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
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.