Many people question whether they need a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to drive a box truck. When you start searching for the answers, you will quickly realize there isn’t a straightforward yes or no answer. However, you can find the information you’re searching for below.
What Is a Box Truck?
A box truck is a type of truck with a stretched frame, a cargo box on the chassis separate from the cab, and a rear roll-up door. Although, these features can differ depending on the type of box truck you buy for a specific job.
When you compare them to semi-trucks, it’s clear to see there are many differences. Semi-trucks are larger with more wheels, and cabs that are separate from their trailers so that they can attach and detach their loads. Box trucks are not detachable, and the two truck types have very different licensing requirements.
What Are Box Trucks Used For?
Box trucks serve many purposes, which is why they are manufactured with various Gross Vehicle Weight Ratings (GVWR). They are ideal moving trucks and delivery trucks, but people also use them as service trucks and in the rental truck business for everyday people to use for their own purposes.
They are a desirable option for those who don’t necessarily have a great deal of truck-driving experience but need something with the storage capabilities of a truck.
Do You Need a CDL to Drive a Box Truck?
Do you need a CDL to drive a box truck? Yes and no. There are three CDL classifications, which are based on the weight of the vehicle and what it carries.
A Class A CDL is necessary for people to drive vehicles with a GVWR of 26,001+ pounds, including trucks towing vehicles weighing 10,000+ pounds. Trucks that fit into the Class A category include tractor-trailers, flatbed trucks, livestock carriers, truck and trailer combinations, tanker vehicles, and tractor-trailer buses.
You might need a Class B CDL if you’re operating a vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001+ pounds and/or you’re towing another vehicle weighing up to 10,001 pounds. Vehicles fitting into this category are straight trucks, segmented buses or large buses, dump trucks with trailers, motorhomes, and box trucks.
This license requirement applies to many box truck drivers, such as couriers, appliance and furniture drivers, and delivery drivers. As you might now realize, a box truck’s CDL requirements can depend on its Gross Vehicle Weight Rating.
If the box truck from any manufacturer weighs less than 26,001 pounds, you might not be required to hold a commercial driver’s license in Texas. If you’re unsure, check with your state laws.
If you are only driving passenger vans or HAZMAT vehicles, you might only need to apply for a Class C license, giving you permission to drive up to 16 passengers, including the driver, or hazardous materials.
How to Apply for Your Class B CDL in Texas
If you plan to drive a box truck, you might be curious about how to get your CDL and learn all the necessary skills to operate one safely. Fortunately, it’s a straightforward process for most people.
You will need to take the following credentials to your local DMV:
- Proof of United States citizenship (resident card, birth certificate, or passport)
- Your social security card
- Proof of Texas residency (two types – a valid voter registration card, Texas motor vehicle registration, or mortgage statement)
- A medical examiner’s certificate
- Proof of your identity (a Texas driver’s license)
- Proof of insurance
- Texas vehicle registration evidence
You will then be required to pay an application fee, pass a vision exam, provide your thumbprint, and have your picture taken. A CDL test is also needed, which might include some of the following information:
- General knowledge
- Texas commercial rules
Not everyone will be eligible to apply for their Class B CDL in Texas to drive a box truck, so it’s essential to read through the criteria before applying. You might not be eligible if you:
- Don’t have a clean driving record
- Aren’t at least 18 years old to drive intrastate
- Aren’t at least 21 years old to drive interstate
Start Your Career in Box Truck Driving
Once you get your CDL to drive a box truck, the world’s your oyster. You can buy a new box truck, rely on TruckVin to buy it from you at a later date when you upgrade, and build up a career as a box truck driver throughout Texas and the United States.