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///// Heavy hauling for personal use ? CDL / DOT # ? //////

Discussion in 'Equipment Moving Questions' started by Andyinchville, Feb 26, 2015.

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  1. Andyinchville

    Andyinchville Well-Known Member

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    HI All,

    I need to do some work on my property (lot clearing / grading / cut in driveway etc) and rather than hiring somebody to do it (expensive!) , I decided to do as my friend did on his property and buy my own equipment to do it myself.

    In theory, buying will cost as much as having the work done BUT a side benefit of the DIY approach is that it is kinda fun and you also get to have a machine left over in case you need more work done in the future.

    My situaltion is this...I found a nice large machine ( A combination trencher (putting in drain lines off my gutters / installing drain pipes to drain water away from the house, back hoe (handy for general digging / removing stumps , vibratory plow for neat wire installing to my out buildings, and a 6 way blade to maintain the gravel driveway) located about 900 miles from my house (yes far away BUT it is a good price and will do what I need....The machine weighs about 13K lbs.

    I have a 1997 dodge dually (diesel, 5 sp, ext cab, 4.10 gears , 4x4, e) and just bought a Econoline 12T backhoe pro trailer (older 1995 model...needs some work but I got it at a very good price so I think it was a good deal)....Per the sticker on the trailer it weighs 5K empty).

    I have a friend who is a welder by trade and he will make me a commercial grade hitch to handle the weight....(FWIW - We will be removing the rear bumper and having the hitch custom done so the pintle / ball (if we convert it over to a ball coupler of the appropriate weight cap so we can run weight distributing), moved closer to the rear axle of the truck to minimize the overhang length and the extra stress it would make for the rear end (while not as good as a goose neck or 5th wheel, it would still be light years ahead of the stock hitch location.....I don't want to use a bed type hitch because I run a cap on my truck for tools / storage etc...).

    Anyways, my biggest concern is issues with "the man".....I actually went to our local DMV (division of motor vehicles) to get info on CDLs and DOT numbers because some of my friends say that is what would keep the man off my back in the even I get pulled over.

    On the flip side I also have friends say I don't need it because it is for personal use and therefore a COMMERCIAL drivers license is not needed.

    I understand the combo is heavy GVW rated (the truck sticker is about 11K GVW and the trailer is 24K GVW).....I only use the dually for me personally and the trailer I got a good deal on (plus if it is rated to do 24K , the 13K I need it to haul should not be a problem....heck the trailer alone could stop everything using its brakes alone I believe!).

    Anyways, If I get the machine it would be a long multiday trip so its not like just like running out a couple hundred miles (at night if need be to minimize exposure)...plus I'd like to actually do some sightseeing along the way to and from picking up the machine (might as well make it a semi vacation trip to boot!).

    So, is it fair to say that because I am doing it for myself (no commercial use), I should not have problems with "the man" in terms of CDL / DOT numbers.....(actually, I'll have to see how much weight my DMV says I can tow with my dually....in VA people sometimes tag / title things to make sure they have enough "paper capacity" even though this may be different than actual vehicle capacity.

    I hate it when things get so complicated for seemingly such a simple task....Oh side note : The truck is in an LLC name for liability reasons (my house is also in a LLC name for the same reason)...not real business use just to protect property and minimize exposure to potential losses).

    Thanks in advance for any and all help.

    Andrew

    PS - Since this this is personal use even tho heavy....I did not plan on a CDL / DOT number / stop at weigh stations type situation
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2015
  2. overworked

    overworked Senior Member

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    How does having your house in a LLC benefit?
     
  3. maddog

    maddog Senior Member

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    Check with your state(DMV) you can get 50 different answers on here from 50 different states, plus a few other from different countries. The best way to handle is find out the law! Owning your own equipment can actually be cheaper(by a lot)plus you'll have the advantage of doing other jobs/additions to your land. WITH THAT SAID; if you are not mechanically inclined or buy a lemon things can add up real fast, then you'll have to hire anyway. All you need is the equipment that fit's your weigh limits, personally I like the smaller machines they don't leave as big a track through the property.
     
  4. td15c

    td15c Well-Known Member

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    this is what I found----It is extremely important to be aware that the combined GVWR of your truck and trailer determines the proper licensing. It is not what you happen to weigh when you are stopped at scale and it is not what your registered weight is. You risk being subjected to heavy fines if, in fact, the manufacturers combined GVWR for your equipment is over 26,000 pounds and you are not licensed properly
    It looks to me from what you said your gvwr is 35k so you would need a cdl. I think that the llc would cause the dot to say you need DOT numbers.

    The Federal penalty to a driver who violates the CDL requirements is a civil penalty of up to $2,500 or, in aggravated cases, criminal penalties of up to $5,000 in fines and/or up to 90 days in prison. An employer is also subject to a penalty of up to $10,000, if he or she knowingly uses a driver to operate a CMV without a valid CDL

    The DOT does not cut drivers much slack so beware!!
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2015
  5. Andyinchville

    Andyinchville Well-Known Member

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    Home in an LLC is good and bad depending on the situation ....

    good, in that if you are sued personally, they can't take you house if you lose...(or if you rent a part of you home out, the tenant has to sue the LLC and not you personally so if you lose that then your personal credit isn't hurt or they can't go after your other assets.)

    Bad , in that if somebody sues your property (like a city saying you are in violation of a zoning issue....(they sue the property owner)) and you want to fight it, you MUST use lawyer (expensive)......I know this one after everything was said and done because this situation happened to me.

    Andrew
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2015
  6. Steve Frazier

    Steve Frazier Founder Staff Member

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    Law will vary from state to state, in NY it doesn't matter if you are for profit or not, if you drive out of class the requirements and penalty are the same. And in NY, DOT will be looking at you the same way they would any commercial operator, they will expect you to know the law.
     
  7. tuney443

    tuney443 Senior Member

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    To the OP,I would strongly advise NOT to do this move,besides almost everything you said will be illegal,it is also down right dangerous.To be specific,that way too heavy 12 ton trailer will be wagging the dog[your truck] big time,on a sharp turn the momentum encountered can easily get you out of control very quickly,there will be no way to correct in time.

    Actually,everything gets surpassed now by FMCSA rules,all the states are supposed to fall in line.Of course that will not happen perfectly anytime soon,we all know that.

    DOT compliance has NOTHING to do with CDL requirements,2 different animals.
     
  8. Andyinchville

    Andyinchville Well-Known Member

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    I just talked with the state police a little while ago....they gave me another phone number to call in the AM but the officer I spoke with said he didn't see any problem with what I was proposing (i.e. picking up machinery for personal use without a CDL for my property) but he did mention that he is not the last word in that and the the state police motor carrier division would be the ones to talk to....I will do that in the AM...

    I think it could be an interesting / fun trip to say the (Nice unexpected trip to pick up a new "toy" buy wow....I'd rather not have all this be such a big deal tho. with all the potential regulations and possibility of being stopped etc...).

    Thanks and feel free to post more.....I'll keep you updated as I learn more.

    Andrew
     
  9. mitch504

    mitch504 Senior Member

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    Everybody is missing an important point: You can't go 900 miles from Charlottesville without crossing a state line.

    This puts you under FMCSA without question. Having your truck registered to an LLC eliminates claiming this trip is for recreational purposes.

    For the driver, this trip requires a class A CDL, a logbook, and a DOT physical.

    For the truck, a DOT number, apportioned tags for truck and trailer or a trip permit from each state, IFTA registration or temporary from each state.

    In short, you are looking at a couple thousand dollars just in regulatory compliance.

    If you blow by a scale in most states, they keep somebody there ready to come get you; then you get an extra penalty.

    Even if you stop voluntarily, you are looking at fines in 4-5 figures and your truck WILL sit until a legal driver gets there.

    BTW, if you are going south, NC loves to stop out of state p'ups w/ trailers, and are real tight on even the in state ones. I had to take my drivers to NC to retrieve 5 F350s pulling welders that belonged to my cousin. SC doesn't appear to care what you do w/ a p'up.

    www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations
     
  10. Andyinchville

    Andyinchville Well-Known Member

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    I am hoping to find out the legality of the move by speaking directly with our state police and motor carrier type people.....I am hoping that it will be OK for a private person to do and I would drive slowly just in case to be safe (as an example, in driving this new to me trailer home (about a 200 mile trip on mostly flat terrain although the last 30 miles was on twisty 2 lane road...but that was near me and I knew the roads) I drove it at a max speed of 55 MPH despite the speed limit being 70 in most places (I drove at 52 being as my "norm" and if the road was bumpy I did slow to about 47 MPH....the bumpy roads were mostly in the city areas where the limit was 55 mph anyways).

    I am thinking loaded I may just go 50 MPH or less all the way home and maybe even in 4th gear....(for those that know me from other posts in other forums my 5th gear nut backed off in the trans and I did not fix it for a few months....hence I was "stuck" using 4th gear and limited my speed to 50 MPH just to keep engine rpms reasonable....I did fix the problem when I had time and even went with the updated nut, new 5th gear and special retainer from action trans (?) to keep the fifth gear nut from coming off again but no sense in stressing the tranny too much maybe.....I'll just play it by ear since most of the highway to FL from VA is pretty much flat and open.

    I think in going slow (relatively speaking) everything should be fine....in thinking about it, when I tow the RV I ususally go slow too because I don't want to bounce stuff around etc..

    While I am not a big fan of lots of rules and regulations,they are a necessary thing to a degree for safety etc... but it would be good to see more uniform laws to facilitate interstate travel...It's kinda crazy to have to deal with laws and regs willie nilley from one area to the next so hopefully a good fair set of reasonable laws would be beneficial in this case ....anyways that's just my take on interstate travel from what others may consider commercial use but is in actually a for private use trip (this is all a new situation for me so I am looking at all this from the outside looking in and not looking to get in trouble with "the man").

    On the other hand FWIW - in case it helps anybody else trying (or wanting) to to tow heavy...the 12 ton Econoline trailer (backhoe pro w/ multimax suspension only weighs 5000 lbs empty (per the plate on the trailer) and it really did tow OK considering its huge weight carrying capacity.

    Admittedly, on bumpy road surfaces it seemed to shake the truck a bit (I am guessing that is a result of the pintle hitch not being held in place firmly like a ball coupler would firmly hold the coupler on the trailer to the truck BUT then again ,in all fairness, my empty landscape type trailer firmly coupled using a ball type coupler also shakes my truck a bit too on bumpy roads.....the only fair comparison would be to drive the same road section at the same speed to get a real feel for things....a side by side comparison of sorts.

    Anyways, that what has happened and where I am now....I'll be tinkering / fixing on the trailer over the nest week or so in the hopes of getting it ready to help me get my new "toy" (I still have to dicker with my truck too (as in heavier hitch set up / pintle plate etc)....I will contact the powers that be and see what they say about my proposed trip.

    Keep the questions , comments and concerns coming....they are most helpful esp since not knowing things can be bad too.

    Thanks!

    Andrew
     
  11. tuney443

    tuney443 Senior Member

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    X2,except it really doesn't matter for the licensing crossing state lines as FMCSA rules demand that ANY driver transporting a combined weight of 26,001 lbs. or greater,except if the vehicle being driven falls under the description of a RV,has a CDL.In this case a class A is required without question.You can spin the best storyline imaginable how it's for personal use,does not matter.Imagine a 18 year old wet behind the ears kid trying to transport a D8 just ''because.''The law was implemented to make John Q. Public safe from drivers who think they can operate rigs with heavy loads without any training or testing.Here's something in simple terms so everyone can follow,sometimes deciphering rules from the FMCSA site can be confusing to say the least:
    Do you drive a combination vehicle - Driving Rules Network
    drivingrules.net/cdl/needaCDL.htmO YOU NEED A COMMERCIAL DRIVER'S LICENSE?

    You need a CDL if you operate any of the following vehicles.

    . • All single vehicles with a manufacturer's weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more

    . • All trailers with a manufacturer's weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more, if the gross weight rating of the combined vehicle(s) is 26,001 pounds or more

    . • All vehicles designed to transport 16 or more persons (including the driver). (Private, church, buses.)

    • All vehicles that carry placarded amounts of hazardous materials (see following section on exemptions).

    Occasional drivers are also required to apply for a CDL and all appropriate endorsements. For example: Mechanics or truck sales people who test drive on a public roadway

    These vehicles are divided into three classes, A, B, and C. To determine what class of CDL you need, follow the links to the questions.

    A higher class CDL allows you to drive vehicles in any of the lower classes provided you have the correct endorsements.

    There are three types of Commercial Driver's Licenses, Class "A", Class "B", and Class "C". To see if you need a Commercial Driver's License, and what class, answer the questions and follow the links.

    Do you drive a Combination Vehicle?
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2015
  12. tuney443

    tuney443 Senior Member

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    That state cop you talked to had to come from the same gene pool as Barney Fife!
     
  13. mitch504

    mitch504 Senior Member

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    Yes Tuney, you are absolutely correct. The regs I posted clearly say a CDL is required for intrastate and interstate, while the other regs only apply when you cross state lines. The point I was making was all the stuff people say about what this state or that state requires has nothing to do with this trip, because it falls under federal rules.

    Andy, be very careful with talking to your states people. I can tell you as someone who was in the trucking business for 18 years, and still am, just a 6 trucks and me and a part-time driver now; some of the people in government don't know what they are talking about. :beatsme If they say you can make this trip, see it in writing. When your truck is impounded in another state, saying "a guy at Va DOT said it was OK" ain't gonna help.

    I'm not trying to argue, I'm just cautioning that crossing state lines in a truck is way the hell more complicated than it's worth for one trip.
     
  14. Andyinchville

    Andyinchville Well-Known Member

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    oops I just saw a new post come in while typing my reply above....I'll check that out too....

    The forum requires a wait between posts so I did and read the latest post...

    I was on the FMCSA site earlier and even spoke to a person there....they said I needed a DOT number and that it was free....I asked why if I am private for private use and all the lady could come up with is because if the GVW is over 10K you need one.....(I really don't want to mark up my personal truck with lettering etc and even asked her of I did get the number can I just keep it on a card in my wallet....she referred me to the Richmond office and I called them and left them a message)

    I took that as a little wrong because how many duallies to you see with a DOT number?....none of my RV friends have one and they travel all over in huge setups (newer 450 / 550 trucks pulling homes / mansions on wheels)....Of course I realize that just because a few people don't have it doesn' make it right....

    The LLC is for liability reasons....If my helper drives my truck for work or pleasure ( I do let them use it on occasion if our "real" work trucks are broken/unusable or if they need it for something to help them ) I don't want to be sued in the event of an accident....the LLC shields me from potential lawsuits and protects my other property by isolating my vehicles from me personally (actually all my vehicles are in an LLC name and I don't have any vehicles in my name....Furthermore, I have a separate LLC to put a lien on the vehicle(s) held by the other LLC....that way if the LLC holding the trucks get sued and property has to be liquidated, then the first lienholder (my other LLC) gets the proceeds first (nothing leftover valuewise since the liens are always high to start with).....complicated I know but it is what the lawyer did for me.

    Personally, I am of the belief that all the rules and regs apply to commercial people which I would not be in this case....just like an RVer towing his huge 5th wheeler or boat I would simply be pulling my new "toy" (the one I want to get from FL and make a trip of it ...sight seeing etc along the way to / from)

    As an aside I am a licensed FFL dealer so yes I have regs that bind me that would not apply to average people (like If I sell a gun to a person as an FFL I have to do background checks , paperwork etc...but if I was harry homeowner I could simply sell a gun for cash no questions asked no paperwork).

    The reason for the above FFL example is to say people in a certain situations may in fact be regulated (as in my FFL situation...selling for profit) and by comparison a for hire driver transporting other peoples stuff for compensation would I can see be regulated BUT in my driving situation I would be a private person driving for myself to pick up a piece of equipment for my personal use on my own property.

    I suppose on the flip side they (the powers that be) could say it could be for profit or for commercial use but to that I would say basically a person is (or should be) innocent until proven guilty or just because a person owns a gun doesn't automatically make the a bank robber etc...

    I really started this process hoping this would be a simple and enjoyable trip to get my new toy but this simple task has seemingly gotten complicated by potential CDL / DOT issues....BUT it is best to know these things before heading out so I truly appreciate any and all input on this.

    Thanks again!

    Andrew
     
  15. kckc

    kckc Well-Known Member

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    just my 2c - but if personal use gives you an exclusion then that means I could drive a tri-axle with tons of gravel to my own house? or drive a tractor & 53' trailer across the US? I think cdl definitely comes into play with weight.

    I was parked at a store lot and the police stopped by to look at my flatbed that had several skidsteer accessories on it (gn on dodge 2500). He didn't ask to weigh it but he looked at my tag (farm) and asked me about it. Never did figure out whether he was just interested or thought I was over weight.
     
  16. CM1995

    CM1995 Administrator

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    How do these folks buy these greyhound bus motorhomes that can carry many people, hit the road, cross state lines and not have to have a CDL? Just playing devils advocate.
     
  17. Randy88

    Randy88 Senior Member

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    There's so much wrong in this whole equation I'm not sure where to even start.

    The Barney Fife comment was priceless.

    If I were you I'd take a cell phone along with plenty of cash, the phone to call a real attorney, the cash to post bail.

    Unhook the trailer, take the pickup out to look at the machine, if you buy it, hire someone to haul it home for you, save yourself thousands in fines, sorry to be so blunt.

    As for comparing this trip with a diesel pickup, trailer and machine, to an RV..................................tell that one to any dot officer out of state, see if they agree.........make sure to take far more cash than you originally thought.
     
  18. maddog

    maddog Senior Member

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    true

    Why and why?

    again why?

    if you're a commercial driver

    I doubt this, but could be wrong, personal use vehicle. As long as he does not exceed the weight limits of the law or truck then where is this illegal?

    How fast were you driving, I went through the state many times with my tri axle trailer with all different types of equipment(car, tractor, motorcycle, UTV, and just stuff on it and never got so much as a glance.


    From what I've come up with the OP is close on weight limits(but still may be legal), figure close to 24k +or-. I will go back to the poster that said something about a motorhome, now lets say that motorhome is pulling a trailer with a full size truck on it, does he/she need a CDL.....NO. I'm not saying he is correct(legal) but I also will not say he is going to be running illegal either. Maybe he could find a cat scale close to the load area and get a total combined weight? Again though, the best answer he'll get is to call those that will regulate his route of travel. Hear say and armchair ref's can give opinions but unless they know the EXACT laws of is route they are not really helping. Sorry to be blunt but if it were me I'd want the legal answer
     
  19. Delmer

    Delmer Senior Member

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    RV drivers get some slack from law enforcement, even if they're driving a semi with air brakes. Same with horse "farmers" with farm plates. To some extent small operators (97 dodge and old equipment) get a pass, your fines might only be in the 3 digits instead of 5 (that's my experience).

    NO WAY any of this is legal if you get an ambitious inspector. Or safe. Sure you're safe enough driving it slow, but try telling that to the officer. 18k trailer hooked to a dodge bumper hitch???

    I would have bet you'd get away with it before reading Mitch's more relevant experience...
     
  20. td15c

    td15c Well-Known Member

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    A limited liability company (LLC) is the United States-specific form of a private limited company. It is a business structure that combines the pass-through taxation of a partnership or sole proprietorship with the limited liability of a corporation.
    This is why you need a DOT number

    If your truck and trailer manufacturers combination gross weight rating is over 26000 you need a CDL.
    you might get there and back without any problems, but if you go threw a state like IA were the DOT love to pull over out of state pickups with trailers then as Randy88 says
    take a cell phone along with plenty of cash. IA loves to give tickets to pickups with trailers for not having DOT numbers
     
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