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Fed. Law on Trailer Brakes

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Sammy, Mar 17, 2001.

  1. Sammy

    Sammy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,734

  2. 1stclasslawns

    1stclasslawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 565

    Well, that certinly clears it up.

    Basiclly, if your truck weighs 5000 lbs and your trailer and equipment more then 2000 lbs you must have brakes.

    How many of us are out of complience?
  3. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,969

    Sorry, Sammy. federal statutes can only apply to interstate commerce. Not too many of us in that category. Federal influence in state law making is used. But this is effected by threatening to withhold funds unless states individually enact laws to regulate the desired area within the state.

    Each of us has to learn what state and local regs apply. Best recourse is to join state and local green industry organizations, to keep abreast of any regulations affecting the industry in your area. Almost any state lawn care, nursery and landscape organization can quickly answer any questions about truck, trailer and DOT licensing regs for your area.

    LawnSite is a good forum to become aware of these matters. But not the place to get definitave answers for your particular area, unless someone who lives a block away from you is also a member. LOL. And has learned the proper answer. (But did part of the answer get changed last legislative session?)

  4. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    Just for grins lets take a look at the part of the rules as they would apply in my situation.


    (b)(3) Any full trailer, any semitrailer, or any pole trailer having a GVWR of 3,000 pounds or less must be equipped with brakes if the weight of the towed vehicle resting on the towing vehicle exceeds 40% of the GVWR of the towing vehicle.

    My truck is a 95 F-150. The tag on the door frame says it has a GVWR of 6250 lbs.

    My trailer GVWR is 3000 lbs. My trailer weighs 900 lbs. My W/B is 425, and my Dixie is 975. Add in misc tools, gas and eqip is another 150 lbs. The total is 2450 lbs.

    40% of 6250 is 2500 lbs.

    Does this rule say that I can put the entire weight of my loaded trailer on the tongue and still not need brakes on the trailer?

    Who made this rule up and why doesn't it make any sense to me? My normal tongue weight is around 250 lbs.
  5. cclllc

    cclllc LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 903

    Guys I just had a wakeup call the other day.Fortunally I had brakes on both axles and brake away kit on at the time.The other day I dropped off a loader(terramite) at a friends house and was coming home.I decided to drop my trailer off at the welding shop for some touchup on my gate when he noticed the tongue had split up both sides at the hitch.It was almost touching the ground!My heart just sank.Thank GOD it didn't come loose.Theres no telling what could of happeded if it had.Please guys for safety's sake get brakes on bothe axles and a brake away kit and just hope it still stops the trailer.Better safe than sorry .Your biz depends on it.:)
  6. Sammy

    Sammy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,734

    Here is the Ind. law.

    IC 9-19-3-3
    Sec. 3. A trailer or semitrailer of a gross weight of at least three thousand (3,000) pounds, when operated upon a highway,
    must be equipped with brakes adequate to control the movement of and to stop and to hold the vehicle. The brakes must be
    designed so that the driver of the towing motor vehicle can apply the brakes from the cab, and must be designed and connected
    so that the brakes will be automatically applied in an accidental breakaway of the towed vehicle.
    As added by P.L.2-1991, SEC.7.

  7. Alan

    Alan Member
    Posts: 1,185

    The way I read that, and then look at the diagrams, they are not saying the same thing. The written part talks about tongue weight carried on the tow vehicle, the diagram shows traier axle load and relates THAT to the actual weight of the tow vehicle. In addition the written relates to GVWR, which is not the same as the actual weight of the tow rig. Then again, this was written in bureaucratese so it's intended to be confusing.
  8. skyphoto

    skyphoto LawnSite Member
    Posts: 221

    Do you guys in other states not have to get your trailers inspected? Here in MO if the trailer is not in compliance when you take it to get inspected they will not give you plates.

    I built my own trailer and they went over it with a fine tooth comb @ the inspection station b4 they gave me a title?!?!?!

  9. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,969

    Sorry still, Sammy. You missed the point. While there is a lot of information available on the internet, it is better to let those experienced in special areas use these sources to advise us.
    • Instead of searching the internet to find what is legal for a trailer, I will pay for a trailer from a reputable manufacturer, who knows the necessary laws.
    • If I want to modify the trailer later, I will ask the state police to criticize the plans for modification if it is not to be done by the above manufacturer or similar.
    • Instead of searching the internet for legal advice, I will pay a good lawyer for his guidance.
    • Instead of searching the internet for financial structuring for my business, I will pay a good accountant for that service.
    If you expect to find definitave answers for all questions at LawnSite.com or any other Internet source, you are going to have problems. I could give kutnkru and Ray Kirby detailed directions about use of a specific pesticide, but they would not rush out and follow them, because they know that pesticides are ultimately licensed by each state, and labels for their states may be different than the IN label, especially NY.

    When Chuck begins a fee based site, with a $250-500 annual membership: the night he offers a roundtable for IN members, run by an InDOT trailer specialist, is the only time I will trust the information given to be exact for my trailer. Until then all the free details are worth just what they cost.

    Use LawnSite to open your eyes, to broaden your opportunities, to compare your operation to others, to criticize your ideas, to learn how to find a good lawyer or accountant, and many other things. LawnSite has tons of useful general information, but what is technically correct for one member can easily be totally incorrect for another 30, or 300, or 3000 miles away.

    Also come to LawnSite to follow the fabulous journeys of Charles' mind, and his jokes.
  10. skyphoto

    skyphoto LawnSite Member
    Posts: 221

    Ok grndkpr ,
    I got all excited because I figured in all that typen you would surely answer my lttle ol question!!!!
    I feel as if ya forgot my B-day!!! hahaha
    Do you guys have to have your trailers inspected??? This seems like if they did that this would answer alot of everyones questions as those guys that inspect mine can tell me exactly what I need and have a state license to do so?!?@?!?@!?@ And if all I want is information from them it is free!!!!!! Dont get any better than that!!!!!!

    PEACE to ALL!!!

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