DOT number problems!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DCMmmkay, Feb 26, 2013.

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  1. DCMmmkay

    DCMmmkay LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 57

    Appreciate the response shovelracer...just checked the tongue of my trailer and it said don't exceed 5,000 lbs gross weight. Looks like it's rated for 5,000 and not 3,000. So next time I get a plate, I guess I need to get a 3,001-5000 rated plate.

    Also, called my local state DOT and as long my combined gross weight is below 10,001 lbs I don't need any DOT numbers. Even if I get another 60" scag or dixie to add to the trailer I will be under by about 1,500 lbs. Glad I got all this cleared up before the start of this year.
  2. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,983

    Not useless the trailer weight and the load can not exceed the 5,975 lbs cited in my example.

    Example: Trailer weighs 1,975 lbs, his trailer load is rated at 4,000 lbs because the weight of both can not exceed the 5,975 lbs or his truck and trailer will be over the 10,001 Dot number requirement.

    Even though his truck is rated to tow more he can not if he want to avoid Dot numbers.

    Even though he is only going to carry his lunch pail an a thermos in his trailer and they weigh 1 lb, if his trailer is rated to carry 6,000 he will need a Dot number.

    The weight of the trailer and the rated load a trailer is rated to carry are added together to get the gross combined weight rating.

    That total and the weight of his truck added together must total less then 10,000 lbs or less to not need a Dot number.

    Now if he wants to put a 500lb load in the bed of his truck then the trailer weight and it's load max of 5,975 can only weigh 5,475 lbs. Again to stay 10,000 lbs or less.
  3. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,983

    Lightess trailers usually are is 995 lbs to legally not have brakes.

    Your trailer is rated to carry a load of 5,000 lbs. Trailer weight plus load rating = 5,995 lbs.

    The max your truck can weigh is 4,005 lbs to be 10,000 lbs.

    You said your truck weighs 4,300 lbs + 5,995 lbs = 10,295 lbs.

    Your truck & trailer is 295 lbs over 10,000 lbs and will need a Dot number.

    Unless your trailer weighs 295 lbs less then the 995 I assumed it weighed and it only weighs 700 lbs then you are back at being under 10,001 lbs and no Dot number is needed.
  4. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,008

    No you are setting someone up for a fat ticket with that advice. The method used is very clear and simple. Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of both combined. I can only assume the truck around 8000 and the trailer is either 3000 or 5000. In either case even if the vehicles are empty and bone dry the Gross Vehicle Combined Weight Rating is 11 or 13K respectively. Even if it scales at 9999 he would qualify for USDOT only IF he met the rest of the requirements. IE hazardous waste, interstate, or any of the others.

    These numbers are not negotiable the truck has a rating plate on the door and that is what the truck MUST be registered for and and also the GVWR is what is used for this method. Likewise the trailer must have a similar approved manufacture or MV plate that along with some other info must have the GVWR. Having a 10K truck receiver or a 7K tongue or being loaded or empty none of this matters. Initially the only two things that matter are the two approved plates and the GVWR on each.
  5. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,008

    Man I'm not trying to be that guy but again if his trailer plate says 5000 than that is it. That includes the trailer weight. So if it weighs 1000 his load limit is 4000.

    DC make sure you are talking about your manufacture plate and not some stamping on the trailer tongue mount. I have seen stampings like that before. You are looking for the actual plate the size of an index card either riveted or mounted to the trailer somewhere.
  6. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,008

  7. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    You're still not catching on. For USDOT, it doesn't matter what it weighs at any particular time. It's the capacity that counts. What they look at is the Gross Combined Weight Rating. You'll have to look in your Owner's Manual or online to determine the rating. The GCWR is the allowable maximum weight that the combination of the truck, it's load and any load that it may be carrying or towing.

    My Chevy is rated for a total of 9,400 pounds. The truck is about 4,400 pounds so I can carry/tow an additional 5,000 pounds. A few weeks ago I took the truck, trailer and all of my regular tools like trimmer, blower and mowers, up and had it scaled at a certified scale. It came out to 8,320 pounds. The mowers were a push mower, a 36" walk behind and a 60" Dixie Chopper.

    The first thing you have to do is find out what your GCWR is. If you're having trouble finding out just post the year of your truck, the model, what size engine it has, type of tranny (auto or manual), the axle code off of the plate found inside of the driver's side door jam and whether it's 2 or 4 wheel drive.
  8. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,008

    Rich you can tow more than that. The GVWR has nothing to do with the trailer other than loads indirectly imposed. The only effect it has is that the trailer puts some load on the truck through it's tongue weight thereby consuming some of your trucks available payload, maybe 500lbs or so.

    Truck has a GVWR
    Trailer has a GVWR
    Truck also has a CGWVR which means that even if you trailer is a million pounds, it legally can not be more than what the approved rating is. IE you can not tow an empty 10K GVWR trailer with a Ford Explorer simply because the empty weight of the trailer falls within the allowable tow rating of the vehicle of say maybe 5000 lbs.
  9. JPsDuramax

    JPsDuramax LawnSite Senior Member
    from Georgia
    Messages: 346

    I debated jumping, but I don't like seeing people be misinformed. Shovelracer is correct. It is based on the Combined Gross Vehicle Weight. That is the maximum weight if you take the weight of the truck, trailer, you, equipment, and gear. My 2500HD has a GVWR of about 9700. Pretty much if I tow anything, I have to have DOT numbers. (Georgia has adopted FMCSA standards for in state commercial trucks). My F350 has to have DOT number because it has a GVWR over 10000 lbs.

    I have been through many weigh stations, inspections, and even had an officer do walk arounds while I was at the gas station :dizzy: and I've never had any issues because I understand the rules and regulations. Do your homework and you'll be fine. Visit for more information.
  10. Attorney-at-Lawn

    Attorney-at-Lawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    I will be attending a seminar with an INDOT rep in Evansville tomorrow speaking about various carrier requirements. Indiana in the last couple years changed the DOT requirements - no numbering required if you stay within the state of Indiana and are under 26,000 combined weight. However, if you cross state lines to work in another state, then the 10,000 pound requirement does apply. Hope that helps. check link below
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