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  #1  
Old 05-02-2008, 01:54 PM
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So I need a CDL w/ a gooseneck? Getting conflicting information

Seems like everyone I talk to has a different answer. Trailer will be done and ready to pick up in 6 weeks. 36' Gooseneck GVWR 15,000 pounds. Now my truck is rated on the door sticker at 9900 pounds, so technically I should fall under the 26,000 lb rule. The truck is actually stickered on the plate for 15,000 lbs, and I was told that they go by the number on the plates, not the door- That would put me at 30,0000, over the limit.
I am more confused than ever, anybody got some answers?
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Old 05-02-2008, 03:05 PM
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Take your truck's actual weight, add it to the trailer's actual weight, and you'll have the rig's actual weight.
Since you are not hauling this commercially, you shouldn't have to stop at weigh stations, but check with the DOT of any state you will be traveling through.
Also, don't confuse your gross vehicle weight (GVW) with gross combined vehicle weight (GCVW), these are not the same thing.
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Old 05-02-2008, 05:15 PM
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Gross weight of the truck (9900) plus gross weight of the trailer (15k) needs to be under 26k, AND the weight on the truck's registration must be more than the ACTUAL weight being hauled (sum of the truck and the trailer's actual weight that paticular trip). Over 26k gross weight allows you to get a CDL, which then would eliminate this paticular concern, assuming of course you have your registered weight plenty high enough.
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Old 05-02-2008, 07:12 PM
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A lot depends on the state you are in. Here in NY DOT will twist the wording of the law in their favor, remember that fines are money in the state's pocket. Greg
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Old 05-02-2008, 07:38 PM
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here in jersey, you will need a class "A" CDL for that rig.

check with your state motor vehicle department and state police. they are the only ones that can give you a proper answer.

the guy on the street is just giving you his opinion, and that ain't worth squat when you get pulled over and try to tell the cop you don't need one cause joe blow said so.
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Old 05-02-2008, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by tjc transport View Post
here in jersey, you will need a class "A" CDL for that rig.

check with your state motor vehicle department and state police. they are the only ones that can give you a proper answer.

the guy on the street is just giving you his opinion, and that ain't worth squat when you get pulled over and try to tell the cop you don't need one cause joe blow said so.
Tom you are absoultly right. I just got pulled over yesterday by the MA state police doing a DOT inspection. I got cited for an expired medical card and expired sticker I really spaced that one out. I have 15 days to get everything in order and send it to them. I asked the trooper if i had to have the medical card for my 2001 F350 DRW. It is registered comercially for 12,000 lbs. He said YES. call your local officials to find out the definitive answer!
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Old 05-02-2008, 08:27 PM
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Also, remember that GVW & GCVW are the actual weight and GVWR & GCVWR are the nameplate rating given by the manufacturer. As long as you are below the rated weights, most states will leave you alone, but there are always twists.

In CA, if you have an empty three-axle trailer that only weights, say, 3,000 pounds, you still trigger a state law that requires a CDL. This is based only on the manufacturer's sticker which will be over 10,000 pounds for three axles and requires a CDL. I asked a CHP commercial officer supervisor: "What about a home-built?" He laughed and told me that it would not trigger this law because, by definition, it could not have a factory weight rating. He said that in that case, an non-CDL driver would be OK as long as the loaded trailer was under 10,000 pounds. This was several years ago and may have changed -- I relate the story as an example of how silly it can all get.

P.S.: While asking about the law can be a good idea, it is like asking the IRS for advice: you will get several different answers if you ask several officials, and then can still have trouble with an officer that has his own local interpretation. The best advice I got was from the same official mentioned above: if you look non-commercial, the commercial specialists will ignore you, and so long as you do not weave or speed, the rest of the officers will ignore you as well.
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Old 05-03-2008, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by acheda View Post
Also, remember that GVW & GCVW are the actual weight and GVWR & GCVWR are the nameplate rating given by the manufacturer. As long as you are below the rated weights, most states will leave you alone, but there are always twists.

In CA, if you have an empty three-axle trailer that only weights, say, 3,000 pounds, you still trigger a state law that requires a CDL. This is based only on the manufacturer's sticker which will be over 10,000 pounds for three axles and requires a CDL. I asked a CHP commercial officer supervisor: "What about a home-built?" He laughed and told me that it would not trigger this law because, by definition, it could not have a factory weight rating. He said that in that case, an non-CDL driver would be OK as long as the loaded trailer was under 10,000 pounds. This was several years ago and may have changed -- I relate the story as an example of how silly it can all get.

P.S.: While asking about the law can be a good idea, it is like asking the IRS for advice: you will get several different answers if you ask several officials, and then can still have trouble with an officer that has his own local interpretation. The best advice I got was from the same official mentioned above: if you look non-commercial, the commercial specialists will ignore you, and so long as you do not weave or speed, the rest of the officers will ignore you as well.
Excellent Advice Archie!!
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Old 05-03-2008, 12:00 PM
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Jim, Thanks. I am lucky that my 1968 F-350 is a GVWR of 10,000 so I do not need to worry (as much).

Bottom line with me is that it is almost impossible if you do some serious (amateur) towing or hauling to not trigger some obscure state law violation even though they are all pressured to follow Federal DOT guidelines & "standards".

I really have to wonder if there is an easy solution to your problem -- do you really have to go the full CDL route? (One thought: What is your nameplate factory GVWR? Can you re-register to 10,000 pounds? I know that you could in CA so long as you never got caught going over the declared GVW.)

On edit: I think this declared GVW applies to Highmark88's situation as well. It will vary from state to state, but if your home state will let you re-declare the registered maximum gross weight, then at least you would have one less potential problem. (I do not even have a weight on my MD papers so all they can go on is the factory plate.)
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Last edited by acheda; 05-03-2008 at 12:13 PM. Reason: add info . . .
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Old 05-03-2008, 11:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjc transport View Post
check with your state motor vehicle department and state police. they are the only ones that can give you a proper answer.
.
And they might not even have the right answer, The guy at a DMV here told me that I could hook my f25 to a 40k trailer and not need a cdl as long as I wasn't pulling commercially (ie for money)
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Old 05-04-2008, 12:26 AM
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From the Texas CDL Handbook:

You must have a CDL to operate:
• A single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating GVWR of more than 26,000 pounds.
• A trailer with a GVWR of more than 10,000 pounds if the gross combination weight rating is more than 26,000 pounds.
• A vehicle designed to transport more than 15 persons including the driver.
• Any size vehicle which requires hazardous materials placards


RVs for personal use are exempt.

It's not how much you weigh on the scales that matters, it's what the vehicle or combination is RATED for.
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Old 05-04-2008, 09:36 AM
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A guy I know has a Freight Liner that he uses to haul his 4 car trailer back and forth from NY to FL. Because the truck has sleeping quarters and a shower it is classified as a "motorhome" so no CDL needed.
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Old 05-06-2008, 01:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acheda View Post
Jim, Thanks. I am lucky that my 1968 F-350 is a GVWR of 10,000 so I do not need to worry (as much).

Bottom line with me is that it is almost impossible if you do some serious (amateur) towing or hauling to not trigger some obscure state law violation even though they are all pressured to follow Federal DOT guidelines & "standards".

I really have to wonder if there is an easy solution to your problem -- do you really have to go the full CDL route? (One thought: What is your nameplate factory GVWR? Can you re-register to 10,000 pounds? I know that you could in CA so long as you never got caught going over the declared GVW.)

On edit: I think this declared GVW applies to Highmark88's situation as well. It will vary from state to state, but if your home state will let you re-declare the registered maximum gross weight, then at least you would have one less potential problem. (I do not even have a weight on my MD papers so all they can go on is the factory plate.)
Ok, so are you saying that I should go in and re-register my truck for 10,000 instead of the 15,000 it is at now? What is the actual reason you need that sticker on your plate anyway for?

I am wondering now if it boils down to the officer that pulls you over and what kind of mood he is in...

A 80 year old guy can drive a 40 foot motorhome pulling a trailer down the road and they don't bother him-crazy...
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Old 05-07-2008, 06:02 AM
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Highmark18, I think your comment on the officer's mood is "on the mark". The Feds are trying to get the states to have some consistency by bribing them with highway funds, but old laws are often left on the books. The senior RV folks have a good lobby effort and so are quite often exempt. (I do support the concept of having a sleeper of some kind so that one can declare oneself to be an RV.)

My suggestion about changing the declared weight rating on your state registration only works if your state will allow it and is only a good idea if you can discipline yourself to keep under that weight or you are facing large fines. In CA, they started a new weight-based registration fee. They allow the owner to declare the weight, but if you get caught you pay fines for being overweight AND big fines for declaring too low a weight. Still, I think you will be cleaner if you can get your declared (registered) weight to match your door sticker weight. There is nothing like non-matching numbers to put an officer in a bad mood.

I have never been stopped in about 15 cross-country trips (trailering up to 5,000# per trip), but I was always prepared to declare that I was absolutely non-commercial -- a retired hobbyiest, hauling my own "toys". Most of these trips involved a 1965 Mercury (car) as the tow vehicle. One of the trips was hauling a CAT D2 giving me a CGVW of over 12,000#. (For the 390 fans: I got 9.3 mpg, coast to coast.) A DRW gets you into uncertain territory (as does a three-axle trailer). In CA a pickup box bed DRW not owned by a business is treated as a pickup, but a flat-bed DRW must have CA and federal DOT numbers posted, carry a huge quantity of liability insurance, and weigh at all stations (even if empty). Last I heard they are not making much effort to enforce this, but it all comes back to the mood of the officer.
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Old 05-07-2008, 06:16 AM
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More thoughts . . .

Why would a state register the vehicle for half again more than the factory GVWR? Easy answer: more money for higher weight fees.

Highmark18, I think you have a good case to change the registration because your registration is clearly out of whack with the factory information on the vehicle, but you may need to talk to the supervisor or even "shop" for a DMV location that is sympathetic. (They will not want to lower the weight fee -- it is $$$ that they get every year.)
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Old 05-07-2008, 06:16 AM
 
 
 
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