dot question especially MD guys

cutbetterthanyou

LawnSite Bronze Member
It states for MD you must have dot numbers if u are over 10k pounds or commercal. Around here Dot in the past few years have become too much. Even if u have everything to the best of your knowledge right, they find something wrong. I heard of a guy getting a $50 a wheel fine for no cap on a valve stem, really, what purpose do they really serve safty wise. And even if they don't find anything they give you a 1.5 hr inspection when you are tring to work. Its BS. What if i bought a s10 with a single axle trailer and one mower,no lettering,no numbers? The way i see it they can't bother me.Not of 10k not commercal,right. Yes i am commercal,but all i have to say is i'm not. I'm going to go cut the church, or grandmoms for free. What do u guys think? Can they bother me with a set up, and mindset like this? I am just tried of worring about them. A buddy of mine (he has 4 of the cleanest rigs in town) just got $3000 worth of fines for stuff he didn't even know he was wrong and they give 10 days to pay them.
 

RoyalTree

LawnSite Member
Location
miami fl
Around here you get arrested for not having your vehicle properly identified with signs. You need to check the laws in your area. My experience is that they will not bust the balls of the guys trying to follow the laws. With small trucks and trailers it is not that hard to stay in compliance.
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Richard Martin

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Greenville, NC
I wish they had some semblance of law enforcement here. I'd guess that 75% plus of the trailers here are grossly illegal. No chains, no brakes, no wheels (yeah, there's a guy running around with a tandem axle trailer with only rear wheels on it), no lights, no tags. You name it, they do it here. And yes, they are causing accidents and fatalities too.

http://www.southerninjurylawyer.com/news/2010/11/03/unhitched-trailer-kills-teacher-on-nc-highway/

We bought the house right behind this teacher's house. Her daughter and my 8 year old grand daughter play together in my yard.

An hour and a half on the side of the road making sure you're safe is NOTHING compared to having to live for the rest of your life knowing that your actions were responsible for someone else's death.
 

professional

LawnSite Member
Location
Frederickburg VA
I contacted the Sheriff Dept. and got a hold of the Motor Carrier Enforcement Officer for our county. I asked him to come to my place and perform a traffic stop on my truck and trailer and let me know what he finds and what he is looking for. It was nice to have him find issues in my driveway instead of along the road somewhere. For me, it was how my vehicle was registered. Got that changed the next day for $8.00. Good to go. He did tell me something similar to what RoyalTree said, which is, if you are trying to be correct, he's not trying to pick you a part. We joked about some of the things he has seen during his career, and he went on his way. When I pass him now, he waves.
 
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cutbetterthanyou

LawnSite Bronze Member
As far as being properly identified i really don't see how they can prove that you are or aren't a lawn care companany or not unless they follow you around all day,which they aren't going to do unless you piss him off. Around hear it seems to be exactly oppisite off what you guys say. They never pull over harry homeower with no straps or chains or uncovered loads it seems that every time i see them they have a bussiness of some sort pulled. The idea of getting them to check out the rig at the house is good.It would be much better if they gave some sort of inspection ticket good for a year 6 months or even 3 months. The 1.5hr inspect still gets done if they pull you because the officers dont know what they are looking for and have to read throught there book lookin up different laws. Don't get me wrong etheir i want to be legal on the safety side of things i just don't want to deal with all the BS.And BS fines.I honestly think that they come up with some of the crazy fines to make there job seem needed,and they know that the bussiness' are going to pay the fines cuz they have to to keep workin.
 

tyler_mott85

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Wichita, KS
As far as being properly identified i really don't see how they can prove that you are or aren't a lawn care companany or not unless they follow you around all day,which they aren't going to do unless you piss him off. Around hear it seems to be exactly oppisite off what you guys say. They never pull over harry homeower with no straps or chains or uncovered loads it seems that every time i see them they have a bussiness of some sort pulled. The idea of getting them to check out the rig at the house is good.It would be much better if they gave some sort of inspection ticket good for a year 6 months or even 3 months. The 1.5hr inspect still gets done if they pull you because the officers dont know what they are looking for and have to read throught there book lookin up different laws. Don't get me wrong etheir i want to be legal on the safety side of things i just don't want to deal with all the BS.And BS fines.I honestly think that they come up with some of the crazy fines to make there job seem needed,and they know that the bussiness' are going to pay the fines cuz they have to to keep workin.
The key here is to be proactive on the issues. Just as Professional said contact your motor carrier inspector and ask them for help. As for the $50 for no valve stem. That's $50 that could of been saved if only he had put a valve stem on. May be finicky and a lot of it is but it's the law and unfortunately...we all have to abide by them.

I would recommend to everyone to make up a pre trip and post trip inspection sheet to fill out everyday. Just like the CDL drivers use every day before and after their shift. Even 10k lb or less setups can kill and something as simple as having a cracked or dirty windshield can make the difference of seeing that kid crossing the street.

And here in KS if you don't have washer fluid you get fined.
 

orangemower

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
pa
I was told by a Md. DOT officer that as long as I'm under 10,001lbs CGVW I have nothing to worry about. Doesn't matter if I'm a business or not. I cross state lines so it becomes federal guidelines rather then state. For PA, IF you only work in PA, the CGVW is 17K. Because I cross state line, I have to comply with federal laws which is 10,001 CGVW. My truck and trailer CGVW is 10,000. I'm one pound light of having to be DOT compliant. :)

Sometimes I wish I was a DOT officer. I see F250's driving around everyday in the summer pulling a dual axle open trailer loaded with mowers, trimmer racks full and gas cans floating around on the trailer. That right there is well over the 10,001 CGVW yet they don't have any DOT numbers displayed as required by the DOT. I'm talking a dozen every day! Sometimes I think, if I could convince the whoever is in charge to hire me, I could make them a lot of money with all the guys that are flying under the radar in plain site.

Don't bother with the, "I'm cutting the church, or I'm cutting grammas place" crap. They know all to well what a lawn care provider looks like. If you're cutting the church, then why do you need 3 different mowers, 2 trimmers, gas cans, hedge trimmers and 3 guys with company t-shirts on? LOL They are not dumb!
 
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cutbetterthanyou

LawnSite Bronze Member
I'm solo with one mower from monday-thursday, then use the walker on fridays. One trimmer and one blower. My uniform is tan dickies and a white undershirt. I shyed away from have help a few years ago,they get on my nerves and never work hard, fast, or do a good job. Tha'ts why i think i could say that. I am trying to do a full time bussines and look like a weekend warrior.
 

RoyalTree

LawnSite Member
Location
miami fl
In my experience they are much harder on you when you try to find holes or sneak around rules. They are not dumb. You will simply insult his intelligence after he has seen you four days in a row and you just pulled away from somebodys house.
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orangemower

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
pa
Well you can do whatever you want. As long as what you're using (truck and trailer) is under 10,001lbs.
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