wtf dot!

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by sven1277, Oct 4, 2013.

  1. sven1277

    sven1277 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 681

    Stopped at the weigh station in a 3500 dump and sa enclosed trailer with gvwr of 2990lbs. After conferring with another officer because he wasn't sure about the law, I was given a ticket for not having brakes on the trailer because the reg tag on the trailer had the gawr of 3500lbs. I bought this trailer new and the manufacturer set the gvwr. Dot officer said because the tag said 3500, it needed brakes. He copied the law he sited me for.

    "sec. 14-81. Brake equipment of trailers. Each trailer or semitrailer having a gross weight of three thousand pounds or more shall, when operated on any public highway, be equipped with a braking system operating on all wheels."

    My interpretation of this law is gross vehicle weight, not gross axle weight. I know that most single axle trailers have 3500lb axles. There is supposed to be a cushion. My truck's gvwr is 12,000 lbs, its gawr is 13,3000 lbs.

    I thought this tidbit was funny. According to the gawr, it needs brakes, so I got a ticket. If they weighed it and it was over its gvwr of 2990 lbs, I could have also been ticketed. By the way, this whole process took an hour with me and an employee sitting in the truck.

    He didn't weigh it. He actually wasn't an ass, but it is very frustrating for me as someone who does try to comply with dot regs, which is difficult. I had my medical card. I thought I was perfectly legal with this trailer. I called my very reputable trailer dealer, and he confirmed to me I was legal. Whenever I have dealt with dot, it seems that everything is up to their interpretation. And it is different for every officer. There is too much grey area, too many rules. Please give me some feedback. I plan plead not guilty and provide a copy of the registration which shows the 2990 gvwr. Argh! Thanks for listening to my rant.
  2. jlcrox2

    jlcrox2 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 67

    There is definitely a lot of discretion these guys have. I think it's a look till you find something mentality. I once got a warning for having cones on the truck when the officer "preferred" we have reflective triangles.
  3. Armsden&Son

    Armsden&Son LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,358

    Buddy, believe me, I feel you. I can honestly say that to figure out the DOT laws, you probably need a team of 5 lawyers working around the clock 365 days a year. Every state is different and it is just plain ridiculous. "Too much grey area and too many rules" This sums it up my friend.
  4. ecurbthims

    ecurbthims LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 493

    I am in Canada and can positively confirm its the same here .One grey area after another ,every officer interprets it his way ,and ask for real answers and they wont give you any .Your licence office might be able to re-register your trailer a pound under the limit for needing brakes ,but you better make sure you don't get pulled onto a scale if you happen to be over that limit .
  5. baileylawnservice

    baileylawnservice LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 530

    Wow I would be screwed my trailer gvw us 13,000 and I only have brakes on one axle
  6. hosejockey2002

    hosejockey2002 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,195

    Just fight the ticket and you should win. Your trailer (like mine) is derated to 2990 GVWR to get around the brake requirement. The trailer can actually handle 3500, but if you were stopped and weighed over 3000, you could be cited for not having brakes and it would stick.
  7. Marek

    Marek LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,388

    Its a big money maker for a broke govt !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Often they will look till the find something and if they find multiple they may let some of it slide. I bet the Average ticket is 300.00
  8. lawnspecialties

    lawnspecialties LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,524

    Unfortunately a big problem is where you are. Down in the south nobody really cares. If I pulled any of my trucks into a weight station, they would look at me like I'm crazy. :rolleyes:
  9. LandFakers

    LandFakers LawnSite Fanatic
    from CT
    Messages: 6,309

    CT dot is the worst. Friend got 27 violations in one stop. Rediculous

    Messages: 1,343

    Mass isn't much better!
    Posted via Mobile Device

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