I appreciate the input from each of you on this issue.
I have done a little bit of additional research, just to help muddy the issue up.
In Louisiana (perhaps other states as well) there are 5 different classes of licenses. The A,B, and C class CDL which is common, and then there are also two others, D and E. The Louisiana Statues Define a class E license as a standard motor vehicle license which allows operation of a single vehicle UNDER 10,000# GVWR.
A class D license, which, best I can tell involves being tested over an additional chapter of material is referred to in our state as a "Chaufer's License." This also would give you the ability to drive for hire vehicles under 26,000# GVWR. Having a class D license entitles you to the privileges of a class E also. However, in LA, in order to operate a single vehicle or combination of vehicles over 10,001# and up to 26,000# you must have a class D.
R.S. 32:408 B. (2)(d) and 405.1:
Class "D" Chauffeurs Driver's License
Age Requirements: 17 years or above.
Permits the operation of all vehicles included in Class E plus any single motor vehicle used in commerce to transport passengers or property if the motor vehicle has a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,001 or more pounds but less than 26,001 pounds, or any combination of vehicles used in commerce to transport passengers or property if the vehicle has a combined vehicle weight rating of 10,001 or more pounds but less than 26,001 pounds (inclusive of a towed unit with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds); or any vehicle designed or utilized for the transportation of passengers for hire or fee; and not utilized in the transportation of materials found to be hazardous under the provisions of the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act which requires the vehicle to bear a placard under the provision of Hazardous Materials Regulations (49 CFR Part 172, Subpart F).
NOTE: As long as the combined gross vehicle weight rating (truck and trailer) is less than 26,001 pounds you can operate with Class D.
R.S. 32:408 B.(2)(e) and 405.1:
Class E Driver's License - Personal Vehicle
Age Requirements: 17 years or above.
Permits the operation of any single motor vehicle under 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight, any personal use recreational vehicle and farm vehicles controlled and operated by a farmer to transport agricultural products, farm machinery, or farm supplies to and from a farm within 150 air miles of the owner's or operator's farm (not used in operation of a Common or Contract Carrier, and not used to transport passengers or property for hire)or any other vehicle which is not used in the transportation of hazardous materials which is required to be placarded. No first-time application for a Louisiana Class E license shall be received from any person seventeen (17) years of age or older unless there is also submitted with the application written evidence of the successful completion by the applicant of a full thirty-eight (38) hour driver's education course. If the applicant is eighteen (18) year of age or older, he must provide written evidence of the successful completion of an approved six (6) hour "pre-licensing" training course in addition to completion of an eight (8) hour behind-the-wheel instruction course which was approved by the Louisiana Department of Public Safety & Corrections. Effective January 1, 2011, the applicant shall provide a signed statement to the department attesting that he has completed a minimum of fifty (50) hours of supervised driving practice with a licensed parent, guardian, or adult at least twenty-one (21) or older. At least fifteen (15) of these hours must be night time driving. New applicants transferring in with an out-of-state, foreign, or military license are exempt from this requirement.
With how this is written, a picky officer could potential give a citation for someone operating a 1 ton dually of 11,400# with a "standard" class E license, however I have never heard of anyone having this happen. Down here, if police were hunting things like that, they'd have to stop just about every landscaper, LCO, or person with a truck and trailer. Nevertheless, it looks like I'll be going down to the friendly DMV soon to get my class D.
Hows that for muddy clarity?