally with this truck assuming your trailer has good brakes. If you’re towing heavy trailers commercially (i.e. multiple times a week, under the clock) then there are better options than a SRW Gas Super Duty IMO.

E19ABBB2-BA35-4CBE-B946-8654FA7E57C6.jpeg
 
Last edited:

soop

Tremor Fanatic
Joined
Mar 29, 2021
Messages
126
Reaction Points
160
Location
California 🍷
Current Ride
2021 7.3
On question #2, my 7.3 250 Tremor does not have the high capacity tow package, but the hitch is rated to 18200#.

You’d have no problem pulling 14000# recreationally with this truck assuming your trailer has good brakes. If you’re towing commercially (i.e. multiple times a week, under the clock, then there are better options.)

View attachment 21685

Also, FWIW, your limiter here is only going to be the motor. SFAIK, your chassis is going to be identical in all of the configurations you mentioned other than a 2.5” receiver hitch vs 3.0” receiver on the maxed out 350. And for what your describing, your trailer and license would probably hit the limits before you exceed the max capacity of a 2.5” receiver (which is usually around 26000# IIRC.)
 
Last edited:

Loshad

Founding Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2020
Messages
931
Reaction Points
1,379
Location
Commiefornia
Military
Navy
Current Ride
2016 F150 Lariat FX4
Shakespeare wrote a play about this:

"Much Ado About Nothing" :giggle:
 
  • Like
Reactions: VB!
OP
RandallW201

RandallW201

Tremor Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2021
Messages
21
Reaction Points
27
Location
North Texas
Ok, so essentially I should just go for the 250 as long as I'm not planning on towing more than 14,000lbs then?

Soop, thanks for the link to the towing guide. I got those numbers I listed off the 2021 Guide though ;)
 

LoneStar Tremor

Tremor Buff
Joined
Jan 26, 2021
Messages
54
Reaction Points
69
Location
Texas
Current Ride
2021 F350 Lariat Tremor
Ok, so if you happened to catch my first post titled "Bummer..." you may have seen I have been recently disappointed in being able to order a 2021 F350 after the "cutoff"
Well, I'm thinking that may be a blessing in disguise now.


I am coming to you all whom may be more knowledgeable about this subject that I now find myself researching (CDL Requirements). And I want to make sure I am understanding correctly before I pull a trigger on something.
I live in Texas and the requirements state:

You need an Texas CDL when you operate the following vehicles:

CLASS A – Applies only to “combination” vehicles with a Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) more than 26,000 pounds, and the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is more than 10,000 pounds. A driver with a Class A CDL (plus any appropriate endorsements) can also operate all vehicles included in Class B, C, and D (below)

CLASS B – Includes single or combination vehicles where the GVWR of the single vehicle is more than 26,000 pounds. The vehicle being pulled must not be more than 10,000 pounds. A driver with an Texas Class B CDL (plus appropriate endorsements) can also legally operate all vehicles in Class C or D.



I do not want to get a CDL and we do plan on towing a 5th wheel in the 10K-14K lb range
Now, I'm considering the following options and have found these numbers from the Ford Tow Guide

2021 F-250 7.3 Tremor w/ 4.3 axle
24,900 GCWR
17,500 Max Trailer Weight

2021 F-350 7.3 Tremor w/ 4.3 axle
27,500 GCWR
20,000 Max Trailer Weight

So now I'm to my questions.
#1. If I do not want to get a CDL then that throws out the F-350, correct (since it has a GCWR of 27,500)?
#2. If I go with a F-250, can I pull a 14,000 lb trailer? I'm assuming the GVWR is about 10,000 though.
#3. What are my options here? I'm entering a new world for myself.
#4. Last but not least, THANK YOU ALL!!!!!!!

EDIT: I forgot to add this...
There is also the possibility in the near future of starting a mobile RV repair business, thus pulling a cargo trailer. I'm assuming such trailer would not weigh more than 10,000 lbs. BUT, at that point I'd be driving as a commercial business....
This article lays out the special requirements for recreational vehicles in Texas. Basically you don’t ever need a commercial license to pull a camper or drive a motor home in Texas. They only thing they require is that under certain circumstances you obtain a non CDL class A or class B license depending on GVWR and GCWR (GVWR of the tow vehicle + GVWR of the towable). The way I understand it and it’s been explained to me is it’s kind of an in between for your regular class C license and full blown CDL. Depending on your combination of truck GVWR and trailer GVWR, not the actual weight, you would either just be able use your class C and go on about your business or go take the test for the “Class A Exempt” aka “non-CDL class A” license. I’ve heard it’s pretty easy, but I also know the vast majority of people don’t ever bother with it and get by just fine because if you go by the rules just about everyone out there towing a run of the mill trailer with a DRW 350 would need the Class A license because they would be over 26,000 lbs GCWR

618D13B0-3F1A-4E67-B662-3A99AF933E5C.jpeg


 
OP
RandallW201

RandallW201

Tremor Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2021
Messages
21
Reaction Points
27
Location
North Texas
I believe that those requirements are for "while operating a Commercial vehicle" In your case of buying a pick up and a camper to go camping, you would be under the "personal use" category and would not need a CDL because you're not getting paid to pull your camper and go camping.

Maybe I am wrong and maybe it is different for Texas, but what I stated is how I understand it.
Yeah, see that is where I became even more confused as well. But at the same time (and I went back and edited my post) there's a chance I may do business with the truck as well.
 

soop

Tremor Fanatic
Joined
Mar 29, 2021
Messages
126
Reaction Points
160
Location
California 🍷
Current Ride
2021 7.3
Ok, so essentially I should just go for the 250 as long as I'm not planning on towing more than 14,000lbs then?

Soop, thanks for the link to the towing guide. I got those numbers I listed off the 2021 Guide though ;)
In my opinion, there is no reason to go with a 350 unless you’re planning to put more than ~3500#+ in the bed and ~18000#+ in the trailer.

At which point I don’t think a SRW Gas Tremor Pickup Bed is the best vehicle for the job no matter the number on the fender.

(Noting: You can also fudge these numbers higher on a 250 with the high-cap package but then we’re talking about a diesel.)
 
OP
RandallW201

RandallW201

Tremor Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2021
Messages
21
Reaction Points
27
Location
North Texas
This article lays out the special requirements for recreational vehicles in Texas. Basically you don’t ever need a commercial license to pull a camper or drive a motor home in Texas. They only thing they require is that under certain circumstances you obtain a non CDL class A or class B license depending on GVWR and GCWR (GVWR of the tow vehicle + GVWR of the towable). The way I understand it and it’s been explained to me is it’s kind of an in between for your regular class C license and full blown CDL. Depending on your combination of truck GVWR and trailer GVWR, not the actual weight, you would either just be able use your class C and go on about your business or go take the test for the “Class A Exempt” aka “non-CDL class A” license. I’ve heard it’s pretty easy, but I also know the vast majority of people don’t ever bother with it and get by just fine because if you go by the rules just about everyone out there towing a run of the mill trailer with a DRW 350 would need the Class A license because they would be over 26,000 lbs GCWR



True, and I'm glad you posted that as it refreshed my memory a bit on that.

I'm just paranoid that I'll end up needing it at some point if for whatever reason I go over that number. And I've heard that insurance can be a BEEOTCH to deal with if you are involved in an accident and you don't have that CDL.

I'm wanting to be 1000000% certain I am completely within law and specs. That I mind all my p's and q's and all my t's are crossed and i's dotted.
 
OP
RandallW201

RandallW201

Tremor Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2021
Messages
21
Reaction Points
27
Location
North Texas
In my opinion, there is no reason to go with a 350 unless you’re planning to put more than ~3500#+ in the bed and ~18000#+ in the trailer.

At which point I don’t think a SRW Gas Tremor Pickup Bed is the best vehicle for the job no matter the number on the fender.

(Noting: You can also fudge these numbers higher on a 250 with the high-cap package but then we’re talking about a diesel.)
Ok, I think I'm getting you.

When planning this whole thing I figured for the small increase in price from teh 250 to the 350 might as well be safe than sorry, but now I'm coming across this whole CDL debacle and its really throwing a wrench in things and causing my brain to go off spinning in circles with the "what if's" :rolleyes:
 

soop

Tremor Fanatic
Joined
Mar 29, 2021
Messages
126
Reaction Points
160
Location
California 🍷
Current Ride
2021 7.3
Ok, I think I'm getting you.

When planning this whole thing I figured for the small increase in price from teh 250 to the 350 might as well be safe than sorry, but now I'm coming across this whole CDL debacle and its really throwing a wrench in things and causing my brain to go off spinning in circles with the "what if's" :rolleyes:
Yeah, I started in same place. Wasn’t worried about the money so I figured why not max it out (even if de-rating.)

Then I started thinking I’d prefer the 7.3 to a diesel since I’m using this truck purely recreationally.

Then I realized all of the hardware is identical on the Tremor’s (other than the 3” receiver I’d always have a reducer on anyway.)

Then I realized I’d be paying much more of a premium for the max sticker capacity build due to scarcity versus more rationale builds.

Then I got the truck and towed 10000# for the first time and realized the new Super Duty’s are no more Super than my old (mid aught) Super Duty’s despite the numbers (but they’re a hell of a lot more plush.) For very heavy loads this’ll do in a pinch but I won’t make a habit of towing 15k+ with this truck no matter what sticker I’ve got on it. The fun of the gas motor screaming, the SRW brakes smoking, and the pickup chassis swaying wears off quickly once the first few idiots in BMW’s cut you off in a braking zone.
 

LoneStar Tremor

Tremor Buff
Joined
Jan 26, 2021
Messages
54
Reaction Points
69
Location
Texas
Current Ride
2021 F350 Lariat Tremor
Ok, I think I'm getting you.

When planning this whole thing I figured for the small increase in price from teh 250 to the 350 might as well be safe than sorry, but now I'm coming across this whole CDL debacle and its really throwing a wrench in things and causing my brain to go off spinning in circles with the "what if's" :rolleyes:
Yea I totally understand I was going through that as well. If your non commercial I don’t think people pay as much attention to it, but if you’re saying you might use the truck for business at some point you might want to think about it in terms of the biggest trailer size you could tow with each truck and see how that fits in your plan. With a gas F350 with a GVWR of 11,300 the biggest trailer you could pull commercially and not need a CDL would be about 14,700 lbs GVWR to keep you under the 26,000 lb limit. When comparing that to the 250 the max trailer GVWR would increase by however much your truck’s GVWR decreased. Keep in mind though that you can have a dealer derate a trailer just like you would a truck to keep you under this limit if you were close.
 
OP
RandallW201

RandallW201

Tremor Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2021
Messages
21
Reaction Points
27
Location
North Texas
Good info, thanks guys for helping to settle those nerves and my habit of over analyzing things.

And I never knew I could have a trailer "derated", thats news to me. I'm learning a lot today, LOL.

A quick search I came up with a 250 weighing in right around 6500-6800 lbs
Lets say it is 6,800, plus for whatever stupid reason I tow the max trailer weight at 17,500; that comes in to 24,068. Thus being below the GCWR of 24,900 rated for that truck and the state mandates of 26,000 for a CDL.

I'm glad I have ya'll here to bounce these ideas and discussions off of. Thank ya'll!!!
 

CalTremor2020

Tremor Buff
Joined
Jun 25, 2020
Messages
79
Reaction Points
118
Location
California
I haven’t checked Texas specifically but I know in Ohio there was an exception for a personal recreational vehicle as long as the truck used was class 3 or lower (GVWR of 14k or less). I think that’s what it was anyway. I was curious how they could rate an F450 to tow 32k when 26k required a CDL so I looked it up.

Watch out on those weight numbers. Not sure if you’re looking at gas or diesel but my truck is listed as having a payload of 2600 lbs and GVWR of 10800 lbs which means Ford thinks that, with a full tank plus a 150lb driver, my truck weighs 8200 lbs. YMMV
 

rhines81

Tremoraholic
Joined
Nov 20, 2020
Messages
542
Reaction Points
773
Location
USA
Current Ride
2021 F-250 XLT Tremor 7.3L - Rapid Red
If your not towing a trailer with a GVWR over 14.9K, just get the F250 rated at 10K and all of your worries will go away. I lost a lot of sleep over this dilemma before I made that decision. Keep in mind that a lot states do not go by actual GVW, they go by GVWR; therefore if your vehicle has a 10K GVWR and your GCWR is 24.9K, you should not tow a 16K GVWR trailer even if empty, if the combined sticker weights of the truck & trailer exceed the GCWR. It's usually up to the officer that pulls you over and their interpretation of the laws - but that can turn out to be a huge and expensive hassle to fight it, so take the low road.
 

Skibum1681

Tremor Buff
Joined
Jan 27, 2021
Messages
83
Reaction Points
119
Location
Corfu, NY
Current Ride
2021 F350 6.7 Tremor
Current Ride #2
2011 Harley Road Glide
The internet towing police will be here soon. When they arrive I suggest just grabbing a beer (or what ever your beverage of choice is) and listen to them all. Though I will likely disagree with many of things said, they will likely be speaking the truth - on both sides of the argument.

The little bit that I believe to be true:

I believe there is exemptions for RV's - this is why a 90 year old 90 pound, little old guy can jump in his tandem axle diesel pusher $500,000+ motorhome and cruise the country with out a CDL. I'm not sure if there are any RV limitations but some of the big motorhomes have GVW's in to the 40,000's, possibly more

I believe if you physically weight more than 26,000 you need a CDL - unless its an RV

F250 - GVW 10,000 can tow up to a 16,000# non-RV trailer without a CDL Once the truck GVW sticker Plus the trailer GVW sticker adds up to more than 26,000# a CDL is required - Unless it's an RV

F350 - GVW 11,500 can tow up to 14,500# non-RV trailer without a CDL Once the truck GVW sticker Plus the trailer GVW sticker adds up to more than 26,000# a CDL is required - Unless it's an RV

F550 - GVW 19,500 can tow up to a 10,000# non RV trailer without a CDL. I'm not sure if there is an RV exemption here.

F750 - GVW 25,999 can tow up to a 10,000# non RV trailer without a CDL. I'm not sure if there is an RV exemption here.

With the big trucks in a non-RV situation I think you can still physically only weigh a max 26,000# without a CDL

These trucks (F250/350) don't have the GCWR listed on the door sticker so I don't think you would get a ticket for being outside what the Ford towing guide says is allowable. However the towing guide would likely become an "Exhibit" in a court case should you get in an accident...

The towing guide - in my opinion - is a waste of a piece of paper. It says a 2021 F350 (non Tremor) can conventional tow 20,000# yet an F550 can only tow 18,500# even though the F550 is MUCH more capable. The towing guide is clearly not a recommendation of the actual capabilities of the trucks.

I do a good bit of construction work so I want the most options in towing and I will likely just get a CDL and be done with it, since i have a F350 ordered. And we have a F550 and a GMC8500

If your use case is to primarily to tow around your RV, a 250 Tremor and a 350 Tremor can essentially tow the same thing however the 250 will run out of cargo/tongue/pin weight 1,500# sooner than a 350. If you want to tow a utility trailer with a GVW over 14,500 you're probably better off getting the 250 and dealing with limited payload capacity (knowing that this limitation is only on paper - they can physically carry same; they are the same truck)

There is also some extent of reciprocity between states. this gets very complicated with big trucks but I believe on class 3 and under our home states rules follow you around - this could be wrong and if any one knows more on this subject I'd like to hear

These are my thoughts. I'm sure I'll be corrected and I welcome the criticism!
 
Ford Tremor Supporting Member Badge
Top