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View Full Version : Why so many withiout DOT numbers?


Prestige-Lawncare
08-03-2008, 09:32 AM
I work with a lady who's husband is a State Trooper, and assigned to the Motor Freight Carrier Division. After talking to him, anyone who pulls a trailer and has a gross vehicle weight of over 10,000 lbs is required to display DOT numbers on their truck. Along with this are other regulations as well, some of which are that you must carry a fire extinguisher, reflective triangles, inspection by a mechanic, etc.

I have seen him stopped on the road with a few guys (one was an open mowing trailer) .. and though he usually doesn't write them a ticket for that offense, he gives them a good lecture and inspects their rig. He says most guys who use their truck for personal use usually have the numbers on magnetic signs and only run them when pulling the trailer. The numbers also have to be of a contrasting color from the vehicle, and visible from 50 ft.

Still ... I see many, many without the numbers displayed.

What do you do??

2stroke
08-03-2008, 09:39 AM
i also see this alot. i have magnetic DOT signs that i only use when i pull a big enough trailer.

Prestige-Lawncare
08-03-2008, 11:45 AM
I think a lot of times the State Police just don't take the time or bother to stop smaller people like us. I personally use a 18' enclosed trailer, so for the most part they have no idea what it is I do or am doing. With those who use open trailers it is much more obvious ... and even more so for the guys who have their trucks lettered or signs on them. I think of more concern to them would be whether or not a guy has his equipment secured with straps, chains or what not ... and fuel containers secured properly.

Grits
08-03-2008, 11:51 AM
I work with a lady who's husband is a State Trooper, and assigned to the Motor Freight Carrier Division. After talking to him, anyone who pulls a trailer and has a gross vehicle weight of over 10,000 lbs is required to display DOT numbers on their truck. Along with this are other regulations as well, some of which are that you must carry a fire extinguisher, reflective triangles, inspection by a mechanic, etc.

I have seen him stopped on the road with a few guys (one was an open mowing trailer) .. and though he usually doesn't write them a ticket for that offense, he gives them a good lecture and inspects their rig. He says most guys who use their truck for personal use usually have the numbers on magnetic signs and only run them when pulling the trailer. The numbers also have to be of a contrasting color from the vehicle, and visible from 50 ft.

Still ... I see many, many without the numbers displayed.

What do you do??

I didn't know I had to have them. What exactly does the 10,000 lbs mean? Is that what your truck and trailer with equipment weighs? Or what it is capable of pulling? If I have to have them I will get them, but I don't see ANY lawn guys (big or small) around here with DOT numbers.

Prestige-Lawncare
08-03-2008, 12:21 PM
I think it is what you are capable (or plated) to carry legally. He ask me what size trailer I had, and if it was a single or tandem axle ... and he said I had to have them. I have a '05 F350 with a 8' x 18' enclosed trailer. He also said that since I was a commercial vehicle, which I am since I charge to mow, that I am required by law to have them. He suggested the smaller magnetic signs so I can take them off when I am not using my truck for mowing.

Genlandscape
08-03-2008, 12:54 PM
Does this vary by state or is it a fed. thing. I don't see any Lco's in my area w/ dot #'s, and or any spray companies w/ them either. I know when I drove a spray truck it was over 26,000lb.gross loaded and required a light CDL. Still no DOT #'s. I have never seen anything smaller than a 10-15yd. dump truck stopped by FHP or DOT. This may be a great thread for the com landscape forum ,some of those guys haul some pretty big s**t!

ColePyck
08-03-2008, 01:49 PM
I see them on trucks around here, we do not have DOT numbers on our trucks, no one enforces it, and have never seen or heard anyone around getting in trouble for not having them, IMO it just another way for the government to get money outta ya

Grits
08-03-2008, 01:54 PM
I see them on trucks around here, we do not have DOT numbers on our trucks, no one enforces it, and have never seen or heard anyone around getting in trouble for not having them, IMO it just another way for the government to get money outta ya

Yes, it is just another way to get money out of you.....just like taxes. You pay taxes, right? It is all part of trying to be "professional" and "legit". It sucks, but it is what it is.

willretire@40
08-03-2008, 01:59 PM
We dont have to have them in the state of VA unless we do work out of state.

Richard Martin
08-03-2008, 02:00 PM
It the Gross Vehicle Weight, not the Gross Combined Vehicle Weight. We're talking pickup and trailer combinations here, not tractor trailers. That little distinction is the key to whether you need the numbers or not.

NC requires me to buy a commercial (weighted) tag since I use my truck for my business. I have a 11,500 pound tag but that is Gross Combined.

My truck's Gross Vehicle Weight is 6250 pounds according to the tag on my door frame. I am not required to have DOT numbers unless I cross state lines.

MrRob
08-03-2008, 02:16 PM
I was told a DOT # is only required if you're an interstate company & travel longer distances? Any truth to this?

Fred B
08-03-2008, 02:21 PM
Up here, It means any commercial registered truck 4500kg or more. That includes the combined trailer as well. EG. Now up here you are supposed to register at least 75% of the GVW of the truck or if you are also using a trailer 75% of the combined truck and trailer. And that is the minimum legal registration. At the same time you cannot register it for more than the max combined rating of both. Most people are un aware that you are supposed to do this. Also there are individual province or state laws.

nosparkplugs
08-03-2008, 02:25 PM
The DOT generally does not "mess" with the little guy, their after the "big" fish. Each state is responsible for enforcing DOT/MC laws. In TN you can tow up to 26,000 GVWR without DOT numbers or a CDL endorsment, and it must be your equipment (intrastate) do not leave TN use. For hire or Hot Shot drivers towing ie: those who haul other peoples stuff are required to display DOT/MC numbers. TN also does not require Diesel emission testing:clapping:

topsites
08-03-2008, 02:26 PM
My guess is they are either uninformed, or don't think they'll get caught...?

Different states, different laws, VA is 26,000 lbs. as well but never assume,
I checked with the Vdot on this more than once :p

PerfectEarth
08-03-2008, 02:29 PM
Most of you guys NEED to check your State DOT website or call your state police. The laws vary from State to State... In Kentucky, they are very strict and have been cracking down hard this year on 3/4 tons and one-tons with landscape trailers. I see a lot of guys with new mubers and business names on the truck now!!!

GO HERE---> http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/

This is the federal site for these issues. You can take a little test to see if you need numbers- like the original poster, for example- he would need Indiana DOT numbers on his truck if he traveled Interstate (cross State lines) but does not need them if he is IntrAState (only does business in the State)... and this is for vehicles with a GVWR or a GCWR of 10,000# or greater.

LOTS of guys with 1/2 tons and 7,000# trailers 'round here. They have no clue they need the numbers (as well as all the other little things to comply)

CDL rules are minimuns set at the Federal level- the general Class A,B, and C stuff, but the State can tack on more.

Look at your weight ratings!! It all starts there. It's not what you CAN or cannot tow or haul - it's mostly all about GvehicleWR and GcombinedWR

There are a million rules. And it's a pain, but it's part of becoming a legit business. get them if you need them.

PerfectEarth
08-03-2008, 02:39 PM
Here's a great page for contacts (by state and region) if you have questions-

http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/about/contact/offices/displayfieldroster.asp

Grits
08-03-2008, 04:52 PM
GO HERE---> http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/

This is the federal site for these issues. You can take a little test to see if you need numbers- like the original poster, for example- he would need Indiana DOT numbers on his truck if he traveled Interstate (cross State lines) but does not need them if he is IntrAState (only does business in the State)... and this is for vehicles with a GVWR or a GCWR of 10,000# or greater.

.

Great link, but I still have questions.
My truck's GVWR is 6650 lbs. My trailer is a single 3500lb axle trailer. To get the GCWR.....do I add the trailer axle rating or the weight of the trailer to the truck's GVWR?

ambersLawnmowing
08-03-2008, 05:17 PM
My brother happens to be a cop so i know in Wisconsin that as long as you are Pulling a trailer shorter then and lighter then a certian weight you wont get bothered. As far as DOT #'s they generally mean that you haul for someone and are lic. to do so.. such as if i hauled for the local paper mill it isnt my goods on the trailer but i am lic. to haul it and i will be crossing the state line with it then i need it. He stated that if you have the trailer lic. for the right amount and stay in the state that you are lic. in that you dont need them. It does vary from state to state but that s the general idea. I do know that if you weigh over the 10,000 pound you do need to stop at scales. I know that it is scary to do so, and dont see many people around here doing it. I stay in town and dont get bothered, If i do then i will start the name dropping and see if that works to get me out of the ticket. After all we just mow lawns for a living we all arent truck drivers....LOL Also when figuring out what you weigh you have to account for all the axels on trailer, it is so much per axel. Bets way to figure it out is to stop at your local scale such as feed mill, paper mill, ect. and know what you weigh loaded and unloaded. even if you paid for it at the truck stop. then you know for sure and can go from there...

PerfectEarth
08-03-2008, 07:57 PM
Great link, but I still have questions.
My truck's GVWR is 6650 lbs. My trailer is a single 3500lb axle trailer. To get the GCWR.....do I add the trailer axle rating or the weight of the trailer to the truck's GVWR?

Your Gross Combined Weight rating is 6650 + 3500= 10,150 pounds. So yes, combined goes by a simple addition of the two vehicles weight ratings.

JWLandscaping
08-03-2008, 08:13 PM
I live in Maryland and have a 16' open trailer, do i need DOT numbers on my truck if so, how do i go about getting them and how much will it cost me?

PerfectEarth
08-03-2008, 08:24 PM
I live in Maryland and have a 16' open trailer, do i need DOT numbers on my truck if so, how do i go about getting them and how much will it cost me?


Do you do any business outside of Maryland?? Do you cross state lines?

I'm assuming your trailer is 7,000# GVWR?

Edit**--- try this MDdot site page- FAQ, should help you a bunch! ---> http://www.mdot.state.md.us/MMCP/FAQ.html#Q6

JWLandscaping
08-03-2008, 08:28 PM
No I do not go out of sate lines and yes I believe so it's a single axel trailer

PerfectEarth
08-03-2008, 08:40 PM
A 16 ft. trailer with a single axle? hmmmm.... Well, you juts need to know the GVWR of the trailer. Maryland's DOT laws look fairly strict. If your combination weight of truck and trailer is over 10,000# , as I read, you will need a MDDOT number for intrastate commerce. Anything out of state, you would need a USDOT number.

if your trailer is 3500#, you might be ok... just add up the two numbers. And check out the Maryland DOT site under "Motor Carriers"

From the site---> You can obtain a MDDOT number application at any weigh and inspection station, by calling 1-800-543-4564 or 410-582-5734, or you can print the application from the internet at SHA's Motor Carrier Division website. Mail the completed application to the Motor Carrier Division, Office of Traffic & Safety, State Highway Administration, 7491 Connelley Drive, Hanover, MD 21076. You will be notified of your number after your application has been processed.

JWLandscaping
08-03-2008, 09:12 PM
Thank you so much for you help PerfectEarth

PerfectEarth
08-03-2008, 09:43 PM
No problem! PM me if you have any questions. I've been through a lot this year with DOT stuff and CDL stuff too! Good luck!

Richard Martin
08-04-2008, 03:05 AM
you will need a MDDOT number for intrastate commerce. Anything out of state, you would need a USDOT number.

The preferred number is the USDOT number. It is good for anywhere he may need to go.