Can you tow a caravan with a 7.5-ton lorry?

In this article, we will answer a frequent question: Can you tow a caravan with a 7.5-ton lorry? We will explain what the limitations are and what type of licence you need in order to do this. 

Can you tow a caravan with a 7.5-ton lorry?

The short answer is yes, you can tow a caravan with a 7.5-ton lorry, as long as you meet the following criteria:

  • You are legally allowed to drive a Category C1E LGV 7.5-tonne Truck/Van (CDL Licence) and have a Trailer Towing Licence;
  • The fully loaded caravan doesn’t weigh more than the vehicle.
  • The combined weight of the lorry and the fully-loaded caravan does not exceed 12,000 kg (26 455.47 lbs).

Limits regarding the size and weight of the towing vehicles

One of the reasons that trucks are so dangerous and contribute to so many car accidents, year after year, is the weight of the vehicles. The large size and weight of commercial trucks, such as trailer trucks or semi-trailer trucks, make these vehicles difficult to drive and slow to respond on the roads. 

In the event of an accident, even the smallest mistake can lead to serious injury. In addition, the drivers of these vehicles are often limited in their defensive driving skills; since commercial trucks respond much slower than passenger vehicles, making it more difficult to avoid an accident.

In 1973, the United States Congress passed certain laws to make trucks safer and to decrease the risks of truck accidents. One of these laws limits the size and weight of loads. To move from one state to another, the weight of the loads must not exceed 40 tons (40,000 kg). 

However, oversize permits and oversize permits may be issued for larger trucks in certain circumstances. In addition, the limit capacity for steered axles is 5,443,108 kg, while for dual axles it is 15,422,140 kg and the limit capacity for single axles is 9,071,847 kg.

Also, there are federal restrictions that limit the size and weight of trucks. On all federal highways, trucks are allowed to tow two 8,534 m trailers or a 14,630 m trailer. Trucks must not exceed 2,590 m in width on these roads.

States also have their own regulations and limits on weights and dimensions for trucks. Some states, for example, impose limits on temporal weights and dimensions. The state of Michigan is one of them. Other states allow oversized or overloaded trucks as long as trucking companies meet specific safety requirements.

The reason for these federal and state limits for the control of weights and dimensions of motor transport vehicles is simple. The heavier a truck, the greater the danger it represents on the roads. 

This is because, in a truck accident, a heavy truck produces more impact in a collision, and therefore is very likely to cause serious damage and possible fatalities. In addition, heavy trucks can tip over more easily and are more difficult to control, so even a very experienced operator can get into an accident. 

Finally, heavy trucks wear out tires and brakes faster, so these systems are likely to fail prematurely.

To enforce Federal and State Regulations for the Control of Weights and Dimensions of Motor Carriers, truck weight checkpoints were installed in every state. Trucks are supposed to stop automatically when these stations are open to allow authorities to verify that the Weight Control Regulation is not violated. 

It is unfortunate that some truck operators continue to ignore the regulations and avoid check weighing posts, thus creating unnecessary danger on the roads.

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What is the CDL license?

The CDL license, called ‘commercial driver’s license‘, allows operating certain types of vehicles, such as cargo transport vans, various types of trucks and buses, among others.

Types of CDL Licenses:

There are several types of CDL licenses, classified according to the type of vehicle in class:

  • A
  • B
  • C

Each rating depends on the gross vehicle weight (GVWR), among other factors. The different classes of CDL licenses determine which vehicles can be driven, but also the endorsements that must be obtained.

In addition, each type of license requires a series of tests, such as:

  • Knowledge tests
  • Brake test
  • Skills assessment
  • Road test
  • Vehicle inspection
  • Exams according to the endorsements to be obtained, Etc.

CDL A license

The Class A commercial driver’s license is good for operating vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 pounds or more, including a towed vehicle weighing more than 10,000 lbs.

Examples of Vehicles:

  • Tractor-trailers (tractor-trailers)
  • Truck and trailer combinations
  • Double and triple trailers
  • Trailer buses (tractor-trailer buses)
  • Tanker vehicles
  • Livestock carriers
  • Flatbeds

CDL Class B

This type of business license allows you to drive vehicles with a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or heavier and/or vehicle towing another weighing up to 10,000 lbs.

Examples of Vehicles:

  • Straight trucks
  • Large buses: Urban buses (City buses), tourist buses (Tourist buses) and school buses (School buses)
  • Segmented buses
  • Box trucks: Delivery drivers, Couriers and Furniture delivery
  • Dump trucks with small trailers

CDL Class C

The CDL Class C license is required in the following cases:

When the vehicle you want to drive does not meet the criteria for Class A and Class B CDL licenses.

  • For the transport of at least 16 passengers (including the driver).
  • For Hazardous Material Transportation (HAZMAT) as established by federal guidelines.

Examples of Vehicles:

  • Small HAZMAT vehicles (Small HAZMAT vehicles)
  • Passenger vans
  • Combined vehicles not described in class A or B, such as a small truck with a trailer.

Can vehicles of one license class be driven with another type of CDL license?

It is possible to drive some vehicles with a CDL license of another class if you have the corresponding endorsements.

With a Class A license, it is possible to drive some Class B and Class C vehicles, as long as you have the correct endorsements. Similarly, with a Class B license, you can operate some Class C vehicles if they have the corresponding endorsements.

What are CDL license endorsements?

Endorsements are special authorizations, which enable the driver to operate certain types of vehicles, as well as transport certain goods and a certain number of passengers.

The endorsement is issued once the applicant has passed the required written and skills exam.

Class A, B, or C CDL endorsements:

  • Hazardous materials – For those who transport hazardous materials.
  • Tank vehicles – To drive the tanker trucks.
  • Passengers –  To operate passenger vehicles (more than 15 people, including the driver).
  • School bus-  To transport preschool, elementary, or high school students from home to school, school to home, or to and from school events. 
  • Double/triple trailers – To handle vehicles with a double or triple trailer. Triple trailers are not allowed on all state highways!
  • Tank and hazardous materials vehicles – For those who qualify for the Hazardous materials and tank endorsements.

Can you use a CDL from another state?

If you already have a CDL license but issued outside the state of Florida, it is possible to use it. Commercial driver’s licenses are accepted from other states in the US or Canada.

However, an out-of-state applicant with a hazardous materials endorsement must reapply for the same, including testing, background checks, and paying fees.

FAQ on Can you tow a caravan with a 7.5-ton lorry?

What category is a 7.5-tonne lorry?

A 7,5 – tonne lorry is category C1, or class 3. The Class C license is required when the vehicle you want to drive does not meet the criteria for Class A and Class B CDL licenses. 

Can I drive a 7.5-ton lorry without a CPC?

You cannot legally drive a 7.5-ton lorry without passing the Driver CPC. 

What is the maximum weight caravan I can tow?

The maximum weight caravan you can tow will depend on the weight of the towing vehicle. However, the general rule is that the combined weight of the trailer and towing vehicle should not exceed 3,500kg.

Is there an age limit for towing a caravan?

There is no age limit for towing a caravan, as long as you have a full driving licence. Please check the law for more information, depending on the state you reside in. 

Can I tow a caravan heavier than my car?

It is not recommended to tow a caravan heavier than your car. This could impose a great danger, especially if you don’t have too much towing experience. The general rule is that the combined weight of the trailer and towing vehicle should not exceed 3,500kg

References 

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