Do You Need A CDL To Drive Box Trucks?

If the box truck’s gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) is 26,000 pounds or less, you don’t need a CDL, and if GVWR is more than 26,001, you must need a CDL.

There are many types of trucks available on the market, and they’re different in terms of vehicle size and loading capacity. Vehicles are categorized by gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) and based on box trucks’ GVWR; drivers require to have Commercial Driving License(CDL)

Are you thinking about driving Box trucks and looking forward to knowing if you need a CDL to drive box trucks? Read this article to know. 

What Is Box Truck, And What Are They Used For?

Box trucks are trucks with attached cargo to the chassis. The size of the box or cargo depends wholly on the truck’s size; for example, a 24 ft. Box truck cargo’s inside height is 8′ 1″ and width(inside) is 7′ 5″. Mostly, Box Trucks’ height ranges from 10 to 26 feet.  

Box trucks are used to move or deliver almost everything, but these trucks are specially used in a few industries. They are: 

  • Moving Companies

Moving companies widely use box trucks to safeguard the goods from being damaged and provide safe transportation. And moving companies use medium-sized/weight box trucks.

  • Food and beverage companies

Box trucks are an essential part of food and beverage companies. To supply or transport foods and beverages to stores, restaurants, and super shops. Companies use box truck class 6 to 7 (weight limit: 19,5000 to 33,000 pounds)

  • Courier companies

Courier companies mainly use lightweight box trucks, as lightweight box trucks are comparatively small and can easily drive through the local routes.

  • Home Appliance Companies 

In-home appliance companies, you’ll be driving 24 and 26 feet box trucks most of the time, having a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of not less than 26,000 pounds. 

do you need a cdl to drive a box truck

Are Box Truck And Cargo Vans The Same?

No, box trucks and cargo vans aren’t the same, and there are many differences between these two types of vehicles. Below, we’ve mentioned a few.

Box Trucks

  • Almost all the Box trucks have a roll-up rear door, and some also have a side door. 
  • The box or cargo is separated from the cabin
  • Box truck’s cargo has extra space and can transport larger quantities. 
  • They are used for both interstate and nationwide delivery.

Cargo Vans

  • Cargo vans are called “one piece vehicles” because the cargo is attached to the cabin and the whole vehicle sits on one chassis. 
  • Commonly used by delivery companies(amazon, fox parcel) to deliver small freights or servicing companies.
  • These types of vehicles are used mostly in local areas. 
  • The cargo space of cargo vans is too small compared to the box truck’s cargo. 

Category Of Box Trucks

Do you need a CDL to drive box trucks depends on the category or class of the box truck. For instance, if you drive box trucks ranging from class 4 to class 6, you don’t need a commercial driving license (CDL), and if the box truck falls into the class 7 category, you need a CDL.

Based on the truck’s class, box trucks are categorized into three. 

  • Lightweight box truck

Box trucks with a load capacity between 8,500 to 14,000 pounds are known as lightweight box trucks. Mostly new truckers and owner-operator prefer these trucks because trucks in this category are easy to operate and cheap. 

  • Medium weight box truck 

Medium weight box trucks’ load capacity ranges from 14,001 to 26,000 pounds. This category is the most common and used truck in the industry because the loading capacity of this truck doesn’t require a commercial driving license, and it can also haul more loads.   

  • Heavyweight box truck 

Trucks in this category have a load capacity of a box truck from 26,001 to 33,000 pounds; heavyweight box trucks are mainly used by furniture and house moving companies. And you need a Class A commercial driving license(CDL) to drive heavyweight box trucks. 

When Do you Need A CDL to Drive A box Truck?

It entirely depends on you and the company you’re working for because sometimes companies use various box truck classes and sometimes stick to a certain category. 

Let’s assume that you’ll be getting into a company where they use box trucks from class 4 to class 7, and you’ll only drive class 5 box trucks; in this scenario, you don’t need a commercial driving license. 

However, if you work for employers where you must drive class 6 or 7 box trucks, you must have a commercial driving license as you’ll drive trucks with GVWR 19,501 to 33,000. 

Let’s look at which categories of box trucks require a CDL and which don’t

Don’t Require CDL:

  • Class 4 to 6 and gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) is 26,000 or less 

Require A CDL:

  • Class 7 or gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) 26,001 or more.
do you need a cdl to drive a box truck

How To Get A Commercial Driving License(CDL)

The procedure to get a commercial driving license (CDL) is easy. All you’ve to do is complete training and pass a few tests. Don’t be afraid; we’ve given them below if you don’t know the requirements. 

  •  18 years old to drive locally( interstate) and 21 to drive all across the country. 
  • Pass medical tests (physical, eye, and drug). 
  •  Complete driving training from Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) approved institution.
  • Pass Written exam
  • Pass Road skill tests

How Much Do The Box Truck Drivers Earn

It doesn’t make any difference if you have Class A or B commercial driving license (CDL); you’ll make a decent salary as a box truck driver. 

Box truck drivers can earn anywhere from $19,000 to $52,0

00 per year. And the median yearly salary ranges from $42,000 to $47,000. 

Owner-operator box truck drivers make an annual salary between $50,000 to $67,000. Depending on workload availability and how much load you haul, it can go up or down.

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