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Is my trailer worthless? No GVWR info, attemting to get my cdl.

Discussion in 'Trailers' started by Aceofspades, Jul 18, 2021.

  1. Aceofspades

    Aceofspades Active Member

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    I'm new to equipment and CDL trucks. I have a single axle dump truck, and a skid steer, and I'm working on getting my cdl right now. My father in law has an old, but good equipment trailer that he agreed to "sell" me.

    I'm planning on getting my class A cdl in my truck. I've already done a good bit of driving with the help of a friend. I was going to use my fil's trailer to go take my skills test.

    Here's my issue. The trailer has no markings on it whatsoever. No manufacture's name, no vin, no gvwr, no nothing. He bought it on an online auction from a county works department. We were able to find the info from the sale, and the previous owner didn't have any of this info either. The axles have no gvwr on them either. The axles do have model and serial number and I was able to reach out to the manufacturer (Dexter Axles) who emailed me the specs on the axle (each are 10k axles).

    I got a vin number from my county's tag office. If I put that on and have an officer come and inspect the trailer, I can get a tag.

    My problem is that, in preparation for my test, I went to speak with the people at the testing facility who said that I wouldn't be able to use the trailer without gvwr stamped on the trailer, or on the axles. I explained that I had the email from Dexter saying that the axles were 10k, (and showed them the email), and they said that wasn't good enough.

    So my options are find another trailer to buy or rent (haven't been able to find one to rent that isn't gvrw under 10k)

    Bite the bullet and go to a school (at least then I wouldn't have a tractor trailer restriction. Would doing the school help with my insurance?)

    I'm wondering if not having a gvwr on the trailer is going to render the trailer useless because of the D.O.T. man? Is there a way for a qualified third party to inspect the trailer and put a gvwr on it? I would really like to use it as I already have access to it, and it has air brakes which I like a lot.

    I know i'm all over the place on this, but any input would be appreciated.

    Thanks
     

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  2. colson04

    colson04 Senior Member

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    If it were my trailer, i would go buy some blank tags, stamp them, and affix them to the trailer myself. You can build your own trailer and get it legalized, so I would treat it the same way.


    Amazon has Replacement Tag Vin Plate's available. Buy a blank one and use hand stamps, or the company that sells them will custom engrave them for you.
     
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  3. colson04

    colson04 Senior Member

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    As for getting your CDL, there are independent testing companies that will rent you a truck and trailer just for the test. The benefit is they can't red flag the equipment and put it out of service during your inspection portion like they can if you bring your own equipment and it fails inspection.

    I took my CDL test last summer through Star Truck Rental. Rented a truck/trailer combo from them. Class A test with truck rental was $275. Easy peasy.
     
  4. Aceofspades

    Aceofspades Active Member

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    Ahh, so maybe if I put the vin AND the gvwr on the trailer before I have it inspected, then it would be Kosher? That makes sense. I'm confident it's a 10 ton trailer.

    Yeah, my truck is an '85. I've been cleaning it up and doing some things to it, but I am worried about the possibility of being put out of service.
     
  5. colson04

    colson04 Senior Member

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    Rent a truck/trailer from the test company. Thats pretty standard MO around this area if you don't go to a school. Saves a big part of the headache on test day.
     
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  6. gwhammy

    gwhammy Senior Member

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    I went to a one day deal, they show you the walk around and what DOT is looking for when driving. It's the best way. I think if you take it in an automatic truck they only license you for a auto.
     
  7. 1693TA

    1693TA Senior Member

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    Save yourself future headaches and test with a tandem tractor with a short flatbed semi trailer having air brakes for the test. Get your class "A" CDL with air brake endorsement and be done. This will allow you to operate anything without restrictions except Hazmat type loads or anything else requiring specific endorsements. A class "B" CDL will only allow you to operate a dump truck with a pull behind trailer, (as instance) but not a semi tractor/trailer combination.
     
  8. John C.

    John C. Senior Member

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    As I understand it, a Class B won't allow you to tow any trailer if the gross weight of both truck and trailer is over 26,000 pounds.
     
  9. Aceofspades

    Aceofspades Active Member

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    Thanks guys. I just went ahead and bit the bullet. I'm sitting in class a school right now lol.
     
  10. 1693TA

    1693TA Senior Member

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    This is accurate. Any trailer with a GVW over 10K actually requires a class "A" CDL to legally pull also.
     
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  11. CM1995

    CM1995 Super Moderator

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    Not exactly John. Fed rules state a class B is good for a straight truck over 26K GVW pulling a trailer up to 10K GVW. So a B can go up to 36,001 GCWR or more depending on the GVW of the straight truck.

    Once again not exactly according to the Feds. One can have a 13K GVW dually and pull a 13K GVW trailer (26K GCWR) and be under the Class A CDL requirement.

    Of course State law can be more restrictive than the Fed rules so state regulations vary widely. It's imperative to look at what each state's individual rules are.

    Clear as mud which government is great at creating.:D
     
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  12. John C.

    John C. Senior Member

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    Here is a quote out of the Washington State CDL manual.

    "You must have a CDL if you operate any of the following vehicles:

    • All single vehicles with a gross weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 pounds or more.

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

    I have been told countless times by insurance personnel and law enforcement that all states have to comply with federal law concerning CDL licenses. Could you find the quote in federal law that says states may regulate CDL tougher than the feds? I would like to toss that across a couple of people. You see the problem is that a driver crossing state lines might not be in compliance which would be a violation of interstate commerce laws. I can see it with things like the trucks and trailers themselves, but I can't see it with the licenses for drivers.
     
  13. CM1995

    CM1995 Super Moderator

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    That is the Fed's rules -

    The first bullet point is a Class B straight truck over 26,001. The second bullet point is regarding trailers over 10,001 GVW when the GCWR is over 26,001. A Class B license can pull a trailer up to 10,000 GVW but not 10,001 GVW.

    Similarly a F450 with 15K GVW pulling a 14K tag trailer which is quite common requires a Class A according to the Feds due to the GCWR being 29K.

    The landscapers around here have had a hard education on GVW's and GCWR's and AL just shadows the Fed rules.

    The Feds allow the States to be more restrictive if they choose.

    Here's a quote from the Fed site -

    https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/registration/commercial-drivers-license/states

    It's like OSHA, all states are bound by the Federal rule but individual states can be more restrictive.
     
  14. John C.

    John C. Senior Member

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    The latitude that the states have for qualifications apparently are spelled out.

    " States may determine the application process, license fee, license renewal cycle, renewal procedures, and reinstatement requirements after a disqualification; provided that the Federal standards and criteria are met. States may exceed the Federal requirements for certain criteria, such as medical, fitness, and other driver qualifications." I have not been able to find anything stating the weight and combination limits in federal law like what I have for state law.

    The interpretation in this state is that any combination of trailer and truck over 26,001 pounds requires a class A license. A class eight dump truck with a tag trailer here requires a class A usually because the truck itself weighs around 25,000. Add the 3,000 pounds for the tag and you might have to show papers at the scale. A landscaper running a one ton dually pickup pulling a trailer that, when loaded, weighs over 10,001 pounds needs a Class A license. His combined weight may be less than 26,001 pounds but the loaded trailer requires the higher CDL. I have a statement from a colleague that Oregon also interprets the rule this way. I suspect that California does also. I suppose that a dually one ton or a single axle dump truck pulling an empty trailer with a gross weight of 26,000 would not need a class A. If it weighed 26,002 pounds, I've seen those trailers left parked at the scales.

    I have a couple of mechanics over the last few years that tried running with a trailer behind their service trucks and got ticketed for just this issue. I have seen some service trucks delivering machines on trailers that caught the attention of our state constabulary.
     
  15. Aceofspades

    Aceofspades Active Member

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    The school was only two weeks long, but I had to wait three weeks after the school ended to test. Finally got to test today, I'm glad that's finally behind me!
     
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  16. CM1995

    CM1995 Super Moderator

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    Is there a congrats in order?
     
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  17. Aceofspades

    Aceofspades Active Member

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    I passed it! (sorry if I didn't make that clear, haha)
     
  18. CM1995

    CM1995 Super Moderator

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    Congrats!:D
     
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  19. Aceofspades

    Aceofspades Active Member

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    Thanks! I've taken a lot of tests in my life, but this one was exceptionally stressful.

    After you finished their course, you weren't allowed to drive their trucks anymore, so if you didn't pass on the first go around (again, I had to wait three weeks for the first opportunity to test) you get stuck in a loop, waiting to retest, and getting more rusty. I met several people for whom that process had dragged out for a while... It looked like it was kind of a **** show if you didn't make it work the first go around. Getting a cdl seems like it should be a simple thing, but i'm not sure i've ever been been more relieved, I make things harder than they should be sometimes. Anyhow, thanks for the advice/ moral support. I cant wait to drive my truck down the road by myself, do jobs without coordinating a favor, and take my wife to lunch in it.
     
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  20. catman13

    catman13 Senior Member

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    run across the Sothern border and get it