The facts about hauling tractors and DOT regs.

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The facts about hauling tractors and DOT regs.

Postby sgtbull » Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:32 pm

I wrote this in response to commentary about hauling tractors/equipment to shows and the required equipment on another forum. As it seems to be a frequent point of contention with much misinformation being put out. I thought I'd share it here too... Of course, most folks hauling cubs won't even be close to the 10,000 lb limit discussed below, but many of us have other larger tractors.. or in Barnyard's case... enough cubs to easily TOTAL over 10,000 lbs.. :) ...


Too many folks read the sections which describe the motor carrier safety regulations as far as equipment is concerned, but miss the parts that explain WHO is subject to those regulations..

Let me try to put this to rest.

First of all, I am a 26 yr. M/Sgt with the Illinois State Police. I was, at one time, a supervisor for a platoon of CVEO's (commercial vehicle enforcement officers) which is the equivilant to any DOT officer in any state. They work under the same universal FEDERAL guidelines as all commercial vehicle officers do. I also oversaw two scale houses and one portable scale.
I have been restoring and hauling tractors for nearly 30 yrs. I don't want to get crossways with my superiors by doing anything that would be considered illegal, so I've done a fair amount of research on this topic.

Okay... FEDERAL motor carrier safety regulations ONLY apply to units that BOTH

1. weigh over 10,000lbs singly or in combination

AND

2. are in "commerce" (hence the term, "COMMERCIAL" motor vehicle regulations)

SO.. if you are hauling your H to a local show, even it it exceeds 10K in weight, as long as you are not being compensated for your efforts, you are not subject to MCS regulations.
"Compensated" includes any prize moneys or other payments received and would even include being traded something.. eg, if you have a steam engine and the club is giving you coal for your boiler in return for your bringing your engine to their show, as an example.
You still have to comply with applicable license classifications as far as the weight is concerned, both on your DL and registration, but NO federal statutes concerning tie down points or numbers, chain strength, strap condition etc are applicaable.
YOUR state may have their own statues that do apply, and they MAY have adopted federal regs in that pursuit, but few states have.
In Illinois, the ONLY sections that apply to folks like me, hauling my Farmall H or John Deere B anywhere in this state or any other, including on the interstate, are state statutes. Those include lighting, brake, tire, fender, coupling, dimensional, registration and state inspection sections. The only section that really applies to my loading practices is:

(625 ILCS 5/15-109) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 15-109)
Sec. 15-109. Spilling loads on highways prohibited. (a) No vehicle shall be driven or moved on any highway unless such vehicle is so constructed or loaded as to prevent any of its load from dropping, shifting, leaking or otherwise escaping therefrom, except that sand may be dropped for the purpose of securing traction, or water or other substance may be sprinkled on a roadway in cleaning or maintaining such roadway.
(b) No person shall operate on any highway any vehicle with any load unless said load and any covering thereon is securely fastened so as to prevent said covering or load from becoming loose, detached, or in any manner a hazard to other users of the highway.

In other words, you don't get in trouble unless you spill a load...

Most states are similar in regulation.
Just remember.. if you are stopped by an officer, you are NOT in commerce.. if you indicate you are, AND your rig weighs more than 10K, THEN you'd better have your equipment and paperwork in order.

That being said, SAFETY should always be your first concern, and by using federal laws as guidelines, you will help indemnify yourself and protect others.... But there is no law that will replace good common sense in hauling things safely.
I've never met a tractor I didn't like....but I have found some that were greatly annoying....
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Re: The facts about hauling tractors and DOT regs.

Postby Don McCombs » Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:40 pm

Kelley,

I think I know what you mean by "weigh over 10,000lbs singly or in combination", but could you clarify it a little further? Thanks.
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Re: The facts about hauling tractors and DOT regs.

Postby sgtbull » Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:48 pm

Don,
By singly, or in combination, I mean either the weight of a single unit (such as a flat bed truck with load) or the combined weight of the power unit and trailer, eg. your pick-up truck and loaded trailer's actual curb-side weight.
I've never met a tractor I didn't like....but I have found some that were greatly annoying....
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Re: The facts about hauling tractors and DOT regs.

Postby Don McCombs » Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:53 pm

That's what I thought you meant. Thank you.
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Re: The facts about hauling tractors and DOT regs.

Postby lazyuniondriver » Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:57 pm

Very good write up, especially the last paragraph.

In my 2 plus million miles under DOT scrutiny let me add the most obvious violations which in many instances you have control over will be what gets you stopped in most cases.

Lights out or missing... Very obvious.

Insecure load, loose or lack of chains and or straps.... Obvious.

Bad tires, tread missing or thin to win.... Another flag.

And poor placcarding which I don't think we need to worry about unless you have a large portable fuel tank.

But always remember unsafe equipment pulled on any public road is under scrutiny of any law enforcement officer that cares to enforce the law, not just heavy haulers.
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Re: The facts about hauling tractors and DOT regs.

Postby Former Member » Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:00 pm

OK, hypothetical questions.
(I know the answers from experience, what would you do as an officer if you pulled me over for that reason?)

In my state, non-commercial trailers of any size, need not be registered. what if i travel to your/another state?

Also, during day time hours, I am not required to have lights on my trailer. ??

my cub is secure, but have a pile of implement pieces/parts in a pile, that will not move unless the trailer is overturned?
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Re: The facts about hauling tractors and DOT regs.

Postby ricky racer » Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:05 pm

sgtbull wrote:(625 ILCS 5/15-109) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 15-109)
Sec. 15-109. Spilling loads on highways prohibited. (a) No vehicle shall be driven or moved on any highway unless such vehicle is so constructed or loaded as to prevent any of its load from dropping, shifting, leaking or otherwise escaping therefrom....


Man, I guess that means that I can't haul any of my tractors. I don't think I own anything that doesn't leak something!!! :lol: :lol:
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Re: The facts about hauling tractors and DOT regs.

Postby Donegal Cub » Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:20 pm

Very good post. Transport regulations in Ireland are very strict also. If your hauling rig is not in perfect order, DO not take it out on a public road, as you are putting lives at risk. Oh and Ricky I like your deadbeat sense of humour.
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Re: The facts about hauling tractors and DOT regs.

Postby sgtbull » Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:46 pm

Dale Shaw wrote:OK, hypothetical questions.
(I know the answers from experience, what would you do as an officer if you pulled me over for that reason?)

In my state, non-commercial trailers of any size, need not be registered. what if i travel to your/another state?

Also, during day time hours, I am not required to have lights on my trailer. ??

my cub is secure, but have a pile of implement pieces/parts in a pile, that will not move unless the trailer is overturned?


Well Dale, I've encountered a few states, (Mi, Ky, Tn and others) that don't require their trailers under a certain size in some cases, or at all in others, to be registered. The usual instance is that the trailer obstructs the power unit and the officer does not know the base state. The basic rule, in most states and specifically Illinois, is that there must be registration on the trailer, so the stop would be for investigation of no valid registration. Upon the officer being satisfied that the trailer is properly titled in a state that doesn't require registration, the stop is over and driver released. If there are indicators that the trailer may be stolen, absent finding a VIN to inquire on, (often missing on home made trailers or modified commercially produced trailers ) the trailer MAY be impounded pending ownership identification. That very rarely happens and in the instances I've known of, the trailers were in fact stolen.
Bottom Line.... If you are from a state that does not require registration, its best to carry a PHOTOCOPY of your title. Actual titles are best locked up somewhere secure.. not your glovebox.

Secondly, and I can only speak for Illinois, trailer lights are NOT required if the power unit's lights are visible... however that exemption only applies to tail lights.. not turn signals and brake lights! (really a stupid exemption as they are virtually always integrated together.) There is no requirement for trailer lights in daytime driving, unless visibility is less than 1000 feet. (again, this is IL law.. ck your own state statutes)

(625 ILCS 5/12-201) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 12-201)
Sec. 12-201. When lighted lamps are required.
(a) When operated upon any highway in this State, every motorcycle shall at all times exhibit at least one lighted lamp, showing a white light visible for at least 500 feet in the direction the motorcycle is proceeding. However, in lieu of such lighted lamp, a motorcycle may be equipped with and use a means of modulating the upper beam of the head lamp between high and a lower brightness. No such head lamp shall be modulated, except to otherwise comply with this Code, during times when lighted lamps are required for other motor vehicles.
(b) All other motor vehicles shall exhibit at least 2 lighted head lamps, with at least one on each side of the front of the vehicle, which satisfy United States Department of Transportation requirements, showing white lights, including that emitted by high intensity discharge (HID) lamps, or lights of a yellow or amber tint, during the period from sunset to sunrise, at times when rain, snow, fog, or other atmospheric conditions require the use of windshield wipers, and at any other times when, due to insufficient light or unfavorable atmospheric conditions, persons and vehicles on the highway are not clearly discernible at a distance of 1000 feet. Parking lamps may be used in addition to but not in lieu of such head lamps. Every motor vehicle, trailer, or semi-trailer shall also exhibit at least 2 lighted lamps, commonly known as tail lamps, which shall be mounted on the left rear and right rear of the vehicle so as to throw a red light visible for at least 500 feet in the reverse direction, except that a truck tractor or road tractor manufactured before January 1, 1968 and all motorcycles need be equipped with only one such tail lamp.
(c) Either a tail lamp or a separate lamp shall be so constructed and placed as to illuminate with a white light a rear registration plate when required and render it clearly legible from a distance of 50 feet to the rear. Any tail lamp or tail lamps, together with any separate lamp or lamps for illuminating a rear registration plate, shall be so wired as to be lighted whenever the head lamps or auxiliary driving lamps are lighted.

Finally, regarding a pile o' parts.... most states have a catchall section that gives an officer a bit of discretion with unusual circumstances...

It is referred to as "unsafe equipment" and again it is a section not often used as it is quite subjective...In reference to items piled on the trailer, the officer would have to be able to convince the court that the items were in imminent danger of falling off and endangering other drivers... again, a subjective observation, but not an irrefutable one.

That Illinois section (other states probably have similar sections) is;


(625 ILCS 5/12-101) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 12-101)
Sec. 12-101. Scope and effect of equipment requirements. (a) It is unlawful for any person to drive or move or for the owner to cause or knowingly permit to be driven or moved on any highway any vehicle or combination of vehicles which is in such unsafe condition as to endanger any person or property, or which does not contain those parts or is not at all times equipped with such lamps and other equipment in proper condition and adjustment as required in this Chapter 12, or which is equipped in any manner in violation of this Code, or for any person to do any act forbidden or fail to perform any act required under this Chapter 12.
I've never met a tractor I didn't like....but I have found some that were greatly annoying....
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Re: The facts about hauling tractors and DOT regs.

Postby Former Member » Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:58 pm

Thank you Kelley

I have often been asked how i get by without a tag and title. I have been stopped in about every state I travel with my trailer. I have never been issued a citation in the million miles plus that I drove truck, or since hanging up my keys 10 yrs ago.

I still keep my CDL valid for nostalgia's sake. :big afro:
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Re: The facts about hauling tractors and DOT regs.

Postby Gator809 » Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:27 pm

Ok a question going further on this

"Okay... FEDERAL motor carrier safety regulations ONLY apply to units that BOTH

1. weigh over 10,000lbs singly or in combination "

I have a 2000 f-250 with a GVWR of 10,000 and GCWR of 20,000. I pull a trailer with a weight rating of 10,000. So how do I fall within the federal statutes. My truck/trailer/cub combo easily breaks 10,000. ( Diesel crewcab and a heavy duty trailer with brakes on both axles help).

From my thinking as long as the truck does not gross over 10,000, and the trailer does not gross over 10,000 keeping my gross combined weight under 20,000, and I'm not hauling commercially or for compensation. And as long as I'm legal for lights and load being restrained/tied down.

Would this be ok legally?

Thanks

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Re: The facts about hauling tractors and DOT regs.

Postby redfin » Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:33 pm

Beautiful post Kelley , Thanks for your help in clearing a bit of this up for us.
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Re: The facts about hauling tractors and DOT regs.

Postby Chris D » Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:49 pm

Dale just how do you get by without a title and tag? Is it something just done in your state where you can squeeze by the guidelines?
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Re: The facts about hauling tractors and DOT regs.

Postby Former Member » Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:08 pm

No Chris, my "hypothetical" is as Kelley explained it. Once they see I am from TN, and I explain that I do not have to register it there, and my truck and DL are from TN, We start talking about my cubs and how their Grandpa had one when they were a kid. :bellylaugh: :bellylaugh: :bellylaugh:
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Re: The facts about hauling tractors and DOT regs.

Postby Super A » Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:12 pm

Dale Shaw wrote:No Chris, my "hypothetical" is as Kelley explained it. Once they see I am from TN, and I explain that I do not have to register it there, and my truck and DL are from TN, We start talking about my cubs and how their Grandpa had one when they were a kid. :bellylaugh: :bellylaugh: :bellylaugh:


I think it's still this way, but in NC you don't have to (or at least didn't used to have to) register trailers if they are for farm use.
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