Air Brakes???


LawnSite Senior Member
West Haven, CT
Geoff or others (Geoff I know this thread will get your attention) -

I have an F-800 with Air brakes that is legally (registered and actual door plate) 24,500 GVW. I was afraid to have non-cdl drivers in it (including myself), but according to the CT DMV the truck is a commercial vehicle, but no-CDL required unless it hooks up to an over 10,000 lb. trailer. so "your grandmother could drive it". I actually had them get in the truck and inspect it to be sure. Over 18,000, under 26,000 you need a medical card but not a CDL. And, you are supposed to have DOT #s (at least in CT). In fact, a friend just set up a F-650 under CDL with Air Brakes too.

Am I missing some info on the regs?

Is there a federal law which supercedes a state Regulation, and if so who enforces it?

BTW - it has a 10' Fisher, but I don't plow driveways with it, we use the 2.5 yd. wheel loader exclusively for Driveways from now on!!!!!


There is SO much confusion about CDL regs. I was told that if a rig has air brakes you need a medical card. Not that that makes any sense to me but it IS a Gov't thing. I was under the inpressiont hat if youwere under 26,000 you needed nothing unless the rig had air brakes. As far as straight answers from VT DOT you might as well pound sand.


Lawnsite Addict
Funny thing about CDL's is not every state has the same reg's :)

Here (in Illinios)a reglular licence is good to 16,000 lbs(D class) anything over that needs a CDL. For air brakes you need a CDL with the air brake endorsment, if you tow any trailer 10,000 lbs or more you need a class A CDL.
Now the funny part if I have a pickup truck and tow a trailer rated for 10,001 lbs I need a Class A CDL ;)


LawnSite Bronze Member
morristown, nj

Actually, I think that needing a cdl to pull a 10,000 plus trailer is a good idea sometimes.

As times go by, guys are buying bigger and bigger trailers, trying to get as much as possible on 1 load. See a lot of 20+ foot trailers out there and know they are well over 10,000 with the amount of equip they stuff in them, especially the enclosed ones.

Then, you look what's pulling it, and laugh. 3/4 ton pickups, and old, 1 ton dually's. Seen these guys humming down the road at speeds that no truck with that kind of load should be running, along with seeing these guys almost rip bumpers off of cars while trying to make to steep of turns.

I think by having the 10k reg, maybe it helps to prevent this from happening so much, which I think is a good thing. The state here in NJ has been cracking down on it, and when they set up their 'surprise' inspection points across the county, get quite a few people in violation.

Though, if you have any common sense with trailering, you can pull a 10k trailer safely with the right setup, but there are always those few who have to push there luck and ruin the good drivers reputation. I guess that's what the laws are good for........not to say I am in favor of most or support the dmv in any way.



LawnSite Bronze Member
I Know in maine that all Commercial Vehicles ( 26,000 and up) must have air breaks. I have never heard of a Vehicle under 26,000 pounds with air breaks. I know the F 750 has air breaks, but not the F 650.

I guess DOT laws very from state to state, in maine if it has air breaks, ya need a CDL. Other than that i don't know what to tell you. I am suprised that you don't need any type of endourcement to opperate a vehicle with out air breaks ( if you don't have a CDL) Because there is a big difference between hydrolic and air breaks.




LawnSite Member
What kind of market is there for snow plowing in caribou maine and area? Those people up there aren't that bothered by snow, are they?


LawnSite Senior Member
Well i have a cdl in mass it's 26,001 and over to need a cdl and every thing else is an endorsment that you must have including air brakes and a medical card.You should ask the dmv if you can get just the air brake endorsment for your 650 were it's under the cdl.

I registered a F-700 last year in Ct. and was told that I needed Dot Stickers, it was not a very hard process and figured that I should be better safe than sorry. Also I was told conflicting stories about the fuel stickers so I also got those, for only $7.00 per year it will cover me. The truck is registered at 25,500 GVW. I was told I needed my medical card to drive the truck and when I went through insepection the DMV inspector was not very nice in fact they redlined the truck when I told them I did not have or keep a log and did not punch a time clock or keep track of my hours. I am the owner of the company. I talked to several people a they never heard of anything like that but even though my truck had to sit for 12 hours before they let me drive it out.


I passed up an older F-750 which was tagged as 23,000 GVW and it had air brakes. Also,, a lot of the import cab-overs have air and they are under CDL limits. As for commercial (over CDL) having hyd. brakes, they are out there, I drove a Ford tandem something, Louisville style, late 70's vintage, that had juice brakes.

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