PDA

View Full Version : Trailering and USDOT sticker requirements?



PortPonies
May. 30, 2012, 12:38 PM
I just got an unpleasant surprise while registering my new horse trailer in Maine -- since my truck (curb weight appx 5600 lbs) and trailer (empty weight 3500 lbs) will exceed 10,000 lbs once I put myself and my horse in them, I am now deemed a commercial registration. I was also told I need a USDOT number. I dutifully requested one online, and now I am freaking out by the signage, logbook, and other requirements that seem to go with it.

Help! Do I really need to get a vehicle sign with my name, DOT number, etc. to stick on my truck and do I need to keep a logbook -- and how and what do I need to document it? I will mostly be driving around in Maine, but I imagine that sometime in the future I might trailer into Canada for shows or go to MA and VT for some of the USEA events. I don't want to wind up stranded at a weigh station with the wrong documents for me and my one measly private horse.

SuperSTB
May. 30, 2012, 01:02 PM
I am unfamiliar with ME requirements but I've registered a couple in MA and came up with a similar panic attack for the 32' GN 5 horse.

I registered it as I normally did the 2 horse with no issues. Then drove cross country from MA to CA. I had one weigh station stop in NE which revealed I was close to 17,000- YIKES!. TX got a little snippy when I asked if I needed to go through the weigh station and shoo'd me away (signs unclear when it said ALL towing vehicles! Plus I wanted to see how close I was to NE weigh ie did we lose a few pounds yet?) Then the AG stop in AZ but no weight. NM could care less about anything although they had an AG station. CA practically did a colonoscopy but they were concerned about the animals and if I was transporting any greenery or illegals- no weighing.

Then a trip from CA to FL- Nothing in any of the states. Only the AG stop in CA for another colonoscopy. I'm happy to report all is good. I expected more of a search in AZ with the heightened tizzy over illegals but they just waved us on.

Now getting into Canada... I prefer not to speak of my experiences. And that was sans trailer and horses.

SuperSTB
May. 30, 2012, 01:06 PM
Forgot to add... I added lots of DOT stuff to the 5-horse trailer anyway- reflector tape and whatnot. I found the items easy to purchase online and through my local truck repair shop. They added the extra lighting which I didn't technically need but got anyway since the trailer was over 20yrs old.

RAyers
May. 30, 2012, 01:44 PM
Are you sure? The current federal guidelines for commercial vehicles is 26,001 pounds. Then you need a CDL. I regularly pull 17,000 pounds all over the US, skip weigh stations etc. as I am not considered a commercial vehicle. I have been inspected in all sorts of states in the West for proper brand inspections but the rig was never questioned.

I think the folks you are dealing with are behind the times or are unfamiliar with federal DOT rules. I can guarantee that if you pull the rig you say you have into any weigh station they will get pissed for wasting their time. It happened to me plenty in the past.

RiverBendPol
May. 30, 2012, 01:53 PM
I've been registered in Maine for 7 years and have no DOT stuff going on. My rigs are heavier than yours yet smaller...2 horse GN/F-350

luvmytbs
May. 30, 2012, 01:55 PM
As far as I know, a DOT# is only required if you participate in commerce.

Call the DOT!

ReSomething
May. 30, 2012, 02:55 PM
Gee, how timely. Just this morning at the Southern States got to listen to one old farmer dude holding forth about how we all needed a CDL if we used the Farm plates because they let us haul 26,000 etc. etc. etc..

My memory of this, from about ten years ago, was that we had to participate in a state numbering system for our (business) hauling truck because it was over some certain weight. We had to register both trucks and place the business name on the sides. We did NOT have to do the log books or the "fleet" stuff, and if we had been using the vehicles for personal use only - no business use - we would have been exempt. We did have to get commercial insurance on the one because of the GVW regardless though.

HOWEVER, it's totally different depending on what state you are in - like for an example I can get the farm plates and insure my farm truck seasonally (if I push it) here, same as with a motorcycle, I can retire the reg and ins for the winter, but that option evaporated quite a few years ago in the other state, and there was no provision for seasonally used farm vehicles or any kind of limited use.
Furthermore you don't have to plate your trailer here in KY so everybody has a little single axle dirt bike/lawn mower trailer and only contractors have roof racks, but in the other state a fair number of folks have bed ramps to get the dirt bike up in the bed and also a roof rack. Don't get me started on the difference between covering and securing your load here and there either. We've hauled a brakeless four wheeled tobacco wagon loaded with unsecured hay ten miles and nobody blinks here, but there's not a cop to be found on the backroads either. In the other state we'd be creating a wave of 911 calls and cited shortly.

I would go back and look over the information carefully and make certain - are they requiring RV owners to participate in this and why not? They would make those weight limits as well. Is this a recent change to ME vehicle code? And the GVW that we used didn't include cargo if I remember rightly.
Good luck. This was the one time I got good use out of the fax machine on my printer.

goodhors
May. 30, 2012, 05:29 PM
In your checking with the DOT in Maine, you also will want to ask about your Driver's license endorsements. If your vehicle ends up truly being listed as Commercial, you probably need some sort of Commercial license to drive it. And you may be required to do the log book stuff in that case.

You may be able to find the codes on-line under Maine DOT. Or you can call the DOT and talk to a real person.

Michigan is getting more picky, plenty of horse trailer folks with the big rigs have been pulled over and warned they need CDL licenses for length and weight. Haven't heard of tickets yet, but it will happen one of these days.

tangledweb
May. 30, 2012, 06:30 PM
Are you sure it was not a miscommunication? Anything towing a two horse trailer will be over 10K if it has two horses on board.

airhorse
May. 30, 2012, 08:10 PM
Yep, if you have a DOT #, you might need a CDL. Probably be a good idea to talk to your insurance company too.

Guilherme
May. 30, 2012, 09:21 PM
Find your state's rules and READ THEM. You'd be amazed at the number of "functionaries" who have not.

IIRC you don't get "commercial" at the Federal level until you're 26,001+ or you hauling in support of a commercial operation. Most states accept this definition. ME has the right to set their own definition, however. If they've done so then it's written down. Make the person who says you're commercial show you the regulation that says so.

If you are, indeed, commercial then you'll need the DOT number, the CDL, physical, insurance, etc.

G.

Smart Feeds
May. 31, 2012, 09:05 AM
Here is a link to see what States require DOT numbers. Most States require them even if all of your travel is intra-state.

http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/registration-licensing/registration-usdot.htm

Most States (if not all) use the FMCSA definition of a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) which is...

Commercial motor vehicle (CMV) means a motor vehicle or combination of motor vehicles used in commerce to transport passengers or property if the motor vehicle—
(1) Has a gross combination weight rating or gross combination weight of 11,794 kilograms or more (26,001 pounds or more), whichever is greater, inclusive of a towed unit(s) with a gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle weight of more than 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds), whichever is greater; or
(2) Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle weight of 11,794 or more kilograms (26,001 pounds or more), whichever is greater; or
(3) Is designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver; or
(4) Is of any size and is used in the transportation of hazardous materials as defined in this section.

If your vehicle falls into one of these categories and you travel outside of your state, then you need a DOT number. If the combined GVWR of your truck and trailer exceeds 26,001 lbs AND your trailer exceeds 10,001 lbs you need a commercial drivers license. If your trailer is less than 10,001 lbs and your tow vehicle is less than 26,001 lbs, you do not need a commercial drivers license, but will still need a DOT number. You should also check your drivers license "class" rating. In Illinois, a class "D" license is only good for operating a motor vehicle up to 16,000 lbs.

If you have a living quarters trailer and have it plated as an RV, it can only be used for recreational purposes. Going to a horse show is NOT considered "recreational use" if there is any potential for monetary gain (i.e. ribbon, trophy, buckle, cash, etc...).

All of these laws have been in place for several years. I think what everyone is seeing is an increased level of enforcement by the States. I'm convinced it's revenue driven. In Illinois, trucks pulling horse trailers are being stopped more frequently. I got pulled over while pulling a 32' flat bed goose neck trailer with a Ford F250. The combined weight of the truck & trailer was 32,000 lbs. To the officers surprise, I had my CDL, my medical card, insurance cards, and vehicle inspections for both the truck and trailer ready for him when he came to the window. His reason for pulling me over was to do a safety inspection. After seeing all of my paperwork, he told me to have a nice day and let me go. I'd be willing to bet, he thought he was going to be writing a number of violations.

The difficulty with the laws is that they are clear as mud. Whether or not you get pulled over, or get a ticket/warning is going to be strictly dependent on the individual officer. Just an FYI, State DOT Enforcement officers do have quotas for the number of roadside inspections and tickets to be written on an annual basis.

If you have any questions on the rules, here is a link...

http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/administration/fmcsr/fmcsrguide.aspx?section_type=A

Happy reading! :)

RAyers
May. 31, 2012, 10:05 AM
Except the law is for COMMERCIAL carriers, NOT private entities or farms. I know farm tagged vehicles are exempt in our area as well as vehicles for private use, e.g. me hauling my horses in a 6 horse, so long as my GCVWR is under 26,001#. I too, have been pulled over for inspection and never had an issue.

Now, if the OP is registering as a conmercial entity that is a different story. Otherwise, the rules as suggested make no sense given a 16 year old kid can drive a private FL70 with a 6 horse across several states with no issues.

Smart Feeds
May. 31, 2012, 11:36 AM
Except the law is for COMMERCIAL carriers, NOT private entities or farms. I know farm tagged vehicles are exempt in our area as well as vehicles for private use, e.g. me hauling my horses in a 6 horse, so long as my GCVWR is under 26,001#. I too, have been pulled over for inspection and never had an issue.
/QUOTE]

As I said before, it depends on the officer making the stop. How are you defining a "Commercial" carrier? Even though you say you are a private, farm, or not for hire operator, you are still are subject to the FMCSA laws if the unit is used in commerce.

Commerce is defined by the FMCSA as...(a) any trade, traffic or transportation within the jurisdiction of the United States between a place in a State and a place outside of such State, including a place outside of the United States and (b) trade, traffic, and transportation in the United States which affects any trade, traffic, and transportation described in paragraph (a) of this definition.

Technically this means, if you use your trailer to haul horses or property (hay, feed, tack, etc.) that are not yours, or your own horses that are for sale or have been sold, or your own horses to a show whereby "something" can be won, you have entered the world of "commerce" according to the FMCSA.

[QUOTE=RAyers;6349791]
Now, if the OP is registering as a conmercial entity that is a different story. Otherwise, the rules as suggested make no sense given a 16 year old kid can drive a private FL70 with a 6 horse across several states with no issues.

This is like saying I drove across the US doing 100 mph and didn't have an issue. Just because your 16 yr old didn't have any issues, it doesn't mean he did it legally. Good luck to you and your 16 yr old if you ever have to drive across IA on I-80.

I'm also private and not for hire. I have an International 4300 and a Chevy 4500 Kodiak. But, because I have a trailer registered at 20,000 lbs which is used to haul hay for our horses, I am required legally to have a commercial drivers license when pulling that trailer (with any of our trucks). Because I sometimes buy hay across the state line, I legally have to have a DOT number. And technically because the hay I buy may be fed to a boarder's horse, what I'm doing is classified as commerce. And because I sometimes pull our 4 horse LQ (registered as an RV) with the Intl., legally I have to stop at all weigh stations because I'm over 26,001 GCVWR. I'm pretty certain an FL70 pulling a 6 horse is also over 26,001 GCVWR. It doesn't matter how your license plated, the officers will look for the Mfg's. plate on the vehicle and trailer.

I don't agree with the rules and requirements and I'm not trying to argue with you or any one else on the topic. I'm just trying to pass along some helpful and what I consider to be accurate information.

I got my DOT "religion" a few years ago in IA when hauling a load of hay with a class D license, no vehicle inspection, and no DOT numbers. I was written for 11 violations. Fortunately for me, the officer was kind (?) enough to only issue 3 tickets and 8 warnings. I spent hours detained and ultimately had to hire a properly licensed driver to drive my truck and trailer back home. I'm just glad I was hauling hay and not horses.

Hinderella
May. 31, 2012, 01:02 PM
Wow! I've been wanting a trailer, but this is enough to scare me off of even bothering to look!

Since states are all, always, after more money, they may indeed be doing more enforcement. But they'll end up doing it on fewer & fewer vehicles if they penalize people driving around with their little 3 horse slant load, going to the state park for the day.

meupatdoes
May. 31, 2012, 01:32 PM
Generally, you only need a DOT number if you:
1.) haul stuff that you don't own
2.) across state lines.

However, some states require them if your vehicle classifies as commercial, which as far as I understand is generally a weight-related thing. ME is one of those states.

I believe the DOT number application is free.

Bastile
May. 31, 2012, 01:37 PM
be careful in PA.........new laws were recently passed - and it is dependent upon the weight of the rig - that if you accept compensation in any form - payment or otherwise - you must have a DOT number. I tried to find a link I had but sorry - cant find it. It is a reallly difficult piece of legislation to understand and MANY grey areas. The state police did a seminar on it and admitted it would be up to the officer how strictly to enforce the law. The extreme would be that you and a friend are splitting the gas to take your horses somewhere - hence you are accepting compensation and if your trailer is big enough then you could be in violation. You must also carry a log book and an emergency supply kit such as flares or cones, fire extinguisher, etc. and you must also have proof of ownership for each horse you have, and all horses need to be in the driver's name, otherwise you have to prove that you are driving the horses for free. It's crazy! I dont haul so I didnt really pay attention to all of it but I have heard others talking about it.

goodhors
May. 31, 2012, 01:45 PM
Do read and KNOW the rules for license PLATES on your truck. There are a lot of folks using FARM plates on their tow vehicles. Farm plates have some serious restrictions in many cases.

In our State, they are only to be driven 150 miles from the "home farm" in the delivery of farm products, or fetching farm things back to the farm. They are NOT supposed to be driven across State lines, or many, many miles from home in the State. There are various restrictions on the Farm Plates for the vehicles. There are REASONS that those licenses are less costly!!

We know a couple folks who used their Farm plate trucks pulling trailers to travel several states away to show horses. They got pulled over and issued various tickets for not being correctly licensed, too far from home, etc. Cost a LOT of money. Other States may have different rules for their Farm Plates. It will be in your own best interest to KNOW those restrictive rules, before putting Farm Plates on the truck to save license money. Your Insurance might be void in an accident, if truck is not being used as licensed.

RAyers
May. 31, 2012, 03:34 PM
As I said before, it depends on the officer making the stop. How are you defining a "Commercial" carrier? Even though you say you are a private, farm, or not for hire operator, you are still are subject to the FMCSA laws if the unit is used in commerce.

Commerce is defined by the FMCSA as...(a) any trade, traffic or transportation within the jurisdiction of the United States between a place in a State and a place outside of such State, including a place outside of the United States and (b) trade, traffic, and transportation in the United States which affects any trade, traffic, and transportation described in paragraph (a) of this definition.

Technically this means, if you use your trailer to haul horses or property (hay, feed, tack, etc.) that are not yours, or your own horses that are for sale or have been sold, or your own horses to a show whereby "something" can be won, you have entered the world of "commerce" according to the FMCSA.

NO.

I will disagree here. The FMCSA definition of commerce does NOT include going to a show hauling your own horses/equipment. Yes, if you are going to a show as a BUSINESS but not as a private citizen. If you are carrying OTHER people's property you need to register under MCS-150. All registrations REQUIRE A COMPANY name. How does a private citizen do that without running afoul of the IRS? They can't.

I live in a state requiring DOT numbers but it does NOT apply to me as a private citizen (per my investigations into this). If I haul for payment or if I have a commercial entity that requires hauling, then yes. Or if I LEASE my truck to be used for commerce I have to get a DOT #. Otherwise, ifwhat you said was true, then EVERY 2 horse trailer and up would require a DOT number, we would all need to register with the IRS as corporate or other business entities, and the enforcement would be impossible.

The law is based on if you are dealing in commerce, not taking Fluffy to the park or to a show.

You are running a true commercial entity (e.g. a private entity that is hauling goods for sale), hauling hay, etc. I am not.

Read through MSC-150 section 23 to see that a private citizen, hauling their own stuff to a show or other is NOT required to have DOT #s.

Reed

Smart Feeds
May. 31, 2012, 06:29 PM
NO.

I will disagree here. The FMCSA definition of commerce does NOT include going to a show hauling your own horses/equipment. Yes, if you are going to a show as a BUSINESS but not as a private citizen.

Reed

You're welcome to disagree. I'm not the one who would pull you over or write a ticket. I personally know a DOT enforcement officer who would classify a private citizen's truck/trailer having a GCVWR in excess of 10,001 lbs a commercial vehicle if it were used to haul a personal horse to a show or competition where there are prizes to be won.



All registrations REQUIRE A COMPANY name. How does a private citizen do that without running afoul of the IRS? They can't.


Not necessarily true. My DOT number is registered to my personal name as are all of my vehicles.




Otherwise, if what you said was true, then EVERY 2 horse trailer and up would require a DOT number, we would all need to register with the IRS as corporate or other business entities, and the enforcement would be impossible.



Yes, if the GVWR or GCVWR is in excess of 10,001 lbs. The IRS and FMCSA are two different agencies. Getting a DOT number has nothing to do with filing taxes. What may be considered a "hobby" to the IRS could be construed as a commercial enterprise to the FMCSA. And yes, enforcement is near impossible as evidenced by the fact that the majority of 3/4 and one ton trucks pulling horse, car, and race trailers on the road that should have DOT numbers, do not. Whether or not you get stopped is a matter of luck.



The law is based on if you are dealing in commerce, not taking Fluffy to the park or to a show.



I agree taking Fluffy to the park does not require a DOT number. Going to the park or trail riding is considered recreational use. Going to a show or competition to win a prize is not according to the DOT. I think the part we are not agreeing on, is the definition of "commerce". In reality, the only person whose definition of commerce counts is the officer making the stop.


Read through MSC-150 section 23 to see that a private citizen, hauling their own stuff to a show or other is NOT required to have DOT #s.

Here is MSC-150 section 23. I'm understanding this section to be 12 different classifications or purposes of a DOT number. I'm sorry, but I am not finding the part that says you are not required to have a DOT number. Hauling private property may not require Interstate Operating Authority, but it does not mean you do not require a DOT number.

23. Operation Classification — Is based on the type of business the company is engaged in and will help determine the FMCSA regulations the company is subject to. It will also determine if the company requires Interstate Operating Authority. The company’s operations may place it under multiple operation classifications, so selections should be made carefully. Definitions of Classifications:

A. Authorized For-Hire — A non-exempt (exempt Motor Carriers are defined in B, below) Motor Carrier who receives compensation for transporting passengers, FMCSA-regulated goods, or household goods that are owned by others.
NOTE: If you select “Authorized For-Hire Carrier” as one of the company’s operation classifications, the company will also be required to obtain Interstate Operating Authority (MC or MX Number) by filing the appropriate OP form with the FMCSA.

B. Exempt For-Hire — A Carrier who receives compensation for transporting only exempt goods (commodities that are NOT regulated by the FMCSA); or an Interstate Carrier transporting exclusively within a commercial zone that is exempt from FMCSA operating authority rules. Carriers are also exempt if they only transport employees of their company (e.g., a company shuttles its own employees to and from a work station). Exempt status typically excuses a carrier from the Operating Authority requirement, but a USDOT Number is still required. NOTE: Administrative Ruling No. 119 (http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/adminrule119) provides additional guidance for identifying EXEMPT commodities (those NOT regulated by the FMCSA). If all the commodities that the company transports appear on this list, then the commodities are considered exempt. Information about commercial zone exemptions may be found at 49 CFR 372 (http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/49CFR-372).

C. Private Property — A company that transports its own cargo, usually as a part of a business that produces, uses, sells, and/or buys the cargo that is being hauled. Instructions for form MCS-150 (Revision 6/12/2007) Page 4 of 9

D. Private Passengers (Business) — A “for-profit” company that provides interstate transportation of passengers in order to support its primary line of business. The passenger transportation service should not be available to the
general public. For example, a hotel chain that provides a free shuttle service that crosses a state line driving from an airport to a hotel is classified as “Private Passengers (Business).” The shuttle service furthers the business, but is not a source of income. Refer to regulation 49 CFR 390.5 (http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/49CFR-390.5) for more information on Private Passenger classifications.

E. Private Passengers (Non-business) — A “not-for-profit” company that provides interstate transportation of passengers in order to support its primary line of business. The passenger transportation service that is offered should not be available to the general public. For example, a not-for-profit youth center that uses a bus to transport youth on field trips is a Private Passenger (Non-business). Refer to regulation 49 CFR 390.5 (http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/49CFR-390.5) for more information on Private Passenger classifications.

F. Migrant — Interstate transportation provided by a Contract Carrier, but not a Common Carrier, of three or more migrant workers to or from their employment using any motor vehicle other than a passenger automobile or station wagon. A Contract Carrier provides transport service to one or more companies on a contract basis. Contract carriers do not maintain a regularly scheduled service. A Common Carrier transports persons or property for pay to anyone at any time and to any place within its operating authority.

G. U.S. Mail — Transportation of U.S. mail under contract with the U.S. Postal Service.

H. Federal Government — Transportation of property or passengers by a U.S. Federal Government Agency.

I. State Government — Transportation of property or passengers by a U.S. State Government Agency.

J. Local Government — Transportation of property or passengers by a local municipality.

K. Indian Tribe — Transportation of property or passengers by an Indian tribal government.

L. Other — Transportation of property or passengers by an operation classification not described above.

NOTE: If the carrier’s vehicles are sometimes leased to another motor carrier, select the appropriate options (A-K)
indicating all types of operations performed.

The best advice I can give anyone would be to contact your State DOT and any other State you plane to travel through and ask to speak with the DOT Enforcement Officer. They are more than happy to tell you what you will need in order to comply. After that, it's up to you.

luvmytbs
May. 31, 2012, 07:57 PM
I personally know a DOT enforcement officer who would classify a private citizen's truck/trailer having a GCVWR in excess of 10,001 lbs a commercial vehicle if it were used to haul a personal horse to a show or competition where there are prizes to be won.



That would mean every race horse trainer pulling their horses to a track to run, would need a DOT#. Which they don't.

tangledweb
May. 31, 2012, 08:47 PM
I personally know a DOT enforcement officer who would classify a private citizen's truck/trailer having a GCVWR in excess of 10,001 lbs a commercial vehicle if it were used to haul a personal horse to a show or competition where there are prizes to be won.

I think you or your state's DOT are smoking crack.

Why are horses special? Does Suzie Soccermom who is taking little Johnnie to a soccer game where there is a nominal prize to be won need a DOT number if like many soccer moms she drives there in a half ton Suburban with a GCWR of 11500 lbs?

Practically every half ton pickup or large SUV has a GCWR over 10001 lb. They'd need to ticket about 30% of the vehicles on the road.

airhorse
May. 31, 2012, 08:51 PM
Yep, or going to pick up a lottery ticket...

ReSomething
May. 31, 2012, 09:54 PM
Just sayin' here, that DH's flatbed Ford F350 was not considered to be the same as your run of the mill F350 dually, and the 2 and a half ton Iveco, one of those cabover little big trucks, had to stop at the scales and be numbered. We were moving our own stuff, too.

It's been so long we can't remember how we found out we had to be numbered, maybe at the scales, but DH distinctly recalls being pulled over and questioned about his lack of numbers - his answer was that they had been applied for and he pulled out the paperwork to prove it - the officer gave him an attaboy and let him go.

In my opinion Smart's right about the states needing money, and if you think about it, when our F350 was built in '79 an F-350 dually was a rare bird. There are an awful lot of these pro horse (and dog!) show rigs that are bumping up against the maximim length and weight for personal or recreational vehicles.
I doubt it will fly that Suzy Soccermom gets busted for hauling the soccer team in the ol' Expedition but I can see some officer measuring a few of these custom rigs I see - I've seen some, the name escapes me at the moment, that basically are just a cut down OTR truck tractor.

Commercial trucking just sux as far as paperwork and regulations too, I expect that there is a little push from the trucking companies to even out the rules when they see some of these barely small enough rigs on the road.

RAyers
May. 31, 2012, 10:40 PM
Y
Here is MSC-150 section 23. I'm understanding this section to be 12 different classifications or purposes of a DOT number. I'm sorry, but I am not finding the part that says you are not required to have a DOT number. Hauling private property may not require Interstate Operating Authority, but it does not mean you do not require a DOT number.





Where in the the section does it REQUIRE a person to register a 10,001# GCVWR?

USDOT does NOT need to exclude OUT in the law. They INCLUDE those needed. So at no point do they need to explicitly state who does not need a DOT #. If one does not meet the letter of the law, then they do not need to register.

And as most 1-ton vehicles now have GVWRs WELL over 10K# e.g. the new F350 dually is 12,000, how is it one does not need to get a DOT # driving off the lot? Good gravy, my farrier would need one for his truck, my buddy would need one to haul his hunting trailer or ski boat (and my buddy is an insurance agent who specializes in auto/commercial coverage).

The ONLY segregating factor is the if the vehicle is being used for some form of commerce, even if you are hauling your own things. As the MCS-150 states, if the private belongings are used in a business then it must be registered. My horses are not used in a business or for any business purposes, e.g. sponsorships etc.

MCS-150 is clear that the OP nor I do NOT need a DOT # for our rigs.

Yes, the states need money but again, I pull right on by multiple weigh stations (My landlord owns a large construction/trucking company so they put mobile weigh stations literally almost right out our driveway on a regular basis) and every time they wave me and any horse trailer out/by.

Smart Feeds, based on your screen name, I suspect you are a self-employed person so, yes, you will have to have a DOT number for your rig as I am sure you move your wares about.

HoofaSchmigetty
Jun. 1, 2012, 06:38 AM
The short answers are YES, YES and YES. Dont forget, you are now required to stop at ALL weigh stations as well. Make certain that you have a fire extinguisher, spare fuses and 3 reflective road triangles as well. In addition, you are REQUIRED to have a current MEDICAL CARD. This is a USDOT approoved physical that is given once every 2 years. Almost forgot...Since you will be driving a commercial vehicle, you must also sign into a random drug testing program as well. Woopsie...almost forgot....COMMERCIAL insurance!!! You can figure on a minimum of TRIPLE what you pay for your typical auto policy.

Welcome to OUR world!!!!!

RAyers
Jun. 1, 2012, 09:26 AM
In an effort to best help the OP and to remove the idea a private citizen needs a DOT number, here is the Maine state requirements:

http://maine.gov/sos/bmv/commercial/farmvehicles.htm



When do I need a DOT number?
You need a DOT number if your truck exceeds 10,000 pounds GVW or GVWR, or has 3 or more axles and is used in commerce.


What constitutes commerce or commercial operation?
For purposes of the CMV regulations, you are in commerce if there is an expectation or possibility of earning money (above reasonable expenses), or receiving other valuable considerations. Competing for prize money at a fair would be considered commerce only if the underlying activity generates income (such as selling animals), or related expenses are taken as an income tax deduction, or if corporate sponsorship is involved. Simply winning a nominal cash prize is not commerce.


Thus, if the OP is using her rig to sell things or to make money in a business venture (such as if she is a trainer, tack store owner etc.), yes she needs a DOT #. If she is like me and simply is going to shows etc. NO, she does not need a DOT #.

Yes, she needs to stop at weigh stations. Yes, she needs flags and flares.

Smart Feeds
Jun. 1, 2012, 11:33 AM
In an effort to best help the OP and to remove the idea a private citizen needs a DOT number, here is the Maine state requirements:

http://maine.gov/sos/bmv/commercial/farmvehicles.htm







Thus, if the OP is using her rig to sell things or to make money in a business venture (such as if she is a trainer, tack store owner etc.), yes she needs a DOT #. If she is like me and simply is going to shows etc. NO, she does not need a DOT #.

Yes, she needs to stop at weigh stations. Yes, she needs flags and flares.

If the OP is purchasing the trailer for the purpose of recreational use such as trail riding and the occasional show, I would agree with your summation. Private or not, both truck and trailer could be subject to biannual State safety inspections (USDOT vehicles only require annual safety inspections).

So long as you or her have reported all of your winnings, the sale of any horse (s), and have not taken any type of tax deduction used to offset these winnings or sales, and are not corporate sponsored.

I don't think I'm the one smoking crack if I'm expected to believe that every private horse owner who competitively shows on a regular basis does not buy and sell horses (at a profit or loss) at some point in time, that they report all of their winnings as ordinary income, and they take no tax deductions.

The best advice to the OP would be to call the DOT Enforcement officers in ME, MA, VT, and even Canada if that is where she wants to compete.



And as most 1-ton vehicles now have GVWRs WELL over 10K# e.g. the new F350 dually is 12,000, how is it one does not need to get a DOT # driving off the lot? Good gravy, my farrier would need one for his truck, my buddy would need one to haul his hunting trailer or ski boat (and my buddy is an insurance agent who specializes in auto/commercial coverage).



According to Maine guidelines, your farrier would need a DOT number if his vehicle had a GVWR > 10,001 lbs, and your buddy would not. Regardless of the state, if your farrier travels across a state line, he would need a USDOT number.

According to KY, they both would if their vehicles had a GVWR > 10,001 lbs.

US D.O.T. NUMBER: Required if you are operating vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating or actual gross weight of 10,001 lbs. or above. In Kentucky, all vehicles plated at 10,000 lbs. and above are considered commercial. Some private farm plated vehicles also need a US D.O.T. number. Farm plated vehicles with the gross vehicle weight rating or actual gross weight of 10,001 lbs. or above operating interstate will need a US D.O.T. number. Intrastate farm plated vehicles with the gross vehicle weight rating or actual gross weight exceeding 26,000 lbs. will also need a US D.O.T. number. To obtain an application, please go to our Forms and Applications page, Section 2 Item H, or call the applicable number:

KY based carriers: (502) 564-4127
Out-of-state carriers: (800) 832-5660 or visit the FMCSA at http://safer.fmcsa.dot.gov

"All" is a pretty inclusive word.

IMO, to make a "blanket" statement such as "to remove the idea a private citizen needs a DOT number" is misleading. Do you also believe a private citizen operating a vehicle pulling a trailer that has a GVWR of > 10,001 lbs and a GCVWR > 26,001 lbs that is not registered as a recreational vehicle is exempt from having a CDL?


As I said before, call your State DOT enforcement officer. I'm not one who would write a ticket and RAyers is not the one who'll get you out of a ticket.

ReSomething
Jun. 1, 2012, 12:24 PM
I'm pretty sure that there are many many people trailering their horses here in KY, racehorse trainers included, that are technically in violation. I don't know if or when the climate in Frankfort will change to encourage across the board compliance.

But in CA, where we had our trucks before, the rules were far more stringent, and enforced. (Apart from, oddly enough, passenger car license renewals and tag renewals. I had a paper license for ten or so years, extended every four, and finally got a line pass to go in and upgrade to a mag stripe, which I had for another ten or so years dutifully being extended. They do NOT do that in KY)

elctrnc
Jun. 1, 2012, 12:30 PM
There is confusion here because state requirements take precedence over federal requirements, where applicable. My state does not require DOT numbers for intrastate, but some states like Kentucky do. Smartfeeds is quoting Kentucky regulations.

Anyway, there is an exemption in the federal regulations. Section 390.3 of the FMCSA regulations states "Exceptions. Unless otherwise specifically provided, the rules in this subchapter do not apply to—.......(3) The occasional transportation of personal property by individuals not for compensation nor in the furtherance of a commercial enterprise."

The FMCSA has issued guidance for this rule and it says:

Question 21: Does the exemption in §390.3(f)(3) for the ‘‘occasional transportation of personal property by individuals not for compensation nor in the furtherance of a commercial enterprise’’ apply to persons who occasionally use CMVs to transport cars, boats, horses, etc., to races, tournaments, shows or similar events, even if prize money is offered at these events?

Guidance: The exemption would apply to this kind of transportation, provided: (1) The underlying activities are not undertaken for profit, i.e., (a) prize money is declared as ordinary income for tax purposes, and (b) the cost of the underlying activities is not deducted as a business expense for tax purposes; and, where relevant; (2) corporate sponsorship is not involved. Drivers must confer with their State of licensure to determine the licensing provisions to which they are subject.
----

So, according to this....and past discussions that I had with the state Department of Transportation....we did not think that we needed a USDOT number even if over 10,000 lbs.

And yes, I printed these regulations out and have them in my truck if I ever get stopped.

PortPonies
Jun. 1, 2012, 12:31 PM
A report back from the fascinating world of the Maine DOT:

I called the DOT for clarification. Yes, I need a commercial plate since truck + trailer are over 10,000 lbs. Yes, I need a USDOT number for same reason. Yes, I should pull into open weigh stations, though he suggested that if there's a long line I should just roll alongside it to ask first if they even want me to go through. Yes, I need flags or flares and a fire extinguisher.

I am not engaged in commerce (horse at home, no boarding, no tax writeoffs, no nothing). However, when I said "horse shows," he pointed out that any shows are assumed to be commerce, even if your winnings are just a ribbon, since it increases the horse's value, your own ability to charge for services, etc. Again, I reminded him that horsey will likely live to a ripe old age on my farm and I do not charge for any services. His suggestion for me and anyone in similar shoes: Never say "horse show" at a weigh station. He instructed me to say "going for a ride with friends in..."

I guess this is like crossing the border to Canada. Never say you're going "to a conference" even if you're just an audience member or a panelist receiving no compensation -- you're ALWAYS going shopping!

He assured me I do not need a log book. Apparently, in terms of vehicle signage, technically I need a sticker on the truck door, but that aspect of the law is slated to be removed for non-commercial haulers and is not being enforced at this time in Maine -- so his suggestion was to just carry the documents with my USDOT number.

When I asked about weigh stations in other states, he said, "Read the signs." Yes, that means that in some states, even the pickup truck alone (5600 lbs, but carrying commercial plates because of the Maine law for combined hauling weight) would have to pull into weigh stations where all commercial vehicles must stop. Interestingly, he noted that Maine weigh stations see a lot of Massachusetts pickup trucks pulling into them unnecessarily, since in MA they apparently have to stop at all weigh stations if they have commercial plates. (Glad I did not encounter this while driving to MA to get my horse trailer last weekend! I was clueless on that front -- but I don't remember passing any open weigh stations either.)

The upshot: I have my commercial plates, my USDOT number is on the way, and I'm off to buy road flags and fire extinguisher (probably a good idea anyway). Then I will print off those nice BMV FAQs one of you posted to wave at the nice weigh station staff when I tell them I'm off for a trail ride.

All this for trailering three hours south to my first weenie Elementary level event in a few weeks. Forget prize money and ribbons -- the real prize will be a smooth trip down and back and staying in the saddle the whole time!

Equibrit
Jun. 1, 2012, 03:13 PM
"NOT FOR HIRE" is the only sticker you need. Nothing else special required.

http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/registration-licensing/registration-usdot.htm
What is a USDOT Number?

Companies that operate commercial vehicles transporting passengers or hauling cargo in interstate commerce must be registered with the FMCSA and must have a USDOT Number. Also, commercial intrastate hazardous materials carriers who haul quantities requiring a safety permit must register for a USDOT Number. The USDOT Number serves as a unique identifier when collecting and monitoring a company's safety information acquired during audits, compliance reviews, crash investigations, and inspections.

New-Entrant Program
All first-time carrier applicants for a USDOT Number will be automatically enrolled in the FMCSA New Entrant Safety Assurance Program. This program requires new entrants to pass a safety audit and maintain acceptable roadside safety performance over an initial 18-month period before they are given permanent registration status. In most cases, companies operating exclusively as brokers or non-vehicle-operating shippers or freight forwarders do not need to obtain a USDOT Number.

Some States Require USDOT Numbers

In select states (list below), all registrants of commercial motor vehicles, even intrastate and non-Motor Carrier registrants, are required to obtain a USDOT Number as a necessary condition for commercial vehicle registration.


Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New York, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Guilherme
Jun. 1, 2012, 05:09 PM
A report back from the fascinating world of the Maine DOT:

I called the DOT for clarification. Yes, I need a commercial plate since truck + trailer are over 10,000 lbs. Yes, I need a USDOT number for same reason. Yes, I should pull into open weigh stations, though he suggested that if there's a long line I should just roll alongside it to ask first if they even want me to go through. Yes, I need flags or flares and a fire extinguisher.

I am not engaged in commerce (horse at home, no boarding, no tax writeoffs, no nothing). However, when I said "horse shows," he pointed out that any shows are assumed to be commerce, even if your winnings are just a ribbon, since it increases the horse's value, your own ability to charge for services, etc. Again, I reminded him that horsey will likely live to a ripe old age on my farm and I do not charge for any services. His suggestion for me and anyone in similar shoes: Never say "horse show" at a weigh station. He instructed me to say "going for a ride with friends in..."

I guess this is like crossing the border to Canada. Never say you're going "to a conference" even if you're just an audience member or a panelist receiving no compensation -- you're ALWAYS going shopping!

He assured me I do not need a log book. Apparently, in terms of vehicle signage, technically I need a sticker on the truck door, but that aspect of the law is slated to be removed for non-commercial haulers and is not being enforced at this time in Maine -- so his suggestion was to just carry the documents with my USDOT number.

When I asked about weigh stations in other states, he said, "Read the signs." Yes, that means that in some states, even the pickup truck alone (5600 lbs, but carrying commercial plates because of the Maine law for combined hauling weight) would have to pull into weigh stations where all commercial vehicles must stop. Interestingly, he noted that Maine weigh stations see a lot of Massachusetts pickup trucks pulling into them unnecessarily, since in MA they apparently have to stop at all weigh stations if they have commercial plates. (Glad I did not encounter this while driving to MA to get my horse trailer last weekend! I was clueless on that front -- but I don't remember passing any open weigh stations either.)

The upshot: I have my commercial plates, my USDOT number is on the way, and I'm off to buy road flags and fire extinguisher (probably a good idea anyway). Then I will print off those nice BMV FAQs one of you posted to wave at the nice weigh station staff when I tell them I'm off for a trail ride.

All this for trailering three hours south to my first weenie Elementary level event in a few weeks. Forget prize money and ribbons -- the real prize will be a smooth trip down and back and staying in the saddle the whole time!

This might be right, but it might be wrong.

Did you ask them for the specific regulatory reference that says this? ME, like any other state, must publish these items.

TN has a booklet that is available at the local DMV (and at the County Clerk's office, where we register annually) that has all the state rules. I'd get the ME version of this booklet and read it before I spent any money.

G.

Equibrit
Jun. 1, 2012, 06:28 PM
Maine regs; http://www.maine.gov/dps/msp/commercial_vehicles/faq.html

Having to register your vehicle on a commercial plate does not mean your vehicle is involved in interstate/intrastate commerce.

"In Maine, all vehicles over 6,000 pounds are registered by weight. This is true whether you are in business or are a private person. Any vehicle registering for a weight more than 6,000 lbs is given a commercial plate. "Commercial" is simply the name of the category of plate.

A pick-up truck can be registered as a passenger car, but then is limited to a weight of 6,000 lbs for vehicle and load. Many larger pick-up trucks weigh more than 6,000 lbs empty. These vehicles must register for a higher weight."


"Do I need a DOT number?

Yes, if you are operating a vehicle in interstate commerce and the vehicle
•has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating or gross vehicle weight or gross combination weight of 10,001 lbs whichever is greater or
•is designed or used to transport more than 8 passengers (including the driver) for compensation or
•is designed or used to transport more than 15 passengers, including the driver and is not used to transport passengers for compensation or
•is used in transporting material found by the Secretary of Transportation to be hazardous.

Yes, if you are operating a vehicle in intrastate (in Maine only) commerce and the vehicle
•has a registered gross weight of 26,001lbs or more or
•is a truck with three or more axles on the powered unit, or
•is a bus for hire that has been issued a Permit for Operation of Motorcoach Intrastate Carrier by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles"

FARM PLATES; http://www.maine.gov/sos/bmv/commercial/farmvehicles.htm