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Author Topic: Do I need a CDL to haul my own stuff?  (Read 2791 times)

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Online lxskllr

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Re: Do I need a CDL to haul my own stuff?
« Reply #20 on: January 05, 2019, 02:01:26 PM »
I wonder if having a CDL could make some things worse? For questionable setups, you play the country farmer routine, and say you don't know better. With a CDL, the assumption could be you're trying to screw the system cause you should know what the rules are.

Offline Southside

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Re: Do I need a CDL to haul my own stuff?
« Reply #21 on: January 05, 2019, 02:20:33 PM »
For questionable setups, you play the country farmer routine, and say you don't know better


That often gets you a paid in full masters degree from the local court house.  
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Offline nativewolf

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Re: Do I need a CDL to haul my own stuff?
« Reply #22 on: January 05, 2019, 02:32:15 PM »
Progressive commercial wrote my noncommercial policy for the 2ton without my CDL and it was cheap. Like $40 a month or so until another truck and higher coverages were added.  I think the 2 trucks and 500k coverage is $1400/yr.  I need to call and add my CDL info soon.  

I took a driving job.  1am monday morning i start hauling rock to georgia/SC.   Im sure ill have all sorts of fresh angst to share.
Glad to hear you'll have a bit more income.  Stay safe night driving.
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Offline Brian w

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Re: Do I need a CDL to haul my own stuff?
« Reply #23 on: January 05, 2019, 04:58:17 PM »
I'm a logger in Ohio started out with a single axle 2 ton truck to haul logs on. At first I never got pulled over. Then we got a new state highway patrol in the area who was pulling over every log truck she passed. Pulled me over on a Monday wrote me a overload ticket . Same cop pulled me over on Tuesday with a lighter load wrote me a ticket for overload and no CDL. I have gotten a CDL since but I have come to realize that they can and will write you a ticket for anything whether you are guilty or not they don't care at all about that. Then it's up to you to prove that they are wrong. Which most people aren't willing to do because it usually cost more to prove that you are innocent than to just pay the ticket and go on. I believe that they know this and count on it makes it easier for them to get their ticket quota filled. I really wish something would be done about it but I doubt that it will because the truck driver is who it's affecting and a lot of the time the next day they are not even in the same state anymore.

Offline charles mann

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Re: Do I need a CDL to haul my own stuff?
« Reply #24 on: January 05, 2019, 05:36:16 PM »
Im in tx too and for many yrs i pulled my 24k gn for personal use. I had been told many times that i needed a cdl even though i wasnt commercial. According to the dps dl offices, it would have been a farmer cdl, meaning writtens, no driving test, no medical or logs. 
For a long time the law wasnt enforced, but it seems a few yrs ago, certain areas, mine for ex. started cracking down on it. Troopers would wait down the road from these equip rental places and when they saw a rig without dot #s, they pulled them over to ck for some form of cdl. If no cdl, either a cdl driver had to get the rig in a reasonable timeframe, or the rig was towed. 
If hauling for personal and dont want that ticket or impound fee IF they catch you, the farmer cdl will come out cheaper in the long run. 
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Offline SawyerTed

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Re: Do I need a CDL to haul my own stuff?
« Reply #25 on: January 05, 2019, 07:04:41 PM »
I've been going through the same decision making and have had questions similar to the original post.

For NC the wording pretty much follows the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's wording on what constitutes a "commercial vehicle."  It boils down to the weight.  Over 10,000 pounds GVWR is a commercial vehicle.  Over 26,000 pounds combined GVWR requires a CDL.  Use of the vehicle as private not for hire doesn't matter.  Weight is the determining factor.  Some exceptions for RVs, farm use and transporting horses occasionally are in place.

Turns out for my business in NC  I have to have a USDOT # but no CDL because my combination is less than 26,000#. Because of weight, NC requires a commercial insurance policy and $750,000 minimum coverage.  My truck and sawmill combo is in the neighborhood of 14,000#.

I have one neighbor who is a DMV officer and one who is a retired colonel from DMV.  Their advice has been invaluable.

I encourage anybody with questions to consult with their state agency that regulates trucking.
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Offline Greyman

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Re: Do I need a CDL to haul my own stuff?
« Reply #26 on: January 05, 2019, 08:36:19 PM »
After looking into my truck specs more closely, and finally catching on to the difference between combined GVWR and GCWR (truck GVWR + trailer GVWR, versus combined rating for the vehicle) and other info, I think I'm ok.  The GVWR on the door jamb says 15,000 lbs.  Therefore, as long as the GVWR of the trailer is 11,000 lbs or less I'll be under the 26,000 lb limit.  That's all the law cares about from what I can tell - the combined GVWR (not the GCWR, which isn't labeled on the truck).  

I assume that at a scale they measure the total combined weight and make sure that's under the combined GVWR, is that correct?  I wouldn't imagine they would have you drop the trailer and weigh truck and trailer separately.

A GCWR is not shown on the truck, but per the 2004 Ford towing guide, it is 26,000 lbs.  The towing capacity of 21,400 lbs I mentioned in the OP was incorrect, it is actually 18,100 lbs for mine, and is just the GCWR minus the empty truck weight.  Towing that much would put it above the 26,001 lb combined GVWR though (15k+18.1k), so that would be a Class A load.

So, I would definitely like to haul more on a trailer but I think I can make it work by putting more on the truck flatbed.  My heaviest item is about 9,000 lbs which is a little above a 11,000 lb GVWR trailer rating.  I would definitely be below the combined GVWR though, so my only risk is if on that one load they made me weigh the trailer by itself.

Sorry for the confusion, but it's been a good discussion and I know it will come up again.

Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: Do I need a CDL to haul my own stuff?
« Reply #27 on: January 05, 2019, 09:13:44 PM »
When classifying a truck, it's the tags on truck and trailer that determine if you are cdl or not. If the single or combo is over 26,000, then you need a cdl, even if the truck and trailer scale less than 26,000 at the time. I think under federal regs, you should be under cdl with 15,000 and 11,000, although I'd find a trailer that was 10,900, just to give yourself a margin.
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Offline Southside

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Re: Do I need a CDL to haul my own stuff?
« Reply #28 on: January 05, 2019, 09:36:05 PM »
A scale is going to weight two things, your gross weight, and the weight of each axle, so you also need to know the weight rating of your axles and not exceed those either, they will weight that at the same time while the truck and trailer are hooked together.  

Trying to understand a part of what you are stating here.  Your heaviest item is 9,000 lbs.  Is that just the piece of equipment?  If so then lets look at the math.  The truck probably weighs in the range of 7,000 lbs depending on the cab configuration etc.  My '06 3500 is around 7,500 lbs with 90 gallons of fuel in the bed tank for reference.  9,000 + 7,000 = 16,000.  What does the trailer alone weigh?  I have a 10 ton, 20' long gooseneck PJ dump trailer that is 8,000 lbs.  So in that case you would gross 24,000 and be under the CDL weight, as long as the two axles on your truck don't weigh 15,001 lbs and neither axle is over the rating for it individually, we have all seen a bumper pull RV behind a half ton pickup with the headlights pointing up at a 45° angle for an example.  Your trailer axles, along with all tires, and wheels will also have a weight rating and you can't exceed those either.  

At 24,000 lbs you have exactly 2,000 lbs to play with for "stuff" that goes along for the ride - oh and don't forget to secure your cargo at each corner and any blades or other accessories with the properly rated and stamped binders and chains.  

I would not say you are playing with fire, but it might be getting dry and warm around ya with this set up.   
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Do I need a CDL to haul my own stuff?
« Reply #29 on: January 06, 2019, 12:58:01 AM »
If you have a 10k and up rated trailer then you need to keep your truck plated below 26k.  That was part of what NY got me on.  

Tennessee is an ag state, we dont even need plates on most personal trailers and lots of stuff is farm so all gvw is put on the power unit and that does not make it CDL.  I had a 38k plate on my 23k truck.  I could be pulling hay in tennessee at 35k with no CDL for instance.  NY said nope. 38k plate makes it a 38k truck, so truck itself required CDL B and over 10k trailer bumped it to CDL A.  Once impounded i had to get a CDL B licensed stranger to drive the truck out for me, they wouldnt release my trailer.  NY looks at the gvwr weight, the registered weight and the actual scaled weight. They use the highest of those 3 numbers to decide what license u need.  I hear PA does too but never had issues there.

If i had a 26k plate and a 7500# car trailer it woulda been a class D rig in NY that day.  
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Offline Kindlinmaker

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Re: Do I need a CDL to haul my own stuff?
« Reply #30 on: January 06, 2019, 02:57:12 AM »
I am going thru this in NY now. I am a resident and have an F550. I have a 6T dump trailer I use to move logs and equipment for personal use only.   The standard F550 max GCVW specifies by Ford is 26,000. I was confused by the regs

Offline Kindlinmaker

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Re: Do I need a CDL to haul my own stuff?
« Reply #31 on: January 06, 2019, 03:15:07 AM »
(Pushed the wrong button - to continue). NY DMV has a help line so I asked them to clarify the rule. Their answer was simple. Truck GVW + trailer GVW = GCVW license requirement. It doesn’t matter what the manufacturer sets as a GCVW. I am in the middle of getting a CDL. 

I will defend the NY troopers a bit.  Before I understood the regs, I blew a trailer tire right before the Thruway toll booth off I84 on a Sunday morning. Trooper helped me change the tire including busting the lugs loose, unloading my tractor to get to the spare, using the loader to lift the dump bed because of a fryed battery. Temp was high 80s and the whole process took over an hour.  Took my license and registration info for his log and never said a word about a CDL. Never lectured me about dry rotted tires that I should have replaced. Wished me a safe trip and I was on my way. That’s the day I decided to stay and retire in the Hudson Valley. 

Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Do I need a CDL to haul my own stuff?
« Reply #32 on: January 06, 2019, 09:29:00 AM »
I've been in the middle of this myself, and although I was legal in Alabama, and legal in Tn, as soon as I crossed state lines I went from state regs to Federal regs, towing an empty gooseneck with an empty pickup truck, and I was pulled over like I was the one of America's Most Wanted, lights on, while the State Trooper escorted to the nearest weigh station, and I was told although I had committed zero moving violations I was going to be there for awhile while the Trooper pulled out the "Multiple Ticket Form."  The tickets were bad, and cascaded to the extreme of not having road flares and reflective triangles, which of course I didn't because those are commercial requirements, and I was completely legal until I crossed the six inches of state line.

Did I mention I got the tickets while completely unloaded?  It all came down to the stickers on the trailer and the truck.

When I went to pay my tickets, I had gotten some of them removed or taken care of, I asked the county clerk how much the damage was because I figured  I needed to go to the bank and get some serious cash.  The clerk pointed to a sign on the wall that said although they don't take personal checks, they did accept business checks.  I replied, "I'm sure you do..."

I am now completely legal now, but it doesn't come cheap.  Within 18 months, I had a state trooper/DOT audit, no problems.  
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Offline Southside

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Re: Do I need a CDL to haul my own stuff?
« Reply #33 on: January 06, 2019, 09:37:45 AM »
You mention the fire extinguisher and triangles, another one that is a favorite is not having spare fuses - yup that can be a ticket.  
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Do I need a CDL to haul my own stuff?
« Reply #34 on: January 06, 2019, 10:02:18 AM »
Ive had lots of very nice trooper encounters and dont mean to paint them all bad, im on their side and am always polite/respectful with them. Its the crook in a badge who is getting a kickback from your $900 tow and $2100 month long storage bill while they "investigate" that you need to be aware of.  Basically pirates preying on trucks.  I landed in the worst case scenario and have withheld most of the ugly details here.  But theyre out there and looking for a nice guy like you to extort.
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Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Do I need a CDL to haul my own stuff?
« Reply #35 on: January 06, 2019, 01:35:48 PM »
You mention the fire extinguisher and triangles, another one that is a favorite is not having spare fuses - yup that can be a ticket.  
Yup, it was, and I got that one too.  
I also had THREE bark chips on my flatbed, it was an Unsecured Load violation, I solved that by putting them into my pocket.
I didn't have the emergency trailer brake cable hooked to the truck frame, but had it hooked to the hook that hooks to the bed frame.  That was an "Out of Service" ticket, I remedied on the spot.

I didn't have an annual DOT inspection certificate for both truck and trailer, that was a $250 ticket.

I didn't have a DOT sign on the door, that was a ticket.

I didn't have a DOT number, that was a ticket.

I din't have a logbook, it was almost a ticket a ticket except I was within 150 air miles of my house.

I did have a medical card, as required by my insurance for my truck, but didn't have it with me, it was in a file folder at home, that was a $250 ticket I was able to clear when I went to the courthouse.

As said, I got a violation for no triangles and another violation for no flares.

I got lots more verbal warnings and finally said, "Hey, I was legal in Alabama, legal in TN, so I didn't know I needed all this as soon as I crossed state lines (Interstate vs Intrastate), so I don't have any of it."

On the ticket it said I had to remedy the violations within two weeks or I would get additional fines of $1,000 per day, if I remember correctly.

I drove home, stopped my life, and got as much taken care of as possible to reduce the mega tickets.  I finally got it all under a thousand bucks.

I also hired a CDL/DOT company who walked me through the whole FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association) process, and paid them some more money to get my files in order.

I also now have to pay federal road taxes because I cross state lines.

Going commercial is not a trivial consideration.  There is a lot to do and the penalties are significant.  

I got my world in order, and passed my audit.

The one phrase I kept hearing through this whole process was "Ignorance is No Excuse."
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Offline terrifictimbersllc

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Re: Do I need a CDL to haul my own stuff?
« Reply #36 on: January 06, 2019, 02:39:44 PM »
Going commercial is not a trivial consideration.  There is a lot to do and the penalties are significant.
Can also say..."crossing a state line is not a trivial consideration. " 

Over 10000 pounds combined GVWR + in business + crossing state line = become subject to federal (USDOT, FMCSA) code.

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Offline Greyman

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Re: Do I need a CDL to haul my own stuff?
« Reply #37 on: January 07, 2019, 02:09:16 AM »
Ugh, I typed this all out yesterday but apparently the interwebs ate my post...

The requirement is below in flowchart format (from the Texas handbook).  I think I have my situation figured out pretty well - I can do what I need to do without a CDL, though one load will be marginal.  I'll be moving up to Idaho over the next few years, by the way - 35-40k of equipment.  Not having a CDL means 4-5 hauling trips instead of 3 with a big trailer but that's not really a problem for me.  Here's my numbers that comply with CDL requirements:
Truck:  15,000 lbs GVWR - 8,500 lbs weight = 6,500 lbs payload capacity
Trailer:  11,000 lbs GVWR trailer - 2490 lbs weight = 8,510 lbs payload capacity   (bumper pull)

The heaviest piece is about 8,800 lbs (pic below), but if I have to I can remove the snowplow which weighs about 1,000 lbs and put it on the truck bed.  That's if the guy I bought it from has equipment to hoist it, which I think he does.   Using a bumper pull allows me to use more of the truck bed and some of the truck's GVWR.  While the truck manufacturer accounts for increased towing capacity with an empty truck, the law does not.

This depends on finding an 11k trailer.  The only one I've found so far is made in Michigan but still looking.  There are quite a few 10.4k trailers around but the 11k gives about 500 lbs more payload which would be handy.  I need a new one anyway as mine is only 6k.  Note that an overweight trailer gets a fine of around $50-$150 and you can keep going (from what I've read, at least up to 1,000 lbs or so), but an overweight truck or over-GVWR combo and you're not going anywhere.

To summarize what I've learned, and has been posted by others - there are two separate things you need to keep in mind:  
1) Combined GVWR (empty or not) - the combined GVWR rating of truck and trailer must be below 26,001 lbs for non-CDL and per flow chart.  Note that if you have a vehicle that can handle it, you can tow more than 10k if you have a truck with a low GVWR.  I don't think you'll find that with a typical truck, it would be a specialty towing vehicle.
2)  Weighing - if you get weighed you must be within the individual GVWR of truck and trailer, and also within the GAWR (axle rating) of both (e.g. 4 axles for a truck with tandem trailer).  Trailers have identical axles so weight distribution could bite you here if you're pushing the maximum.

It sounds like some get hit with #1, others with #2 (literally... lol).  

Also, the lowest GVWR gooseneck I've seen is 14k, so it would be tough if not impossible to find a gooseneck combination that would be non-CDL for any truck these days.  I'm sure that's a huge red flag for the Hwy Patrol.




 






 

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Re: Do I need a CDL to haul my own stuff?
« Reply #38 on: January 07, 2019, 06:24:21 AM »
"Trailer:  11,000 lbs GVWR trailer - 2490 lbs weight = 8,510 lbs payload capacity   (bumper pull)

The heaviest piece is about 8,800 lbs (pic below), but if I have to I can remove the snowplow which weighs about 1,000 lbs and put it on the truck bed."


An old trucker told me (as I was fussing with a calculator trying to maximize trailer capacity) don't forget to factor ~10% of the trailer & load is transferred to the truck if you get the hitch weighted properly.

I don't think you have to pull the blade.

Offline Southside

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Re: Do I need a CDL to haul my own stuff?
« Reply #39 on: January 07, 2019, 07:55:40 AM »
A lot of trailer manufacturers put cheap, junk tires on their trailers. I have found a world of difference running 14 ply trailer tires and keeping them at 100 PSI, especially if you are going to be right at your max load it might prevent roadside issues. 
Franklin buncher and skidder
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Riehl Edger
Woodmaster 725 and 4000 planner and moulder
Enough cows to ensure there is no spare time.


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