Truck / Trailer Combo Licensing Requirements

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by DVS Hardscaper, Jul 20, 2009.

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  1. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,404

    I brought this topic up in another thread and I think it's better suited to have a thread of it's own.

    In the hardscape business many of us find ourselves having use for somewhat large trucks and trailers. One aspect of such ownership is there seems to always be much confusion as to the proper licensing required for driving these units on public roads, streets, and highways.

    Now, I'm not bringing this topic to light "one up" anyone. But because many of us do own such equipment, or many may be buying such equipment in the future - it's important to know the correct law as to which class of drivers license is required, as there was a time where I discovered the facts. I'm sharing my knowledge. I hope it helps many of you and hopefully it will save some from facing stiff fines and from having to call someone with the proper license to come drive the truck and trailer home.

    In another thread I submitted a post that stated:


    Check with you state's DOT laws about licensing requirements for trailers over 10,000#.

    In MD and PA trailers factory rated, or registered (tagged), or weighing more than 10,000# - require a Class A Restricted license. The "restricted" means you do not have to have the air brake endorsement (unless you have air brakes). Most D.O.T. laws are the same state to state, this way someone isn't legally passing through one state and suddenly illegally passing through another state. Even if you're pulling the trailer with a mid size pick up truck.

    A buddy of mine with a class B license just got nailed for pulling a 14,000# gooseneck with a pickup without a Class A.



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  2. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,404

    To which this response was submitted:



     
  3. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,404

    Like I said, check with you local DOT laws. FOZ'S response is exactly what I used to think. Again, Most DOT laws ARE the same state to state.

    Here is how I found out about this law. I have a close family member that recently retired from the State of Pennsylvania, he worked at the MVA as a supervisor and also was a CDL examiner. One day I told him I wanted a heavier trailer. He said "if you get a heavier trailer you'll need a Class A restricted". I said "no way, you're wrong as long as I don't go over 26,000# I'm fine". He said "oh no you're not, you're a combination unit".

    I didn't believe him so I called the MD MVA and spoke with someone that works in their commercial licensing dept. This person told me the DOT law and it was word from word as what my family member who worked for the MVA in PA told me.

    But I didn't stop there! I hung up the phone and I called one of the scale houses and spoke with a sergeant. And again, he told me exactly the same thing that the supervisor at the MD MVA told me.

    The law gets confusing when you add a trailer into the factor because you then become a “combination unit”. And the Class A license classification is for combined units.

    Again, most states all have the same DOT laws. However, some states are very lax about enforcing certain laws and others are very aggressive.

    Hopefully this topic will shed some light to a law that most do not even know exists and hopefully will save you of aggravation and fines. It's hard enough finding employees that will show up for work on time and sober, let alone finding a reliable worker that has the proper license to drive your trucks and trailers!

    I encourage folks that may be affected by this to call your local MVA Office, Scale House, or pull up your state’s DOT Laws on the internet. This ain't a new law, been around for ages!
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2009
  4. SimonCX

    SimonCX LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 729

    Best bet is to call or visit a state police barrick because they are the ones who are going to enforce it and will give you all the dot info for your state. I called state police because motor vehicle didn't have a clue.
     
  5. Bru75

    Bru75 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 585

    Good advice. I asked a question once about the combined weight I needed on my registration at the DMV and they said that it depends on how a particular officer interprets the law.
     
  6. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,404

    That's kinda comical! From what I've seen, it's usualy spelled out quite clear and concise, that even a 7th grader can understand! (on another message board folks have posted excerpts from their state laws) I think they told you that because they didn't know the answer.
     
  7. Bru75

    Bru75 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 585

    That's exactly why they told me that.
    I needed to know if my truck had to be registered for the weight of the trailer and truck, or just the truck and tongue weight. She said "depends on which cop pulls you over", no kidding.
     
  8. Duffster

    Duffster LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 1,193

    I suggest you do this also.

    Ask three cops the same question and you will get three different answers.

    I know for a fact that you don't need a class A until the combo reaches 26k with a trailer over 10k in PA. It's most likely the same way in MD.

    It is supposed to be the same way in all state except CA (they are always the odd duck LOL).
     
  9. Duffster

    Duffster LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 1,193

    For PA

    This exerpt from

    http://www.dmv.state.pa.us/pdotforms/pub_223/section_1.pdf

    It says the same thing for MD
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2009
  10. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,404

    Duffster - Wat you posted is exactly what I stated in the opening posts to this thread!

    Sit back, clear your mind from the day's stresses and read the excerpt that YOU posted :)

    The law is written at a level where you nearly need a college degree to know what it says. To help you out, I put key words in bold, for ya :)


    "A Class A license is issued to those persons 18 years of age or older who have demonstrated their qualifications to operate any combination of vehicles with a gross combination weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more, provided the gross vehicle weight rating of the vehicle or vehicles being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.


    KEYWORDS "OR" and "EXCESS"

    That's aight 'ol buddy, the year is half way through and you been workin hard! Trust me Duffster, I'm not going to post something on the world wide web that I can't back up, or that would mis-lead others. I have better things to do with my time than to steer someone down the wrong road.


    On Another Note:

    One thing to be aware of: your typical patrol officer or state trooper will usually not have a clue about the D.O.T. laws. I have a buddy thats a Sergeant with the MD State Police. He couldn't tell you thing about DOT laws other than "if you get caught, you're screwed". The appropriate law enforcement officials to speak with are the ones that are specifically assigned to a Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit within the agency.


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    Last edited: Jul 21, 2009
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