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Transporting mower from site to site

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Beckham, May 4, 2013.

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  1. TaylorLandscapingLLC

    TaylorLandscapingLLC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 101

    So, im curious because im new to the DOT thing. ive always been legit with my businesses as far as license and insurance but never knew about dot regs. my operation is a crew cab dodge ram with a 14' trailer loaded with a single exmark and the power tools. Im in Florida and as far as i know my truck weighs in somewhere in the neighborhood or 6K. my trailer weighs maybe 1k and my mower maybe 800lbs. im going to stretch it to 9000 lbs total weight but if i happened to be carrying over 10K lbs, would i get a ticket for not displaying DOT numbers and not having a med card? also, where can i go to find this information? thanks.
  2. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,700

    Although you should never be overloaded, for the purposes of whether or not you need a DOT number, your actual weight doesn't matter so much in most states. In most states it the potential weight that matters.

    Take my truck for example. It's a 2007 Chevy Silverado Classic 1500. So I get my owners manual out and look up the towing weights section. I get to it and now I have to find my particular truck. Mine is a regular cab, no tow package from the factory, 5.3 liter engine, automatic transmission and a 3.23 ratio rear axle. There will be a whole lot of listings but you have to find the right one for your truck.

    Okay, now I need to find the Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating. I find it. It is 12,000 pounds. It doesn't matter how much it's actually carrying, it is rated for 12,000 pounds total. The GCVWR is how much the truck, any weight added to the truck (you, gasoline, passengers and stuff in the bed) as well as any trailer that you may be pulling, weighs.

    Now if I cross any state border, be it into Georgia or Alabama, the USDOT laws kick in and I'm required to have USDOT numbers because I'm using my vehicle for commercial work and it has a GCVWR in excess of 10,000 pounds.

    Now some states also require USDOT numbers even if you don't cross into another state. Florida is one of those states. There are generally 2 weight ratings that kick in the USDOT in those states. Anything over 10,000 pounds and anything over 26,000 pounds. Florida is a 10,000 pound state.

    Since my truck has a GCVWR of 12,000 pounds, I would be required to have a USDOT number just to work anywhere in the state of Florida.

    http://www.floridatruckinginfo.com/...f the IRP Registration Process In Florida.pdf
  3. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,758

    If this were true anyone that drove our trucks would need a class A CDL. F450 has a GVW of 15k and the 350's have a GVW of 12k. They both have hitch capacities of 16k. Putting all of them above 26 Gross combined rating.

    GCWR applies to the truck and trailer combo you are using, we use our trucks and the heaviest trailer we haul is a 9k pound deck over keeping us under 26k GCWR.

    So if someone is running a 7k pound GVWR truck and a 2k pound trailer the total GCWR would be 9k. Then you have to make sure you don't exceed axle ratings, hitch ratings, tongue ratings......... :dizzy:
  4. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,700

    Which laws Maine chooses to use is up to Maine. I was specifically answering questions about Florida. You might note that I didn't say anything about specific classes of license that are required in Florida. That takes more digging on the Internet than I'm willing to do for free.

    A lot of people mix up 2 distinctly different classes of weight rating and it's important to know that they're not the same and can be different depending on the individual states.

    There is the Combined Gross Weight Rating and the Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating.

    The GCVWR is more often the important number. The GCVWR is the number
    that is in every owners manual. The GCVWR is what I used in my example about my truck.

    The CGWR is the example you used. That is where you combine the maximum weight capacities of both the truck and the trailer. I know for a fact that neither Maryland, North Carolina and Florida use that. Those 3 states use the GCVWR as law.

    Remember, I'm only discussing the truck and trailer ratings as they apply to the need for USDOT numbers for intrastate use in specific states, nothing else.
  5. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,758

    So anyone on the states listed, using a dually for commerce is subject to FMCSA law and is required to have a CDL?
  6. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,700

    I did not say that. I did not say anything about licenses. FMCSA law only applies to Interstate. Whether individual states choose to use it or not for intrastate use is up to the individual states. I know of no states that required a CDL for anything under 26,001 pounds.
  7. gcbailey

    gcbailey LawnSite Silver Member
    from WV
    Messages: 2,680

    that's up to your individual state.... WV state law is anything with a gross weight exceeding 10k, private or commercial is required to have DOT number along with a special designated plate. Now how many trucks you see doing this (1 ton duallys for example), not many.

    One of my trucks '04 Chevy dually, flatbed, underbody boxes, dual 25 gal tanks... runs just over 8,000lbs by itself. So once I hook an empty trailer to it I'm automatically over 10k. I have all my stuff registered at 20k just to cover myself when I'm stopped by the DOT for inspection.
  8. orangemower

    orangemower LawnSite Silver Member
    from pa
    Messages: 2,768

    I think you're digging too deep into it. Md. is a 10,001lb state. If you have a combined GCVWR of 12k on a Chevy 1500, somethings grossly wrong. Look at the door sticker, not the owners manual.

    Here's the facts Richard. The DOT will look at the manufacturers sticker that shows the GVWR which on your truck is more then likely at 6200-6500lb gross. Now step back to the trailer and look at what the GVWR is on that sticker and add the two together. That's the number the DOT is going to use. They don't look at the towing capacity of the truck but what the truck can carry including the actual weight of the truck. Same with the trailer. PA is at 17K before you'd need DOT numbers. Now if I cross state lines to do business then the Federal regulations kick in which is the standard 10,001lb.
  9. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,700

    That may be the fact in PA but not in the 3 states that I listed. The GVWR of my truck by it's self is 9200 pounds. When I combine it with a trailer it goes to 12,000 pounds. I will continue to look in the manual because that's where the lawyers will also look when they build a case over your gross negligence to adhere to simple to read specifications.

    I have also read the FMCSA rules and they say exactly I what say. The only time they follow the CGWR is when there is no GCVWR to go by. Chevy, Ford, Dodge all have the specs right in the owner manual since forever ago. Why put it in there if it means nothing.
  10. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,758

    We do the same, any truck with a hitch is registered @ 26k so we can haul our legal limit of truck and trailer combination.

    This is the point I was trying to make. A dually can have a towing rating of 22k hauling a G/N trailer. So theoretically using that method pulling out with ANY trailer would require a class A no matter what state or you would be driving out of class. Every state is different. DOT told me that it is the combination of truck and trailer you are using and this is also how I interpreted the state laws. If we had to use the tow rating we would need DOT #'s, fuel stickers, fuel mileage logs etc.......
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