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What Is Classed as a Commercial Vehicle?

Are you looking for a commercial vehicle for business purposes? Do you want to learn about the different types of commercial vehicles? If knowledge about insurance vehicles is what you’re after, you came to the right place.

In this guide, we’ll give answers to questions like what is a commercial vehicle. We’ll also talk about the kinds of vehicles that are commercial vehicles. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about commercial vehicles.

What Is a Commercial Vehicle?

What is a commercial vehicle? A commercial motor vehicle (CMV) is a motor vehicle that operates for business. A CMV must have seats for 15 or more passengers for paid transportation. A CMV can also be any vehicle designed for business use or for leasing to use it for business.

This means it can be a vehicle used to transport goods. If you’re hazardous materials, a CMV for it can be of any size. Commercial trucks come in different sizes and follow a classification system. We’ll discuss more on this classification system below.

What Is a Non-Commercial Vehicle?

With all that said, let’s also take a look at what a non-commercial vehicle is. If we use CMVs to transport goods and passengers, what do we use non-commercial vehicles for? A non-commercial vehicle can also be any vehicle designed to transport people.

It’s any motor vehicle designed to carry loads of no more than one ton. It also has exclusive uses for purposes that aren’t for engaging in business for profit. You operate a non-commercial vehicle for personal use and do not earn anything from using it.

Commercial Trucks Classifications

Commercial trucks fall under a system categorizing their total wet weight and the total cargo carrying capacity. Eight weight classes rank a truck’s gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). These classifications are:

  • Class 1: 0-6,000 pounds
  • Class 2: 6,001-10,000 pounds
  • Class 3: 10,001-14,000 pounds
  • Class 4: 14,001-16,000 pounds
  • Class 5: 16,001-19,500 pounds
  • Class 6: 19,501-26,000 pounds
  • Class 7: 26,001-33,000 pounds
  • Class 8: 33,001 pounds or more

The first two classes contain what you may consider light trucks. Throughout Classes 3 throughout some parts of 6, you’d find medium trucks. The rest of Class 6 and above include heavy trucks.

Class 8 includes extra-heavy trucks and heavy-duty truck tractors. Extra-heavy truck tractors are also part of Class 8 trucks. Next to these classes, remember that commercial trucks come in different types, too.

Various Types of Commercial Vehicles

Now that we’ve discussed the truck classifications, let’s talk a little more about their types.

You can also tell the type of commercial vehicles by looking at them. One type is the single-unit truck. These are trucks with two, three, or more axles. When we say axles, we’re talking about the trailers that the truck has behind it.

The other type of CMV truck is the combination unit truck. It includes trucks pulling trailers, semi-trailers, and truck tractors pulling two-three trailers. It also includes “bobtails” or truck tractors without a trailer.

Cargo trucks are the next type of CMV. These include everything from vans, livestock carriers, auto carriers, and flatbed trucks. Dump trucks, garbage trucks, cement mixers, tanks, and others also belong in this type.

Many of these trucks belong in a wide variety of industries, as well. You’ll find heavy equipment trucks and box trucks in mining, construction, and farming. Logistics operations also use heavy-duty trucks, especially for cross-country deliveries and transportation.

Types of Passenger Commercial Vehicles

You can also find a variety of configurations for CMVs that transport passengers. It includes buses, taxis, vans, and coaches. You may feel curiosity about ride-sharing apps as well and whether they are CMVs.

In 2018, the share of Americans who used ride-hailing services rose to 36% from 15% in 2015. Uber and Lyft are the most popular apps used to hail rides from personal vehicles.

The question now is you can consider if personal vehicles that offer ride-sharing as CMVs.

The answer is simple than you’d think. Even though they’re owned by private persons, cars used for ridesharing services are CMVs. However, they’re only CMVs while in service and are personal vehicles when not in service.

Requirements to Get a Driver’s License for CMVs

Even when you have a driver’s license, you can’t drive any commercial vehicle with no further training. You’d also need a matching commercial driver’s license (CDL) to operate a CMV. The requirements for getting a CDL in most states include:

  • Hours of service regulations
  • Legal blood alcohol concentration limit of 0.04%
  • Medical certification
  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Pass a vision test
  • Pass a knowledge exam
  • Endorsements for certain DMVs and/or cargo
  • Intrastate or interstate commerce

In some cases, you can only drive an approved CMV depending on the class of your license. Where you drive will also depend on your license. Your license will dictate if you travel between states or only within a state.

Other states may ask for other requirements. You may need to provide identity and social security number verification. You’ll also need to pay a fee when you submit your application.

Considerations With Commercial Vehicles

Did you know that you can buy a commercial vehicle without realizing that it’s a CMV? If you use it without realizing this, you’re at risk of breaking a rule. If you look at the regulations for CMVs, there are a lot more of them than regulations for standard vehicles.

Always make sure you have the correct commercial vehicle registration and license. If you plan to create a commercial vehicle leasing business, make sure you have all that you need. For a reliable insurance agency, visit LoPriore Insurance Agency.

Stay Informed About Commercial Vehicles

Now, you know the answer to the question of what is a commercial vehicle. You also have more familiarity with the types and classes of CMVs.

If you want to learn more about CMVs, check out more of our guides. You may learn a thing or two about how they work or what else counts as commercial vehicles.