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Forestry Mulching Startup

Discussion in 'Forestry Operations' started by Edward Burrus, Oct 3, 2019.

  1. Edward Burrus

    Edward Burrus New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2019
    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Hey everyone, I'm new to the forum but I came here to try and find some advice and input. Recently I just started a Forestry Mulching Business. I have a 2015 Ram 3500 Crew Cab, a 24ft Kaufman tilt wood deck dual 8k axle gooseneck, Kubota Svl95-2, and fecon Mulching head. The truck has a 62-gallon transfer tank tool box combination. My question for everyone is do I need a CDL? I'm getting 50/50 answers. I've already started up the business and picked up so much work that I'm going to lose progress if I pause to go get my DOT physical, take the test etc. I went by a CAT scale at a Pilot with truck and equiptment fuel tanks both 3/4 full, transfer tank empty, and also had grapples and bucket on the trailer. My total GVWR was 29,450. I dont feel like that's right. I've done my research online and added in some variables and came up with an estimated weight of 22,934 not including the trailer. Anyone got any insight to this? Could I get by with a weighted tag and not advertise on the side of my truck? Thanks for the help everyone.
     
  2. Ronsii

    Ronsii Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2011
    Messages:
    1,670
    Occupation:
    s/e Heavy equipment operator
    Location:
    Western Washington
    The second your trailer goes over 10k you do according to FMCSA federal rules which most states go by. You should look into your states CDL rules... I'm sure they have something online.

    Oh... and by the way, when you get pulled over by a stater you will lose more progress if their rules copy feds.
     
  3. petepilot

    petepilot Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2018
    Messages:
    679
    Location:
    central shenandoah valley va,
    believe the cat scale they`re certified
     
    Ronsii likes this.
  4. Junkyard

    Junkyard Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2016
    Messages:
    2,935
    Occupation:
    Field Mechanic
    Location:
    Claremore, OK
    Bite the bullet and get legal now before it costs you more time and money. Plus once they pop you they’ll remember and you’ll get to have a chat with them every time you move your equipment.

    Most states have discovered enforcement as a great source of revenue and have added officers at quite a pace. There are even sheriffs etc that are trained and know what’s right and wrong. They all run laptops and they WILL look up specs on your machine and if they feel you’re close on weight they’ll pull the portables out.

    The list of potential tickets you could be faced with is a mile long. I’m as outlaw as they come but those days are gone. Do it right now. If you should happen to have an accident without all the credentials and somebody gets hurt....you are T totally f**ked.

    As far as Cat scales they’re as good as gold based on my 20 years of using them. They’ll come to court for you should you get an overweight fine after scaling legal. All the stuff we carry around adds up quick.

    Sorry to be another bearer of bad news we all would hate to hear of you getting hammered by the man.
     
    John C. and Ronsii like this.
  5. petepilot

    petepilot Senior Member

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    Jul 7, 2018
    Messages:
    679
    Location:
    central shenandoah valley va,
    some VERY good advice
     
  6. crane operator

    crane operator Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2009
    Messages:
    3,633
    Location:
    sw missouri
    I'm going to say the only way you would not need CDL is if you are already set up as a farming operation, and this is part of that operation. That means you're filing taxes as a farmer, the truck and equipment is owned by the farm etc. etc. and I'm not even sure that would fly, they change regs. all the time, and I'm not around the farming operations where I live now.

    If you are a business, and the business owns the truck and equipment, it doesn't matter what you "think" it should weigh, the officers write tickets based on what you really weigh when they put you on the scales.

    If you aren't a business, and just own everything personal and don't have any commercial insurance, just carrying it on your homeowners auto policy, you're going to be in a world of hurt in any kind of a incident. You really need a general liability policy also. Its a lot of $ starting out, but that's the reason everyone with a business charges so much, because you have to have all that, to really be in business.

    If you aren't doing all that and your CDL too, you really don't have a business, you have a hobby that people pay you to do, that has the liability exposure to cost you everything you own.

    I'm not saying there aren't people out there doing exactly the same thing you are, but if you really want to make a sustainable business, you need to charge what it costs to do it the right way.
     
    KSSS, Junkyard and Ronsii like this.
  7. KSSS

    KSSS Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Messages:
    2,773
    Occupation:
    excavation
    Location:
    Idaho
    There is no doubt you need a CDL. Doesn't take that long to get legal. A lot less than the days you will work for free to cover the fines (which are not tax deductible). Also it is a misd for not having a CDL. which is jail time if they pushed it. You need to get a DOT number, and get on a random **** test circuit and on and on. If you get stopped as you are right now. Your rig wont move until you get a CDL driver to replace you, and you will have a boat load of tickets and as mentioned, maybe worse. There is a lot more to being "in business" than buying the equipment and finding work. I go to a port of entry with all my questions. Bring your CAT scale ticket, pictures and length of trailer and pickup. On trucks I bring measurements of axles on the trailers as well, you likely would not need that. My pickups scale at around 35K combined and I need a CDL. By going directly to the Port, your getting first hand info from the guys that enforce the law. Get all your questions answered, my experience is they are helpful and then follow it. You have some paperwork to do.
     
    cubanator likes this.