DOT got me

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mattfromNY, Jan 10, 2008.

  1. mattfromNY

    mattfromNY LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,580

    Just got back from delivering a couple pallets of salt to one of my apartment accounts.
    On the way, I got pulled over by DOT, just thought I'd share what I learned, so a few of you might not have the headache I have right now
    I know this is old news to some of you, but being in my second year, I have tried to comply where I knew I needed, but didn't know some of the details I guess:
    -I had the triangles/ fire extinguisher in the truck, BUT, fire extinguisher has to be one with a pressure guage. (Mine didn't have the guage)
    -I need a medical card, b/c my GVWR of truck/ trailer is above 10,000 lbs.,
    -AND, if I am driving down the rd. and I see the 'DOT check stop' signs, I must pull in(B/C I have DOT #'s), if not, its a hefty fine. I Didn't know this.
    -When I registered the truck, it was registered based on the dry weight of truck, not GVWR, DOT goes by GVWR of truck/ trailer, I could have gotten a ticket b/c I was over my registered weight, just by me being in the truck and a full tank of gas.
    -Also need a logbook if I work more than 12 hours in any given day (mowing, driving, anything),
    -When I applied for my DOT numbers, I filed under the wrong classification (something about my DOT number isn't for hauling anything???) For this I've looked online to modify my form MCS-150, but it is very vague, I've got a call into a motor carrier investigator, waiting for his return call.
    -ANYTHING in back of truck not secured=ticket. One for each item unsecured. This goes for trailer as well. loose fuel cans, big NO NO.
    -I had been told (by a local LCO), that trimmer racks weren't legal. Today I was corrected by DOT- they ARE Legal as long as trimmers cant move up/ secured.
    Like I said, I know some of this is old hat to most of you guys and it has been discussed to death. Since I started my business, I've tried to do things legal and moral, and this DOT stuff is really a grey area, hard to find the right answers. One thing the DOT officer informed me of, NY state is constantly changing their laws to comply with federal laws, so what is legal/ illegal today might not be legal next week.:cry::dizzy:
    Hope it helps someone out there.
     
  2. J&R Landscaping

    J&R Landscaping LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,096

    Thanks for the info!! BTW, what truck were your driving when you got pulled over?
     
  3. LawnTamer

    LawnTamer LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,986

    Man, I've never even heard of anyone being pulled over or checked by DOT here... I hope that stays the same, they sound like the Gestapo.
     
  4. packey

    packey LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 556

    You know what is real interesting is DOT rules are not the same from state to state. the 10001 in soem states only refers to trailers In others you do not need a dot if you are running a single axle and pulling 10000 or less. in other states. you can run a dually with the same weight and still not be dot. :confused: Why can't they get together and make the rules the same. My next question is what happens when you have to haul across another state and you are not in compliane with their dot but you are in compliance with your states dot rules. OH the dot officer here is the one who gave me the info that in co if I ran a single axle truck and pulled less than 10000 lbs I did not need DOT #s. But if I pulled with a dually any trailer for business I had to have DOT #s. What is more confusing is the DOT rules on the east coast
     
  5. Frue

    Frue LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,472

    sorry to hear that, How much was the fine?
     
  6. GravelyNut

    GravelyNut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,594

    Does this not look like a money grab to anybody? Just driving a 1 ton pickup truck puts you over the 10,001 limit in that case. The state better start changing the info they post on their sites or there is going to be a backlash like what happened in VA.

    By the way, anyone got anything new on whether VA can charge residents about 3 times the fine that they charge out of staters? Last I heard a judge had ruled the law illegal.

    Sorry to hear that Matt. :(
     
  7. DixieFerris

    DixieFerris LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 440

    All of that information you wrote is true here in NYS. You are also supposed to have that fire extinguisher mounted on the back cab wall of the truck. I laughed my tail off this summer at all the guys in my area getting tickets for not securing gas cans. Cha-ching for the police. I take all of my trucks and trailers to the state police station each springtime loaded up as if it was summer and ask them to give me a report card. Trust me, you gain their respect and trust and they tell you if they would like to see things changed right there on the spot with no penalty. I hope they get all of the idiots around my territory for lots of violations, just weeds out the competition faster. I play by the rules, its not a fight worth fighting
     
  8. mattfromNY

    mattfromNY LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,580

    So far, I got off easy. He gave me a report, 4 things to correct (fixit tickets), I have 15 days to prove everything is in compliance. If not, I get tickets for the 4 items he wrote me up for.

    He COULD have gotten the scales out, and I would have been cooked. He could also have ticketed me for my break away cable being frayed. Reason being, it probably would have broken and not done its job if the trailer came unhooked.
     
  9. mattfromNY

    mattfromNY LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,580

    I was driving my '04 2500HD, pulling a 10' PJ dump trailer with two pallets of Calcium Chloride, fifty 50# bags each.
     
  10. mattfromNY

    mattfromNY LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,580

    In talking to the DOT guy, I asked if there is any place to get all this info., including updates/ changes that happen so frequently. I have seen seminars advertised in Albany, but I'm 3 hours away. The DOT guy said they will run a presentation at any time if a bunch of guys can get together somewhere on a given date. I am thinking of trying to get an information session put together for some place around Cortland this late winter/ spring. I have mentioned it to a few local guys today, and everyone seems really positive to the idea.
    If anyone in NY is interested in putting together one of these sessions in your neck of the woods, PM me and I can get you the number to a Motor Carrier Investigator that I was told to contact to set it up.
    Matt
     

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