CDL or Chauffeur's Lic?

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by Trees Too, Jan 20, 2014.

  1. Trees Too

    Trees Too LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,911

    ATTN: All LCO's

    I have seen at least a couple of threads on this site as to when a fleet should (or should not) have USDOT #'s on their trucks.
    To this end, which of you require your drivers to possess a C.D.L (Commercial Driver's License), or just require they have a "Chauffeurs Type" license? As I understand it, there are different Classifications for CDL's (C-1, etc.) Plus, requiring drivers to carry a CDL creates a lot more paperwork and "hoops" for the business owner. So I wonder how many LCO's just opt to have their drivers carry a "Chauffeurs License"? To this end, do any of you just skate by with the basic "Operators License"?
  2. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,563

    No need for a Cdl if Youre truck doesn't require one

    Chauffeur is for limos?
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. Trees Too

    Trees Too LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,911

    This is why I ask. I have heard that companies that sport the USDOT #'s on their trucks, also require their drivers to drop the OPERATORS Type, and possess a CHAUFFEURS Type Driver's License.
  4. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,563

    No. Usdot just needs medical card
    Posted via Mobile Device
  5. unkownfl

    unkownfl LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,837

    What kind of trucks are you driving? Certain states require a Chauffeurs License after 10k Michigan being one. Here in Florida a Class E is good up to 26k unless hazmat or passenger after x amount of passengers as far as I know.
  6. Trees Too

    Trees Too LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,911

    Yes, I am aware the U.S.D.O.T. "Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations", require that all USDOT'd drivers carry a MEDICAL EXAMINER'S CERTIFICATE on their person. In addition to being drug-tested at least once a year. And meeting a D.O.T. Physical at least once every 2 years. (Hence the Med. Exam. Cert.)

    With a little more digging, I'm finding out that this issue varies from state to state. As some states have dropped the "Chauffeurs" type of Drivers License altogether. As a CDL {Classes: A,B+C} has more "privilege".
    As a rule, for the States that still permit Chauffeurs Licenses, they cover any commercial vehicle under 26' long, and less than 10,000 GVWR.
  7. John Deere 05

    John Deere 05 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 225

    Good luck trying to figure out what the requirements are for a commercial vehicle. I don't think they want us to know what we need.
  8. TuffTurfLawnCare

    TuffTurfLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 667

    I have a PA class A with air brake restriction removed, Haz-mat, tanker, doubles, triples and passenger endorsements.

    The Class A is Combinations (trailers over 10k) Which also covers class B (singles over 26,000) and Class C (standard passenger car, light truck, vehicles 26,000 and under). I have a medical card, and I am drug tested a few times a year.

    None of this has anything to do with lawn care. I drive a 1/2 ton truck with a trailer well under 10k. The vehicle has no requirement (in my state) for a CDL Nor a chauffeurs license (Not a driving a limo or cab). Simply having a CDL of any class doesnt in its self cause any more hoops to jump through. The extra requirements are dependent on the vehicle you are driving.

    Me driving a half ton truck with a 2900lb trailer while holding a class A license is no different than a 16 yr old doing the same with a class C. The only difference is, I can drive the half ton truck to the lot and get in a tri axle tractor and haul a 105,000 excavator down the road. Again, the license type only matters depending on the vehicle being operated. Hiring a guy with a CDL to drive a light truck doesnt change anything in the business. If anything it assures the owner that the guy is a safe driver as its easier to loose a CDL than a Class C.

    I don't know why you insinuate people are "skating by" when much of what you said in a "public service announcement" way is wrong or irrelevant. I have my CDL for my other jobs. I have hauled 1k lb scrubbers to 110,000lb excavators, 40ft busses on the back of a 40ft long wrecker and everything in between. While I am far from knowing it all about anything, I am the last one to insinuate that people are skating by without even knowing what the rules are for where they live and operate. Then again, I have enough extra letters on my license to drive damn near anything with wheels on a highway, so I'm not too concerned if the logo on the steering wheel reads Fiat, GMC or Peterbuilt nor if its an automatic or 18spd (Although expecting an engine brake to come on in my pickup after driving a big truck all day usually causes a "doh" moment. lol)
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2014
  9. Trees Too

    Trees Too LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,911

    Don't be confused by the type "Chauffeurs", as it does not necessarily mean driving around passengers in a limo, bus, taxi, shuttle, etc. There are lawn-care companies that require their drivers to have a Chauffeurs License.

    I wasn't tying to insinuate anything by my use of the words "stating by". It's just a case of choosing my words poorly. Perhaps "bare minimum" would have been a better fit. I was not trying to imply that some LCO's are not following the Rules & Regs. I was just trying to point out that the various drivers licenses available essentially fall into different "tiers". Think of is this way CDL = Gold; Chauffeurs = Silver; and Operators = Bronze. I was just trying to ascertain which ones the LCO's require their drivers to carry, and why. If your entire fleet is 1/2 tons. Then an Ops license is perfectly legal.

    As far as my impromptu "PSA" goes. The last thing I want to do is be a purveyor of misinformation. If something posted is incorrect, by all means correct the record. It's already been pointed out that some of these licensing rules & regs vary from state to state. Did you notice that John Deere 05 in post #7 right above you is very confused about the whole licensing thing?
  10. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,563

    I think this varies by state

    Federally its not required. Unless you have a CSL class c which is 16 passengers or more.


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