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Should I get a DOT #

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by pjslawncare/landscap, May 8, 2004.

  1. pjslawncare/landscap

    pjslawncare/landscap LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,410

    I notice other larger construction & landscape businesses all have DOT number showing on their trucks. Also noticed a staight truck with only "GVW 24,000" clearly showing. Then we have the private trucks with "Not for hire" clearly showing.
    Can someone advise me what exactly a DOT# is for. Is it needed for weigh stations, crossing state lines or carrying cargo on certain hiways? Up till recently, my biggest ruck was a 1 ton dump, however I just bought a International 1700 w/16' flatbed (under cdl) + no air brakes. I live in Indiana
  2. bnrhuffman

    bnrhuffman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 62

    Im going through this right now. Im starting up a small business and I have an F350, 14400 GVWR truck and pull a 10000 lbs trailer, this puts my GCVW at 24400, under CDL.
    This has been discussed before and everyone seems to have a different opinion so heres mine and my solution.
    In WV a USDOT # is needed if your GCVW is over 10000 lbs and you use your vehicle for interstate commerce. The 10000 lbs is easy to understand and determine, the "interstate commerce" thing isnt. What is "interstate commerce", If I pick up goods in one state and transport them through another state for hire or buy goods in one state and transport them through another to sell. Thats my take on "interstate commerce" if anyone comes up with a better or clearer definition, please post it because Ive researched and thats the best Ive come up with.
    The requirements for a USDOT # are, you must apply (its free), you must carry safety equipment (triangles, fire extenguisher, fuses), the driver must maintain a USDOT physical and keep their medical card with them, you must display a business address and number on the vehicle, Ive been told that I would need to maintain a fuel log for the truck and that its subject to DOT inspections.
    Personally, Im not going to mess with getting a # because I sometimes use the truck to commute to my full time job and my wife or a friend may use the truck on occasion. This would be complicated by the fuel log issue, by inspections and by the drivers physical requirement.
    Im keeping the truck registered and titled to me personally and Im not going to display the business on the vehicle. This should keep the DOT off my back because now they have to prove that Im using the truck for hire for it to even be within their jurisdiction and I dont think they can without me telling them.

    Where in southern IN are you? I grew up near New Albany, actually Georgetown.
  3. xcopterdoc

    xcopterdoc LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 752

    The DOT is not very likely to ever pull you over because you dont have a DOT# on your truck. They'll wait until you are involved in an accident or caught up in a road side check.
  4. pjslawncare/landscap

    pjslawncare/landscap LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,410

    Thanks guys for the info. Sure gives me something to think about.
    bnrhuffman, I live near Evansville, just north of KY state line
  5. playnindirt

    playnindirt LawnSite Member
    Posts: 18

    A dot # must only be on the outside of your truck if u are traveling over state lines. How ever any commercial truck over 10,000 lbs must have a dot inspection every year.
  6. PJSLAWNCARE, call the state police post and talk to the motor carrier officer they'll fill you in. one of my guys got caught up in a dot roadblock driving a F350 dump not pulling or hauling anything, got a ticket for no medical card and warning for various other stuff. No have all guys medical cards, emergency triangles, dot numbers and all truck and trailer inspected even f250's, didn't really know all abot this till we got pulled over. Call the DOT and find out for sure, they are conducting a lot of roadblocks for this there was 10 officers in this sweep.
  7. pjslawncare/landscap

    pjslawncare/landscap LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,410

    Thanks JB, Ill cal them. By the way, where are you in SO. IN ?
  8. 20 miles west of louisville along I64
  9. bnrhuffman

    bnrhuffman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 62

    Where would that put you JBLAWN, about Corydon?
  10. naturalimage

    naturalimage LawnSite Member
    Posts: 59

    F250 with a landscape trailer in Maryland you need state DOT #'s
    I have tickets to prove it

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