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DOT and Single Axel Trailers

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by jbell36, Mar 11, 2013.


    CLARK LAWN LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,526

    So much misinformation here I don't even know were to start.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  2. djagusch

    djagusch LawnSite Platinum Member
    from MN
    Messages: 4,350

    No they are not. Been pulled over twice between hudson and st croix falls
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. lalllc

    lalllc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 67

    I do know that you can call Iosc extension office. They should be able to help.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  4. stroker51

    stroker51 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 819

    Jack, it has nothing to do with actual weight as far as when you become a "motor carrier". It has to do with rated weight. Look at the VIN tag inside the door jam of the trucks, it will say what the gvwr of the truck is, find the vin tag on the trailers, your mow trailer is 7k, tractor hauler is probably 14k, enclosed is at least 7k. Add truck and trailer RATINGS up, and that will decide if you are considered a motor carrier. Anything over 10,001 gcvwr, meaning combined rating, makes you a motor carrier if that rig makes you money. Actual weight does matter as far as overload tickets go, but I don't know any lawn guys that have ever been scaled, it is what your rig is capable of weighing that matters. 3/4 tons are 8-9k on gvwr, my one tons have been between 9500 and 11000 depending on how the truck is set up. The only way I have figured out around the gustapo is 1/2 ton trucks and single axle trailers, but I'm not hot on the idea of hanging plows on half tons.
  5. Cody S

    Cody S LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 753

    Like others have stated it is all based off of weight RATING, not gross weight. My truck has a GVWR of 6950, and my single axle trailer has a GVWR of 2995. This puts me at a Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) of 9945. Note, this is not actual weight, but the weight rating, which is the gross weight then weight accounted for payload, passengers, etc. So, going by US DOT regulations, I would not need a DOT number to operate this combination as a motor carrier, however my vehicle still needs to be lettered with business name/phone while being operated.

    As of last year all states go by US DOT regulations by the FMCSA, although some states enforce more than others. This states that any motor carrier (truck or truck/trailer combo operated to make money) with a GVWR (single truck) or a GCWR (truck and trailer) of over 10,001 needs a US DOT Number, whether you are intrastate or interstate. I have a DOT number on my truck because the minute I hook up to a bigger trailer I'm over my GCWR. It's not hard to get a DOT number. Go to the FMCSA website and apply for one. Most LCO are intrastate non-hazmat, which means you only operate within your state and carry no hazardous materials (Large scale fertilizer tanks, etc.), which then you may need a CDL endorsement or other licensing requirements. It is free to get a DOT number, and you can update it as you need as you grow your company.

    Now, for DOT inspections on your vehicles. If you are operating under 10,001lbs, like my example above, you do not need your vehicle or trailer inspected. However, if you go over that, make sure that both truck and trailer have inspection tags and all parts (Lights, brake away controller, etc.) are working, because you do not want a hefty ticket because of a broken light bulb. Most LEO's will not look at a guy with a half ton and a single axle, because most likely, unless it is CLEARLY overloaded, the driver is not. DOT officers are looking more for 3/4 tons and double axles, dump trucks and trailers, etc.

    Just my .02 haha
  6. skorum03

    skorum03 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 354

    Very well explained. I think many will appreciate that.

    YardBros Outdoors
  7. Cody S

    Cody S LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 753

    I hope it helps. I went through this about a couple months ago when I wanted to letter my truck. After talking between state and the FMCSA I got one and threw it on my truck.

    Also, word of advice to all of those getting a DOT number. When you apply for it, they will assign one to you right away. You will get phone calls from a bunch of second hand companies, but make sure the person calling is from the FEDERAL MOTOR CARRIER SAFETY ADMINISTRATION. I had one guy call me saying that he needed $200.00 for my background check, $7.00 for a regulation book, and a bunch of other bull****. I asked him if he was from the FMCSA and hung up on me :laugh:
    The FMCSA will send you a letter telling you what YOU need to do to comply, they won't make you, because if you don't do what they tell you, and you get busted, they'll just deactivate your DOT number. So, for most LCO's, a DOT number is a simple process. It's when you get into 26,001+ vehicles, Hazmat, multiple drivers, etc, things get more complicated (medical cards, inspections, licensing, etc.) but that comes with this job. :weightlifter:

    Also, make sure you have the proper license to operate a commercial vehicle in your state! Here in Michigan you need a Chauffeurs license to operate a commercial vehicle over 10,001lbs, either GVWR or GCWR, so do your homework.

    Hope this helps anybody questioning DOT regulations.

    You can check out this page, its the FMCSA DOT Registration page
  8. ncknaklawns

    ncknaklawns LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 379

    Note if your over 18K in some states you need a Heavy Inspection done on the pickup. So a 1 ton pickup with twin axel trailer of 5K each your GCWR is 20K
  9. Duffster

    Duffster LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 1,197

    Actually it is based off of GVWR, CGVWR, GVW or CGVW. If any are over 10k.
  10. Cody S

    Cody S LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 753

    GVWR, and CGVWR are ratings. GVW and CGVW is gross curb weight, which is what it actually weighs. That only comes into play for determining payload to make sure you are not overloaded, etc. Determining if you need a DOT is based solely off of your ratings, not your curb weight, because that is already factored into your rating. Truck Weight + Payload = Rating, same with Trailer Weight + Payload = Rating.

    GVW/GCVW only matters with weighing your setup. Example. Truck has a GVWR of 10,100lbs, even though your truck may only have a GVW of 8200lbs, you still need a US DOT number to operate it commercially. They look at your ratings for determining if you need a DOT number. GVW/GCVW comes in at the CAT scale.

    Point is, when determining if you NEED a DOT number, only look at what you are operating with Gross Vehicle Weight Ratings or Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Ratings.

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