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DOT # questions

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by StonewallFarms, Nov 18, 2009.

  1. StonewallFarms

    StonewallFarms Member
    Messages: 73

    I have just recently bought a truck which i have had to register commercially in Mass. I have never had any personal experience with commercial vehicles. Does anyone know when exactly i need a DOT number for my truck. I see plenty of commercial trucks with them on and some with out. It is my understanding that I only need a DOT number if i am doing interstate transit with my vehicle. If I am only doing intrastate I dont. I have emailed the mass registry and never have gotten a solid response. Thanks Guys

  2. RepoMan207

    RepoMan207 PlowSite Fanatic
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,031

    First step is to see if any of your vehicles qualify as a "commercial vehicle" under Dot's guidelines.

    Do any of your vehicles have a vehicle or combination (truck & trailer) weight rating greater then 10,001 lbs THAT will be crossing state lines? Keep in mind, you can travel around Mass with the trailer, but to travel outside of the state with it, you need to account for the gross vehicle & trailer weight together.


    If your equipment qualifies as a commercial vehicle under there standards, then you need to run through this to see what forms and level of DOT regulations you need to file for if any. http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/registration-licensing/gettingstarted/guide0.10.htm

  3. redman6565

    redman6565 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,411

    we only travel intrastate as well, and need a US DOT #. so i'd double check or go to the DMV and ask.
  4. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    That is correct.
  5. rb8484

    rb8484 Senior Member
    Messages: 419

    In Michigan, It dont matter if your inter or intrastate, we need DOT numbers. They just changed it 2 years ago here. 2 years ago you had to be registered and last year you had to have the numbers on your truck.
  6. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Times two.... Laws vary state to state so make sure you check the ones that pertain to your state. Don't take advice from people from other states who think just cause they don't have to have it, that nobody does.....
  7. redman6565

    redman6565 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,411

    well i guess, for starters what kind of truck? you say you had to register it commercially so i'm thinking a small dump body or a heavy 1-ton truck, is that correct?
  8. stroker79

    stroker79 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,802

    We don't need them here so you shouldn't either! Lol

    But like was said there are federal guidelines and then the state level guidelines. You have to meet the state guidelines.
  9. RepoMan207

    RepoMan207 PlowSite Fanatic
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,031

    I'm hoping that was a blanket statement. :rolleyes:

    Like I said, go to http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/registratio.../guide0.10.htm, it will determine what you need both in State & Federally. MA is one of those States that also has intrastate DOT numbers, it just depends on your answers to those questions which level of guidelines your held to.
  10. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,434

  11. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    Linky no Worky

    Nope :eek:
  12. millsaps118

    millsaps118 Senior Member
    Messages: 691

    In MN we need to display a USDOT# if the GVWR of the power unit (tow vehicle) exceeds 10,000lbs. IE. GM 3500 = 11,400lbs -v- 2500HD = 9,200lbs and you are working in commerce (for hire).

    If your in-combination exceeding 26,000lbs then you also need it and you have to upgrade your license for the appropriate weight rating.

    Contact the motor vehicle department and ask them what is required for your state, they should be able to tell you right over the phone.
  13. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,434

    Better check again.

    If your tow vehicle and\or combination of tow vehicle\trailer exceed 10,001#, you need a USDOT.
  14. RepoMan207

    RepoMan207 PlowSite Fanatic
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,031

  15. millsaps118

    millsaps118 Senior Member
    Messages: 691

    Not true...I get stopped by these guys at least 6x/season and I frequently have to go thru a weight station on a regular basis for inspection when it's open.

    If the power unit ALONE has a GVWR exceeding 10,000lbs you have to display a USDOT# , COMPANY NAME, CITY of where the business works out of, and a DOT health card..., THATS it.

    If your power unit has a GVWR of LESS then 10,000lbs and you are in combination (truck/trailer) of over 10,000lbs you are NOT required to have a USDOT#, but you still are required to have NAME & CITY displayed and have a valid DOT Health card.

    My truck has a GVWR of 9200lbs and trailer has a GVWR of 7,000lbs. That puts me well over 10,001lbs. I am NOT required to have a USDOT#. I have asked state troopers as well as DOT inspectors every time I have been stopped for inspection, and all say Nope don't need one. But.......If I use my 1ton Chev that has a GVWR of 11,400lbs I need it displayed with name,city, and have my health card, regardless if I'm towing something or just driving the truck by it self.

    In any case, sense this topic is so vague and confusing, I have a USDOT for both my work trucks even though I am only required to only have one on the 1T.

    http://www.dot.state.mn.us/cvo/faqs.html#number . Check out the FAQ, "Do I need a DOT #" This says nothing about Combination weight, it just says truck or truck-tractor.

    Here's the actual FACT SHEET specifically for "landscapers" http://www.dot.state.mn.us/cvo/factsheets/landscapers.pdf but it does not say anything pertaining to USDOT requirements.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2009
  16. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,434

    OK, and I agree, it is confusing.

    Not sure where it is and why it would be different, but as I understand it for MI, if you have a vehicle of 10,001 or combo of over 10,001 all the rules apply--USDOT, med card, inspection, chauffer license, etc.

    Must be a state by state reg, not a federal. That's what I was going by based on the map.
  17. Brad Ent

    Brad Ent Junior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 28

    You have to find out what MA requires.
    State regulations can supersede DOT requirements.
    In addition, make sure your trailers are registered for commercial use.
  18. millsaps118

    millsaps118 Senior Member
    Messages: 691

    Yep...very confusing for sure, to many "gray" areas to figure out. I learned the hard way a few years back when I got stopped. Luckily no fines just warnings.

    This issue is so confusing, here in MN, that a lot of the DOT inspectors don't even know what is right/wrong. This June I got stopped for allegedly not obeying the weight scale sign. Long story short.....I passed the weight station without entering the scales and an inspector chased me down. Slapped me with a fine! I called BS and went to court and argued it to the prosecuting county attorney. He agreed with me that the sign was "vague & confusing" and dismissed the ticket. I still had to pay a $50 admin fee, but still cheaper then my comm'l insurance premiums going up (citation was considered a moving violation) and no points on my driving record.

    Funny side note...I've been stopped by these guys so many times that we all go on a first name basis now. It has gotten to the point that when they see me driving around town they just waive as they drive by, and when I have to go into the scale they let me drive right thru.

    Good advice...Everyone needs to check with their own state DOT requirements, they ALL vary.

    I might be wrong but..., I don't think any State law can trump Federal, although each state can have there own rules/regs (Statutes) as an addendum/or is enforceable with Federal law. This is where all the confusion starts.:dizzy::dizzy:
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2009
  19. RepoMan207

    RepoMan207 PlowSite Fanatic
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,031

    I think I said it best on another forum....

  20. TommyMac

    TommyMac Senior Member
    Messages: 530

    I'll give you guy's an example how F@%$#! the DOT is in the state of Mass.... 3 yrs ago January I was running a combo for Mass-Highway doing my job salting my route, then this ass clown decided to show off to his girl friend, so he proceed's to try & drift his 4x4 Explorer and of course the ****** can't handle it & come's shooting straight across 4 lanes of traffic right in front of me, I slam on my brakes & miss him & so did everyone else....thank god.... I pull over to see if they were alright & call 911 the 17 yr old kid was alright his girl had a broken arm & cuts.... But not 5 minutes later after I called it in who show's up "CAPTAIN BALL BUSTA" I see him get out, he looks over my truck & comes over & ask's to see my license & physical card.....He doesn't give a damn or ask about the girl with a broken arm & cut on the head....Take in mind that it's about 15* out & snowing like hell & I cut my hand trying to open the door's....I coudn't of said what the girl said any better " ARE YOU F@%$#!&* KIDDING ME" Thank God the ambulance showed up because I was going to kill him...Got my hand taped up, go to get in my truck & there he is again, so I give him them, he right's me a ticket for not having the license plate visible.... I was pissed to say the least....