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  #1  
Old 12-20-2009, 11:12 AM
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Commercial vs. Non-Com Registrations in MA

Folks,

Have any of you been caught in the Massachusetts commercial registration vise that I have encountered? It seems that even though they recognize F250 and F350 pickups as elegible for non-commercial registration, if you have a dually, you have no choice. MA has a one sentence clause in their rules, 540CMR2.05-3(b) which states "Any vehicle which has five or more wheels on the ground" must be registered as commercial. This after they excludes campers, motor homes, and a whole list of other things, making it targeted specifically at dual rear wheel pickups.

I am forming a campaign to get this changed as it is a ridiculous extra burden for those of us with trailer campers. It makes the registration, inspection and toll fees hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars higher for no apparent benefit to anyone except the state. If you are of a similar mind, can you let me know here so we can get an organized letter writing activity going to both the Governor and the Registrar?

If you have had similar experiences in other states can you share those here as well to help me build a stronger case to get a change made? I am specifically looking for either states that allow the non-commercial registration of DRW F350s and similar trucks, or those states that have recently had changes to allow such use.

The registry in MA has publically commented that they support the rules because of numerous people not registering their commercial vehicles as such. Those of us who are legally using our DRW trucks for personal enjoyment and recreation should not be treated badly in retalliation for those who circumvent the commercial registration vehicle laws.

Moderator: If this would belong in another area of the forum then please let me know and move it. I figured the Super Duty people would be most likely to have an opinion on this.

Thanks
Steve
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  #2  
Old 12-20-2009, 11:48 AM
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There is always a way around a law or clause. When you go to register your truck take a two wheels off the back and say you made it a srw. Then if they look at it technically it will be.
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  #3  
Old 12-20-2009, 11:49 AM
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Lightbulb

Not sure about MA.

But the rules pertaining to heavy duty pickup " FORD 250's and up, Dodge 2500's and up, Chevy / GMC's 2,500's and up" in New York State are the following:

All " Heavy Duty Pickups" must be regeistered as commercial when purchased, no exceptions.If a dealership fails todo this, motor vehicle will contact you directly to do so, asap. The only way you get around this , is to get a cap for the bed. Inside the cap you will need to mount at leat 1 seat " BOLTED DOWN" with a seat belt.

After doing the above , you will need to go to a weight station, and have your truck weighed. They will give you a paper indicating the weight of your vehicle signed by them. Keep this paper for motor vehicle Some junk and wrecking yards have weight stations.

After doing the above go to motor vehicle , ask for passenger plates. They will give you some static at first, but after they check with their supervisor and their own website online, they will eventually give you the passenger plates. You have to be persistant / but at the same time , kind and respectfull ...lol


Warning:: If you decide later to remove the cap and or seat inside the bed, That will be more than 1 ticket if you are pulled over by the police. It does not matter if you are on a commercial higway or parkway, you are now married to the fact of having a cap / seat setup. The rules have now been switched over on you. due to the passenger plates

I never did this because , if you ever have to pick something up, and need to remove your cap, you will not be able to,, instant ticket as I mentioned above.

As far as the weight station , if you have anything over a F350 I doubt you will get the passenger plates, due to the additional weight and dually wheels.

In New York STATE, if you are using your pickup as a private use vehicle, pass or commercial plates, than you are not expected to have any comercial writting on the vehicle.

The best way for you to find out the exact laws pertaining to pickups and plates issued in your state , would be to call your motor vehicles directly in your state or visit their website.

Hope this helps out a little.

F.Y.I. - Those that live in N.Y. City, you can still get away with the passenger plates, but the local cops will constantly be on your case. Not worth it. Huge headache


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  #4  
Old 12-20-2009, 12:08 PM
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Talking

As far as the fees, This is how the state makes their money. I feel it too. I use to drive a mini truck, my registration is a lot more now.

But I rather cut back financially somewhere else in my life to be in a strong solid axle truck than a stupid peanut comapct car. The way people drive these days, at least I know my chances of living in a acident in my F350 are very strong.

Not to be off topic, But has anyone seen the new Nissan Cube Vehicle? It is so small, it is scary. Looks like it came out of the crusher already shaped like a cube.... I swear everytime my truck passes one of these things, I can hear it laughing....lol I love the earth I roam on, I do whatever I can to recycle, But I will continue to drive my big a$$ American Truck, no matter if I have to eat Captain Crunch for lunch to save the extra money for gas and the bills that follow with it......lol
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  #5  
Old 12-20-2009, 04:11 PM
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So, in NY do people with 5th wheels always have commercial plates? I had thought this was sorted out in another way so you could tow a trailer and not need commercial plates. What about the Thruway and bridges? Do we pay a different toll rate if we have commercial plates? That's one of the things I fear.
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  #6  
Old 12-20-2009, 04:30 PM
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Lightbulb

Commercial plates do not get charged anymore than the average truck on the Thruway. What will get you is the dually rear wheels , double axles. Toll both operators do have the right to ask for your regesitration for the weight of your vehicle, if they feel you are getting over them.

I think you also wanted to know if you are required to stop in highway weight station. In New York , if you are not towing a trailer with a pickup, you are not required to stop. I do recomend if you are towing a trailer to go in and check, they now have cameras that tag your license plate, and you will be charged with a toll weight station violation. Not good if you have a CDL. When you pass the weight station, there are scanners that take physical dimenions and an actual snapshoot day or nite. It gets reviewed whether ot not if you get a ticket in the mail.

The fifth wheel concept , is a question for you local MA State Motor Vehicle Office. Since you can not have a cap with a fith wheel, I do not see them giving you a passenger plates. It is worth a try to ask. The whole idea between commercial and passenger plates is a lot of people with small cars were complaing about driving with other big trucks and pickups. Guess you can say this is how, in N.Y, they keep the parkways free of commercial traffic.

From time to time I do see trucks on the Thruway with 5th wheels and passenger plates. When you goto motor vehicle in New York, They do not physically check what you have done IE Truck caps, seat mounts, etc. They take your word and proceed with paperwork. They use to ask you for a recept to show that you actually got the cap and seats installed, many shops wrote false recepts and got caught. Some guys use this as a exit to get their plates and install 5th wheels, and take their chance in getting caught.

If you do get caught , you will def get multiple tickets for breaking numerous laws. Some people do not care.

I rather pay the extra in the reg fees for my SD, I can put anything in my bed , and as long as I tie it down properly, I never get harrased by highway or local patrols.

Up here in the North East, most people even register their small pickups as commercial for private use for not having issues being stopped on the highway, carrying loads.


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  #7  
Old 12-20-2009, 04:59 PM
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In MA , They charge you extra for commercial plates? Your truck is a dually or reg?
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  #8  
Old 12-20-2009, 06:46 PM
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Being from mass here we go,...
In mass any vehicle in excess of 10,000 lbs is now commercial, period.
I sold my f350 and bought an 10,000 f250 to get around it.
At 10,001 lbs it becomes, commercial.
Dual rear wheels regardless of weight, commercial.
So if you take off the duals and run single they get you on the weight rule.
Below the 10,000 lbs you can register a pickup as passenger, if, you dont have racks and boxes or are snowplowing, or are a business.
If you are a business and are over 10,000 lbs you need a health card.
They are now nailing guys with big trailers, for total combined weight, like landscapers, etc, because how many are carring the health card, none.
But as a counter point I own a 40 ft, 44,000 lb motorcoach, detroit diesel, air brakes, etc, and need no health card or special license other than to drive a passenger car.
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Old 12-20-2009, 07:12 PM
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Huummm .... I wont be surprised to see in a couple of years , Various states asking for all H.D. pickup drivers to hold CDL License. Never stops.
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  #10  
Old 12-20-2009, 07:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ehchvac View Post
Being from mass here we go,...
In mass any vehicle in excess of 10,000 lbs is now commercial, period.
I sold my f350 and bought an 10,000 f250 to get around it.
At 10,001 lbs it becomes, commercial.
Dual rear wheels regardless of weight, commercial.
So if you take off the duals and run single they get you on the weight rule.
Below the 10,000 lbs you can register a pickup as passenger, if, you dont have racks and boxes or are snowplowing, or are a business.
If you are a business and are over 10,000 lbs you need a health card.
They are now nailing guys with big trailers, for total combined weight, like landscapers, etc, because how many are carring the health card, none.
But as a counter point I own a 40 ft, 44,000 lb motorcoach, detroit diesel, air brakes, etc, and need no health card or special license other than to drive a passenger car.
That there pretty much sums it up in Mass. You also can spend a $100 plus for an inspection sticker as I first found out back in May. You might as well start a campaign to allow topless donut shops again. They stop that too years ago.
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Old 12-20-2009, 08:00 PM
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My question is what if I drove a six wheeled truck towing a fifth wheel trailer through those states which was registered in say Illinois?
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Old 12-20-2009, 09:10 PM
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[quote=My question is what if I drove a six wheeled truck towing a fifth wheel trailer through those states which was registered in say Illinois?[/quote]
..........................................
First of all , all private use trailers, 5th wheelers and motorhomes are "recreational vehicles" and are exempt from "weight stations" (unless , someone is towing a trailer for a dealer , from one dealer to another dealer,etc. ) . A person who tows his landscaping trailer is for commercial purpose and subject to commercial rules ( such as , weight station ).

If you are legit in your home state , then you are legit in the entire USA . For example , I live in FL and FL vehicles do not have "front license plate" . I have never been stopped at another state for a "missing front license plate" . Another example , FL vehicles do not have "inspection stickers" on the front windshield ( because no inspection in FL) . Nobody stopped me for a " missing inspection sticker" during my my years of RV'ing in the USA and Canada .

I have never been stopped at any "agricultural check stations" either , neither in CA or FL . But I heard one credible story from an RV'er who was stopped at CA border ( from AZ ) and have his oranges confiscated .

I can feel the pain of members from Northeast .I know some RV'ers registered their trailers and tow vehicles in certain states to avoid high registration taxes and annual inspection ,etc ( such as ND ) . Some even set up a small business in ND and registered vehicles as business use .

What if, you were daily driving a vehicle in the northeast registered on your relative who might be living in FL or ND . Is it illegal and why ? May be someone gives us some factoids .

Ken
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  #13  
Old 12-21-2009, 07:06 AM
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I know that in massachusetts they do not let you get away with the registering vehicles out of state as it is an obvious attempt at dodging taxes.
About 6 months ago there was a story in the local paper about a guy who had a out of state LLC setup for his RV to avoid the local and state taxes, I believe his back taxes and fine was around $60,000.00.
When I registered my motorcoach it was around $10,000.00 to walk out of the registry with plates, registration.
Oh, and one other tidbit of info on mass.
It was about a year ago you could go anywhere with pretty much anything to get an inspection sticker,...
Now under 10,000 lbs is $29.99, over 10,000 lbs is $129.00.
Diesel as well as vehicles over 10,000 lbs has to be done at commercial inspection station, and is about the same as a DOT inspection.
They dont give you a DOT sticker but you must meet all the requirements,
such as, 2 wheel chocks, 3 road reflector triangles, first aid kit, fire extinguisher, etc.
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Old 12-21-2009, 07:45 AM
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This is not a dig at you or anyboby that lives there. Unfortunately you live in a socialist state like many states here in the northeast. It's all about money and they want us to work harder to give to the state so they can waist it foolishly and than want more. Your choices are pay it, vote the law makers out of office, or vote with your feet and leave or drive something smaller. I'm lucky that my work allows me the benefit to live where ever and travel to job site. I use to live NY all my life got tried of the BS left. Now in NH... much better!
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Old 12-21-2009, 08:55 AM
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From what I have investigated, there appear to be two distinct but separate activities going on in MA WRT heavy pickups. For example, the 10,000 inspection rule is not in the MA General Laws. It's buried in the new inspection contract the state let out to a third party to manage.

From MA General Rules 540CMR2.05...

Commercial Vehicle, is any motor vehicle which is not a private passenger motor vehicle, antique motor car, motorcycle, trailer, semi-trailer, auto home, house trailer, taxicab, ambulance, hearse, livery vehicle, bus, school bus, or school pupil transport vehicle, including the following:
(a) Any vehicle which has a vehicle weight, or curb weight, of more than six thousand pounds, as per the manufacturer's description of said vehicle, unless such vehicle is a sport utility vehicle or passenger van, or a pickup truck or cargo van meeting the definition of private passenger vehicle;
(b) Any vehicle which has five or more wheels on the ground;
(c) Any pickup truck or cargo van, owned by a partnership, trust or corporation unless such vehicle meets the definition of private passenger motor vehicle;
(d) Any pickup truck or cargo van, if on the bed of the vehicle tools, supplies, materials or equipment are transported to or from a job site, or are stored for use at a job site, provided that transportation to or storage for use at a personal project for which no compensation is received shall not be considered in connection with a "job site";
(e) Any vehicle, if on the roof or sides of the vehicle, tools, supplies, materials or equipment are transported to or from a job site, or are stored for use at a job site, provided that transportation to or storage for use at a personal project for which no compensation is received shall not be deemed in connection with a "job site";


Private Passenger Motor Vehicle, is any vehicle:
(a) which has a vehicle weight rating or curb weight of six thousand pounds or less as per manufacturer's description of said vehicle or is a sport utility vehicle or passenger van; or which is a pickup truck or cargo van of the 1/2 TON, 3/4 TON or 1 TON class as per manufacturer's description of said vehicle; or which is a vehicle used solely for official business by any college or university police department whose officers are appointed as special police officers by the colonel of the state police under M.G.L. c. 22C, § 63; and,
(b) which, if a pickup truck or cargo van, is registered or leased to an individual, and is used exclusively for personal, recreational, or commuting purposes; and,
(c) which is not described in elsewhere in 540 CMR 2.05

As you can see, there is some ambiguity. 6,000 pounds is the real commerical threshold, not 10,000. All pickups up to the 1 ton class are excluded from commercial provided they meet the other parts of the rules. The actually application of the "5 or more wheels" part of the rule seems to be up to interpretation and what they intend.

The essence of my complaint is that they already exclude 1 Ton pickups and they exclude 6+ wheel campers and other vehicles, why not allow all pickups to meet the non-commercial class as long as they are for true non-commercial use?

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Old 12-21-2009, 08:55 AM
 
 
 
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