Stopped at the weigh station in a 3500 dump and sa enclosed trailer with gvwr of 2990lbs. After conferring with another officer because he wasn't sure about the law, I was given a ticket for not having brakes on the trailer because the reg tag on the trailer had the gawr of 3500lbs. I bought this trailer new and the manufacturer set the gvwr. Dot officer said because the tag said 3500, it needed brakes. He copied the law he sited me for.
"sec. 14-81. Brake equipment of trailers. Each trailer or semitrailer having a gross weight of three thousand pounds or more shall, when operated on any public highway, be equipped with a braking system operating on all wheels."
My interpretation of this law is gross vehicle weight, not gross axle weight. I know that most single axle trailers have 3500lb axles. There is supposed to be a cushion. My truck's gvwr is 12,000 lbs, its gawr is 13,3000 lbs.
I thought this tidbit was funny. According to the gawr, it needs brakes, so I got a ticket. If they weighed it and it was over its gvwr of 2990 lbs, I could have also been ticketed. By the way, this whole process took an hour with me and an employee sitting in the truck.
He didn't weigh it. He actually wasn't an ass, but it is very frustrating for me as someone who does try to comply with dot regs, which is difficult. I had my medical card. I thought I was perfectly legal with this trailer. I called my very reputable trailer dealer, and he confirmed to me I was legal. Whenever I have dealt with dot, it seems that everything is up to their interpretation. And it is different for every officer. There is too much grey area, too many rules. Please give me some feedback. I plan plead not guilty and provide a copy of the registration which shows the 2990 gvwr. Argh! Thanks for listening to my rant.