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Hi Andy, I live in Massachusetts and had a small 1 ton Dump that I sometimes towed a trailer that had a GVW or 9990. I have since bought a used F550 dump with a GVW of 17500 which now totals 27490. I talked to this friend who knows everything in which he said that because the trailer GVW is not 10001 or more that it doesn't count towards the CGVWR and that's why my trailer has a 9990 GVW. Well maybe he's correct but I'm not going to find out the hard way. I have talked to the DMV and they  couldn't answer it and the guy that could was on vacation. I will not use the trailer and probably will sell it and buy one that has a GVW of 8000 giving me a total CGVW of 25500. Andy I would appreciate if you can set me straight on this. Thanks, Al


 You and many others buy these non- cdl trucks and than wonder how far you can go weight wise.  I see this quite a bit.

 The first place I go is the trailer.  If at all possible never go over 10,000 pounds on a trailer.  That's why they make a lot of 9,990 , 9,995 , 9,999 and 10,000 lb trailers.  For registration on the truck , as long as you stay at or under 10 k , the trailer weight is not combined with the truck.

The biggest truck and trailer you can drive without a cdl or a combination weight rating is 26,000 and 10,000.  The two are not combined for weight enforcement or registration reasons. If the trailer in this example was a 10,500 lb unit, now you would need a Class A cdl.  

Other than that, you become a Commercial Vehicle if your truck or truck trailer combination is registered in excess of 10,000  lbs AND you cross a state line. So a F150 by itself is fine. Pull a 5,000 lb trailer behind it while driving into New Hampshire and you need just about everything except a cdl.

If you NEVER leave your home state, nothing happens until you exceed 17,000 lbs.

Your F-550 is definitely a CMV.  At 17,500, you could pull up to a 10,000 pound trailer with no license or registration issues. Just because the combination exceeds 26,000 doesn't mean anything because the trailer doesn't exceed 10,000.  Remember, you could buy a 26,000 lb truck and pull a 10,000 lb trailer all day long and not need a GCWR in the truck or a cdl.

If your F550 was pulling a 10,500 lb trailer, NOW you just pushed yourself into  Class A cdl territory and the need for a GCWR. And this would apply if you accidentally overloaded a 10,000 lb trailer too.  You may not have intended the trailer to exceed 10,000 but if it need everything. So be very careful in loading your 9,990 trailer.

You should get the truck and trailer weighed empty to see a true starting weight.

So if you are careful and comfortable on loading your current truck and trailer combination, you will be fine.   Make sure the trailer is a 9,990 trailer.  Sometimes people will register them at a lower weight to get the benefit of the 10,000 and down units but the manufacturer tag on the hitch is the actual deciding factor when it comes to weight enforcement.

I know this can be confusing but I hope i explained it clearly.


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Andy Blair


Commercial Trucking regulations. DOT inspection information. Data Q challenges PA Traffic and Equipment Regulations Out of service criteria.


Police Officer 1986-2011 Weighmaster 1990-2011 DOT Enforcement Certified 1999-2011 Haz-Mat Inspector 2007-2011 Class A CDL Holder CDL Instructor

Fraternal Order of Police ( life member)

American Association of Service Professionals Newsletter

Harrisburg Area Community College 35th Police Academy Community College of the Air Force PA certified 3rd party CDL tester.

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A number of trucking / transportation companies in PA and NJ

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