Picked up my new equipment today

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by LDH, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. LDH

    LDH LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,262

    Well I drive a truck hauling petroleum coke out of the Conoco Phillips refinery as a regular job and am doing this on the side. I've had a class A CDL for about 5 years and drove over the road after I went out of business before I landed the home every night driving job that I have now so I'm pretty familiar with the FMCSR's and ODOT regs. You're correct, DOT usually goes off your declared GVWR (sticker weight). There are also bridge laws that come into play. Contrary to the name "bridge" people often think of an actual bridge. But these laws refer to the length from one axle to another. Say you have a declared WR of 80,000 but you're pulling a rock trailer that isn't long enough to "bridge out" 80,000, you may only be able to haul 74,000 lbs. Bridge laws are a pain in the butt when it comes to trucking. As you said though, DOT usually goes off your door sticker. For example, your tractor trailer that has a declared WR of 80,000 lbs but when it's empty only has a tare weight of say 29,500. If you get caught taking a short cut on a road that has a weight limit of 25 tons (50,000 lbs) you can still get an overweight ticket, even though you're rig is not loaded and weighs 29,500. Like you said, they look at your declared WR.

    As far as my 12' landscape trailer goes, I'm not sure if I understand your question. I can tell you that the axle on my trailer is a 3500 lb axle. You are correct if you are asking if that is GVWR. Meaning, the 3500 lbs consists of the total weight of the trailer, not just the payload. By payload I mean all of the equipment you put on it or mulch, sod, etc. Total weight shouldn't exceed the 3500 lbs if you were to weigh it on a scale. I'm able to put around 2,000 lbs payload on this particular trailer. My mower and hand helds don't come to that, so I have no need for a heavier axle like you might. When I was in this business full-time I had several tandem 16 footers and a 20' trailer too. It's nice having the ability to haul more, but since I'm just coming back part time and all I do is maintenance I chose to go with a 12' single axle. I hope I answered your question. Does DOT bother landscapers in your area? I know they don't really mess with us around here if you're just dragging around a bumper pull. Going across state lines on interstates is always a risk, as there are usually port of entries that might hassle you but for the most part they don't mess with people who are running around town cutting grass. Always remember though, if you're overloaded and have an accident, you're opening the door for a lawsuit.
  2. orangemower

    orangemower LawnSite Silver Member
    from pa
    Messages: 2,768

    Yep. I understand all the DOT laws. That's why I have a GVWR of 10k even. I cross state line everyday working. They don't bother people in my area. I think they should start cracking down. I see guys driving around in a dually truck with a dual axle trailer. I know for a fact that they are over 10,001lb and should be sporting DOT numbers.
  3. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,782

    I enjoy reading posts by someone who knows what they are talking about. Good luck with your new equipment.

    In this area, I believe the DOT concentrates its efforts on those they believe to have flagrant violations. I drove route trucks, straight trucks licensed up to 48,000 lbs, for 30 years, and was never once pulled over by the DOT. In fact, I have been waved through a checkpoint a couple of times without them checking anything.

    As for guys in the biz, I've never heard of, or seen, anyone transporting mowers being pulled over and checked. I see vehicles pulled over on a regular basis, but they are generally semi's, some kind of junky looking rig, or trucks hauling rock or gravel.
  4. JB1

    JB1 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,904

    Same here. They have bigger fish to fry than pulling over lawn mowers
  5. buttaluv

    buttaluv LawnSite Senior Member
    from MidWest
    Messages: 572

    I wish that was the case in northeast Kansas, they have been targeting pickups with trailers! I've seen them with a 1/2 ton ford and a 5x10 trailer on scales! No joke!
  6. JB1

    JB1 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,904

    And congrats on some very nice equuipment
  7. Larry Overcash

    Larry Overcash LawnSite Member
    Messages: 71

    Great looking set-up for sure. I love threads like these. I like to see what other people use. Gives me idea's on what i need myself. Good luck with it!!
  8. skorum03

    skorum03 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 354

    Thats ridiculous. But I believe it, up here when crossing from Wisconsin to Minnesota when I worked for a large landscape company, the boss and I would damn near be praying together when rolling through the weigh station, not even because the truck was illegal or anything but just on the off chance that a tail light was out and we would get stopped for an hour or two to get the full inspection, and then they might find something wrong that we didn't even know about, some federal regulation or something like that. But for me, I don't have any business markings on my truck, except for some magnet signs I roll around in once in a while, so I don't worry when I cross the border, and I only have a single axle trailer as well so no way I'm ever going to be over weight

    Spencer Korum
    YardBros Outdoors
  9. LDH

    LDH LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,262

    Thanks for the compliments guys. I agree 100% about DOT policing landscapers. The trucking company I drive for has a fleet of about 40 trucks. We pull 38' end dump trailers that have spread axles with day cab Peterbilt and Kenworth trucks. When I drove over the road I pulled a pneumatic tanker hauling food grade flour to big bakeries such as Dolly Madison, Hostess (before the went bankrupt), Sara Lee, Mrs Bairds Bread, etc. I can say that in all of my experience as a professional driver if I were to go to work and mention DOT regulations concerning my landscape trailer all of the 39 other drivers in my fleet would probably laugh me out of the parking lot. Like I said, they just don't mess with landscacpers, construction contractors, or anyone out pulling a bumper pull trailer making a living mowing, roofing, or things like that in my area. I think the majority of people here don't even tag their bumper pull trailers. DOT is too busy sitting down the road watching rock mines and sand plants to catch big trucks over loaded, etc. I'm not trying to undermine the above posters question by any means, and like I said, GVWR and DOT regs WILL become an issue if you have an accident. A savvy lawyer would probably go over all of the details like that in an attempt to sue you for being negligent or something like that. You all know how it is. People get in an accident and see business signs on the vehicle and think "oh he's got money let's go after him and find a reason to make him responsible". That would be my only reason for worrying about a 12' landscape trailer (or any bumper pull) being in violation of a DOT reg. Obviously, you don't want to run around without lights or an unsecured load, etc. But to put it in a different perspective, when I'm at work driving my Peterbilt with 25 tons of petroleum coke in the trailer and I pass a DOT officer I always get a bad feeling in my gut. But when I'm out mowing and pass a DOT, I don't even look in my mirrors or have the slightest worry about them stopping me. This thread has kinda gotten out there so enough said lol. Thanks again for the comments. I'm still irritated that my trailer and equipment got saturated with snow yesterday as I was driving home for the dealership.

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