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The Importance of Buying the Right GVW Truck

A truck isn’t just a truck. They come in all kinds of sizes and have different uses and classes. The classification system of trucks is important because it affects the truck’s regulations and how people can use it. The U.S. government created the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating system (GVWR) to classify trucks and set licensing guidelines for them. Many confuse the GVWR and gross vehicle weight for each other; however, they are two different things—but the GVWR cannot exist without the GVW. The GVW is how much a truck weighs at any point in time, loaded or unloaded.

A truck’s GVWR is the maximum weight rating established by the chassis manufacturer and used to classify the truck—class one to eight. The importance of buying the right GVW truck depends on the classification system and the licensing requirements that the federal and state governments have put in place.

Truck Classifications

All trucks, commercial or private, have a classification (one to eight) that depends on the weight of the vehicle. Class one is small trucks, SUVs, and cargo vans. Class three are large, heavy-duty pickup trucks, box trucks, and walk-in vans. Classes one to six don’t require a CDL, and anyone can drive them with a normal driver’s license. Class seven to eight, however, are all over 26,000 pounds and include tractor-trailers, buses, garbage trucks, and larger trucks.

Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)

When fleet managers are looking to purchase or specify the proper chassis for their needs, they pay attention to different driver qualifications and regulations. They are a huge part of the process. A key driver qualification is the commercial driver’s license rule—the CDL. Many fleet managers want trucks that allow drivers without a CDL to operate their vehicles. The federal requirement specifies that, when a vehicle has a GVWR of 26,000 pounds or less, the operator does not need a CDL. However, this does not mean you can load the truck GVW above the GVWR of 26,000 pounds and have a non-CDL driver operate it. Federal requirements state the GVW must, in addition, be 26,000 pounds or less.

Federal CDL requirements help clarify what a non-CDL truck is and how GVWR comes into play; however, each state may have more stringent CDL licensing requirements. Nonetheless, every state must follow federal requirements as a baseline. All new Isuzus in the US are non-CDL; but some states, such as NJ, require the driver have a DOT medical card for vehicles over 10,000 GVWR.

Know What You Need to Move

When deciding what kind of Isuzu diesel truck to purchase for your fleet, think about what you need it to do. How big are the loads that you plan to move? Does the driver have a CDL? Odds are, you already have these answers and know what you need. Isuzu has a full lineup of trucks that can fit any fleet’s needs.