sorta OT - Am I a commercial truck with trailer
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  1. #1
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    Default sorta OT - Am I a commercial truck with trailer

    Weight of truck and passengers 7500 lbs
    Weight of trailer 2500 lbs
    Weight of machine I'd like to pick up 1600 lbs

    Route is from Michigan to Ohio turnpike, so if there's an opportunity to pull me over, they'll do it.

    For the record, it's not even a commercial venture...I just don't feel like getting pulled over since I always get a deer in the headlights thing with cops. The machine is just past what I really feel like dropping in the bed because there are no longer any good strapping points in modern trucks.

    I've avoided similar trips that were clearly commercial ventures, but similar weights...but this one I'm picking up a hobby machine that I'd like. I can call in a favor and use a friends stake bed, I just really don't want to do that.

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    It's a grey area at best.

    Technically, to tow a trailer over 10,000 gvw, you need a class A CDL. That's not based on empty weight, it based on gross weight. My understanding is it's not based on registered weight either, it the GVW it was manufactured to. For example, you can't take a semi truck and register it for 10,000 lbs and drive it with no CDL. If you cross state lines with a CDL, you also need a DOT medical certificate.

    Technically, any combination over 10,000 lbs that crosses state lines needs a US DOT number. That would also require you to join a drug testing consortium, maintain driving records and maintenance record for the vehicles, and possibly pay UCR. Your truck and trailer would need a annual inspection per FMCSA rules.

    You are likely under 26,000lbs, so you do not need apportioned plates or IFTA fuel tax reporting. If you did, you could buy a trip permit.

    Technically, any vehicle over 16,000 gross is required to weigh at the weigh stations here in IL. Most states are pretty similar.


    That said, for years and years pickups got away with breaking all of these rules. For the most part, private citizens transporting their own property for there own personal use can still get away with breaking those rules. But, if this is a business venture, or definitely if you are hauling for hire, you will need to follow the rules or you are risking some hefty fines.

    I'm glad the cops are starting to crack down on these heroes with their gooseneck trailers. I have to play by the rules, and it's a pain in the ass. I should not have to compete with Jimbo who thinks he can tow 40,000 lbs behind his pickup with his cheuffer's license and SR22 insurance. Most of the "hot shot" trucks have gone legit with DOT numbers and everything. But, for a while there is was like the wild west.

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    ugh...should just use the snowmobile trailer behind the minivan. Not nearly as safe, but hey, it's legal.

    actually, i think the weight on the truck is lower, so i should be able to get away with it, but what a royal pain in the ass

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    Quote Originally Posted by snowman View Post
    ugh...should just use the snowmobile trailer behind the minivan. Not nearly as safe, but hey, it's legal.

    actually, i think the weight on the truck is lower, so i should be able to get away with it, but what a royal pain in the ass
    Why not install some good tie down points in your truck, provided your truck is rated for the load.

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    It's my father in laws lease.

    My truck sticks within a 75 mile radius with a maximum speed of 55 MPH out of concern for my health and the environment.

    I'd get a new one, but as it is, it only gets used once a month. My coffee maker earns a better ROI.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ewlsey View Post
    It's a grey area at best.
    I agree!

    One grey part of the grey area that I am wondering about is towing capacity of the vehicle. And if that factors into any of this.

    I have a 2015 Chevy 3500 HD. The rated trailer capacity is minuscule. Less than 12k lbs with gooseneck hitch, if I recall correctly. I routinely see this sort of truck with much heavier loads and in the past I have happily pulled (and stopped) much heavier than 12k lbs trailers. And the hot shot rigs you mention typically have a 40k lb rated goose neck trailer. Aint no 1 ton pickup truck in the world that is rated for a 40k trailer.

    So does the manufacturer's rated towing capacity factor in at all?

    -Jim

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    Quote Originally Posted by snowman View Post
    For the record, it's not even a commercial venture...I just don't feel like getting pulled over since I always get a deer in the headlights thing with cops. The machine is just past what I really feel like dropping in the bed because there are no longer any good strapping points in modern trucks.
    Let me ask you another hypothetical question: Would you have any hesitation renting a car trailer from uhaul and hauling a passenger car on that trailer behind your truck? No? Didn't think so. A 1600 pound piece of machinery is a fraction of the weight of a car.
    What would get you scruitinized is if you have commercial logo's on your truck or trailer.

    Alex.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Axle View Post
    Let me ask you another hypothetical question: Would you have any hesitation renting a car trailer from uhaul and hauling a passenger car on that trailer behind your truck? No? Didn't think so. A 1600 pound piece of machinery is a fraction of the weight of a car.
    What would get you scruitinized is if you have commercial logo's on your truck or trailer.

    Alex.
    I haul trailers all the time, or at least frequently enough that I'm not worried about the weight.

    Hell, I made a custom trailer hitch for my hyundai accent, which very specifically said in the manual, do not haul a trailer...just so I could pull my little fishing boat around.

    My concern starts and stops with the state line and the fact that I'd be picking up a metalworking machine. I don't like to have to interact with police officers, so I go out of my way to obey the law. I'm autistic...I think they take my lack of eye contact as "this dudes shady".

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    Quote Originally Posted by kb0thn View Post
    I agree!

    One grey part of the grey area that I am wondering about is towing capacity of the vehicle. And if that factors into any of this.

    I have a 2015 Chevy 3500 HD. The rated trailer capacity is minuscule. Less than 12k lbs with gooseneck hitch, if I recall correctly. I routinely see this sort of truck with much heavier loads and in the past I have happily pulled (and stopped) much heavier than 12k lbs trailers. And the hot shot rigs you mention typically have a 40k lb rated goose neck trailer. Aint no 1 ton pickup truck in the world that is rated for a 40k trailer.

    So does the manufacturer's rated towing capacity factor in at all?

    -Jim
    It does, but it doesn't seem to get enforced. OEM towing capacity is as much about warranty/drivetrain capacity as safety. You'll see a truck with 4.56 gears rated for higher towing capacity than the same truck with 4.11 gears, and that sure isn't about stopping or handling. DOT cops check to see if you have paid for enough license to match the weight you are grossing, and they might axle weigh you to see if your tires are overloaded, I havn't heard yet of any checking vehicle towing capacity, which is hard to do on the side of the road.. Generally what ewsley listed is what they look for.

    Here in PA they are also looking for medical cards over 10K within the state.

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    1600 lbs is not much weight for a pickup bed. I regularly haul 1.5 to 2 tons in the bed of my superduty. Yesterday I loaded a 2000 lb screw compressor into a 2019 Dodge 1500.

    I hauled a 3600 lb 8' tall Fanuc robot in the bed of my Superduty. I strapped it to the rear bumper and to the 4 little tiedown points in the bed and it was solid enough for me to feel safe driving it. Leaned a bit in the corners, but overall went fine.

    I watched a guy haul a bridgeport in the bed of his Toyota Tacoma once.

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    Was listening to a very good radio program. The advice was not to drive on the road after 10pm. At night the pick-ins are thin and the excuses are slim.
    so the chance of you getting stopped is greater.

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    Number one trick to not getting mistaken as a commercial vehicle, strap a mattress and a few chairs on top of the machine...

    If you look like a commercial vehicle towing a professional grade trailer with a machine on it, you are going to look to the authorities like a commercial vehicle. I just hauled my Well Index from Florida to Ohio, 7700# Excursion, 2500# drop deck trailer from sunbelt, 3000# knee mill. It's all well within the realm of commercial grade equipment, but pile a few bins around it and throw a couple of bicycles on the back and all of a sudden it's just some guy moving.

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    If the truck isn't commercially licensed I don't see a problem. I picked up a machine in Illinois a while back using a 6,000 lb. truck (tow rating 9,500 lbs.) towing a similar size trailer with a similar weight machine.

    I contacted the WI. and ILL. Departments of Transportation to be sure all was legal. I found that ALL trailers used on the roads in Illinois needed to be licensed regardless of whether they are commercially or privately owned. Wisconsin laws now requires any trailer with a total weight of 3,000 lbs. (weight of trailer and cargo) or more needed to be licensed. Up until about 3 years ago only commercially owned trailers in Wisconsin needed to be licensed. Now all trailers with a combined weight over 3,000 lbs. need to be licensed.

    I have a trailer capable of 10,000 lbs., but it has never been licensed because it's privately owned. The trailer itself weighs 2,100 lbs. So now to use it to haul anything over 900 lbs. in Wisconsin, or even to be on the road in Illinois it needs to be licensed. Rather than going through the hassle of getting the trailer inspected and licensed for a one time trip, I rented a drop bed trailer from a local equipment rental company. For less than $50.00 per day I could rent a trailer that was legal in both states. It would have cost me more to have my trailer inspected and licensed, and would have taken 3 weeks to get the plates in the mail.

    Just be sure you check with the Michigan and Ohio DOT's to be sure whether or not the trailer needs to be licensed, and if so what type of license is required. In my situation neither Illinois or Wisconsin offered anything but an annual license. If a license for the trailer is required and you don't already have one it might be less expensive and less time consuming to just rent one like I did.

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    Cover it with a tarp so nobody can see what is is, it is winter time so no questions there. Another option, depending on size could be get a refrigerator box or washer AND dryer boxes and cut out the adjoining cardboard. NOBODY will question that stuff. Hide it in a horse trailer?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ewlsey View Post
    It's a grey area at best.

    Technically, to tow a trailer over 10,000 gvw, you need a class A CDL. That's not based on empty weight, it based on gross weight. My understanding is it's not based on registered weight either, it the GVW it was manufactured to. For example, you can't take a semi truck and register it for 10,000 lbs and drive it with no CDL. If you cross state lines with a CDL, you also need a DOT medical certificate.

    Technically, any combination over 10,000 lbs that crosses state lines needs a US DOT number. That would also require you to join a drug testing consortium, maintain driving records and maintenance record for the vehicles, and possibly pay UCR. Your truck and trailer would need a annual inspection per FMCSA rules.

    You are likely under 26,000lbs, so you do not need apportioned plates or IFTA fuel tax reporting. If you did, you could buy a trip permit.

    Technically, any vehicle over 16,000 gross is required to weigh at the weigh stations here in IL. Most states are pretty similar.


    That said, for years and years pickups got away with breaking all of these rules. For the most part, private citizens transporting their own property for there own personal use can still get away with breaking those rules. But, if this is a business venture, or definitely if you are hauling for hire, you will need to follow the rules or you are risking some hefty fines.

    I'm glad the cops are starting to crack down on these heroes with their gooseneck trailers. I have to play by the rules, and it's a pain in the ass. I should not have to compete with Jimbo who thinks he can tow 40,000 lbs behind his pickup with his cheuffer's license and SR22 insurance. Most of the "hot shot" trucks have gone legit with DOT numbers and everything. But, for a while there is was like the wild west.
    In Ohio I do not believe that this is the case anymore in regards to the comment about needing class A for a trailer over 10000#. I thought this also but just had a chat with someone about this a while back. The way I understand it now is that as long as you do not go over the 26000# mark with the combination of truck and trailer GVWR's you do not need a CDL. Its hard to find but there is actually a flow chart you can follow to see if you are required to have a CDL. I believe it might have been in the Ohio BMV CDL manual or something. A coworker brought me a copy and I found it online at that time. Above the 26000# mark you would need a class B for trailers under 10000# and a class A for trailers above 10000#. There were other questions such as number of passengers and stuff also on the chart I believe. I believe that you would have no issues with your setup in Ohio.

    Update: The flow chart that I am referring to is on page 1-4 of the Ohio Commercial Drivers License Manual. Fig. 1.1

    Jeff

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    DOT threads are full of this and that, about whats legal, because its actually varies quite a bit state to state and then the fed on top of that. whats not right is even the DOT police are not sure on some things. I deal with them a couple times a year. easiest thing rent a uhaul and haul it that way. if you have to haul it on a gooseneck trailer I have moved quite a bit of stuff saturday and sunday night.A lot of the jump scales here anyway are only in place during the daylight least out here. most dot officers are on 40 hour work weeks out here 4 10 hour days talked to many of them. I have commercial plates and the couple of times a year I go out of state its a nightmare of paperwork to do it legal. in state Im fine. if its a bumper pull trailer, its a hobby machine, and a truck licensed as a personal vehicle just do it. also like someone said a mattress and bicycles could make the difference.

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    Cover the machine with a plastic tarp is the best advice ......and blow up the tyres all round ......bellied tyres will draw the transport cops anywhere on the planet .........

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    Just call your local highway patrol and ask them.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

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    Unless you weigh over 26,000lbs you don't need a CDL. Trailer weight only matters when your gross combination weight gets to 26,001 or more. I had a hot shot trucker in the other week with a Dodge 3500 and a goose neck and asked if he was running it as a class A rig and he said no, he stays under 26k.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Quiring View Post
    Just call your local highway patrol and ask them.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk
    No offense, but i wouldn't hold my breath on that being a workable answer. I called a few weeks back on a truck spewing trash and liquid(all over my vehicle). Couldn't even get in touch with anyone. This was on their *hp non emergency number.


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