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DOT cracking down on Mass Highway contractors..

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Oshkosh, Feb 24, 2009.

  1. Oshkosh

    Oshkosh PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,655

    A buddy emailed me and told me his Oshkosh(My old truck) was written up for improper bumper height,no inspection sticker etc along with three other trucks from the same pit.Come to find out the DOT cop then moved to another pit and started in there...
    The next day following the storm my buddy took the blades off and headed to the local inspection station(10miles away) The same cop was doing a detail for a pothole crew and he got another citation in the mail.Thats two moving violations within a couple days,goes on his insurance.
    I guess this is just another form of revenue in a poor economy....
    The Oshkosh and its twin will be put up for sale.

    from backup disc 2000.jpg
  2. shoeman68

    shoeman68 Member
    Messages: 67


    That sucks, sorry to hear about your buddy. I'd just like to warn all Mass. plow guys that they will probably be out in force this Spring. As you said, tax revenue is way down and more citations are probably coming.
    In case anyone didnt know yet, Mass. requires all trucks over 10,000gvw to be state and federally inspected at the same time now. You cannot get away with just your regular inspection of $29.00. The shops that inspect your truck are charging $129.00 and up now for inspections. Additionally, all trailers over 3000gvw are to be inspected at the same price.
    It is a huge expense now, but if you do get stopped you can be written up for thousands$$$ in fines and they may take your truck or trailer out of service. My vehicles are safe and not junk boxes and they have nabbed me and written me up for rediculous little violations (one marker light out, one bolt missing from my license plate)
    Why do I live here again??????
    Good Luck to all Mass Truck/PLow guys, hope you dodge the bullets when they fly!
  3. Kenyou

    Kenyou Senior Member
    Messages: 375

    Send a copy of all the tickets with an explanation to Congress. They are the ones that caused all the countries problems in the first place.
  4. RepoMan207

    RepoMan207 PlowSite Fanatic
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,039

    Get pre paid legal. It will save you alot of green backs and headaches.
  5. wirenut

    wirenut Senior Member
    from nh
    Messages: 529

    i thought prepaid legal was a scam.....
  6. ColliganLands

    ColliganLands PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,854

    probably a rookie having a slow day so he decided to go around and bust balls
    ive never seen a MSP truck team (dot) pulling over anything with a plow on it ever
  7. dcl25

    dcl25 Member
    from ma
    Messages: 38

    I have dealt with dot they are real pita. I have been on scales truck gone through twice
    with no issues. There just trying to collect money for the good old mass i also heard dot is going to crack down on landscaper this year:gunsfiring:
  8. unimogr

    unimogr Senior Member
    Messages: 236


    The cop thinking the owner installed a Skyjacker 6" lift kit and put it over?

    If anything I'd guess the truck sits a bit lower than when it was new. That's scary because to fight it you would need proof from the manufacturer what the original height was and even then the powers may say too bad it's too high. Then what do you do. Build a lawn planter?
  9. Trucks are one thing, but this whole deal regarding trailers has me a bit concerned. I think the hook in the definition is "used in commerce" which I my opinion means transporting goods. But you guys with your landscape trailers (and me with my workboats on trailers) are going to have to figure out if we now need expensive inspections to avoid citations. Hrm.
  10. dirt digger

    dirt digger Senior Member
    Messages: 619

    wait...so the cop went into his yard and wrote him a ticket?
  11. ColliganLands

    ColliganLands PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,854

    thats what it says.. but in this case he had the truck parked at the MA Highway yard (pit) so its state property and the MSP(mass state police) who are the dot here can come and go as they please
  12. RepoMan207

    RepoMan207 PlowSite Fanatic
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,039

    Not sure where your getting your information, but that is not even close to true. I have used them coast to coast. Anything from traffic tickets, Wills, Contracts.....they even do criminal. I hadn't renewed my membership in almost a year when I got popped for log falsification. Knowing I had to go it alone on that one, I called to renew for any future occurrences a week later. They still covered me for that incident even though I wasn't a current member, the lawyer actually got it thrown out too.

    Can you imagine the hassle of going to court 2 - 3 times to resolve a simple issue.....3k miles away? Forget cross country, try cross county, it's still a damn hassle. Simple or not, it still effects your license, insurance, DOT rating, an ultimately your lively hood or business. Most of us would just take the hit, guilty or not & pay the fine to save on the time, wasted income, an not to mention the fact of lawyers fees. We all know 9 time out of 10 you loose without a lawyer to begin with. They bank on that fact.

    DOT cops are the worst as we all know. They have a whole arsenal of BS laws which most of the time contradict one another. They make them up as they go an throw a statued number in there to make it look official. I once was written up for having two different type steer tires....While investigating this with my safety officer a few weeks later, we discovered not only was there no law for this, but the DOT guy wrote a statue number for urinating in public! WTF is that, There more crocked then guys they lock up!

    I'm no expert, & I don't live in MA, but it seems reasonable to me that a DOT contracted vehicle is subject to inspection when they feel fit to do so. Not to mention it is in there best interest's to do so when the equipment is idle an not in service when they need it the most. That's not to say it's not a revenue booster either, I'm sure shoeman68 hit the nail on the head there.

    The Towns, State Police, an Sheriff's Offices I have signed on with have it in there by laws (regulations) that they may inspect at will any property and or equipment that is on a Police rotation list. I have never seen one done mind you, other then on initiation, but like Prego; it's in there.
  13. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Stat cops can come and go as they please but they CANNOT issue citations like that for a vehicle that is not currently being operated on the roads of the commonwealth. (double check me with the State police headquarters- it may be a while before I talk to my buddy on the State DOT team). That's like a cop issuing tickets for vehicles in a parking lot or in your driveway.
    Bumper height is based on original manufacturer- talk to the DOT for the regs (get them in writing) and fight it. Both citations- he'll win the 2nd one hands down- since he was driving to get it inspected.
  14. Oshkosh

    Oshkosh PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,655

    Not a Rookie

    Nope not a rookie and no stranger to Oshkosh trucks as The officers Dad owned the sister to this very truck(Haynes).
    As far as is this the first time this has happened with Mass Highway? No it isnt ,back in the late 80's the DOT pulled over a conga line on I believe it was Rt495 (northern end) and put three trucks out of service and wrote tickets for several others...A couple phone calls where made after the contractors parked their trucks and they where allowed to plow again on an emergency basis...
  15. Mysticlandscape

    Mysticlandscape Senior Member
    Messages: 689

    I bet I know who it was, what yard was the truck parked at...
  16. dirt digger

    dirt digger Senior Member
    Messages: 619

    ahh that makes more sense
  17. RepoMan207

    RepoMan207 PlowSite Fanatic
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,039

    Exactly! It is intended for use, hence why it is there.

    If it were a Tractor Trailer, or whatever else just parked somewhere..That's a whole other ball game entirely.
  18. procut1

    procut1 Senior Member
    Messages: 380

    Whereas I dont think DOT is all bad. I do think the officers should use more discretion in who they target and how they handle it.

    State contractors should not be exempt from the laws. But I would like to see a different approach. I would rather see the DOT enforcement guys schedule a meeting in the yard, inspect the trucks, and work WITH the owners to get them to comply. Save the tickets and fines for the guys who refuse.

    There should be an element of discretion and courtesy in some cases.

    I am not saying unsafe trucks should be allowed on the road, but with the service they are performing, there should be a little more discretion, and more of a "teach and assist" approach from the officers.
  19. RepoMan207

    RepoMan207 PlowSite Fanatic
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,039

    Will Peter Pan come too? C'mon man, you have better chance of winning the lottery. There out there for a reason....it sure the hell isn't safety. There not thinking "gee, I am so glad I got this guy on X, Y, & Z....These roads will be safer now that he has to fix those things" after handing you a wad of tickets. It's more like "I can't wait to brag to the guys how much I nailed this guy for". Who cares if the guys bumper is too high...I have hauled countless trailers without the rear bumper gaurd, an not once got pinched for it, an let me tell ya, I have the worst luck in the world.

    Chances are, someone got hurt with a DOT contracted plow truck that shouldn't have been on the road, an now there trying to reduce how much mud gets thrown there way. Or maybe too many folks complaing how much there trucks are worst then theres, but there the ones getting all the tickets. Who know, but like I said, who cares if the guys bumper is too high, he has a sander an plow, like anything is going under that rig!
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2009
  20. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Nope- The Mass DOT is a portion of the State Police (not all of them are DOT) and none of the brag to the other officers- some of them are hard for no good reason.
    If he went into that yard with the intention of checking trucks he was told to do so. Unless laws have changed without grandfathering (unlikely, but in this state...) bumper height is a moot point, like writing a warning so they can write a seatbelt ticket in years past.

    Realistically speaking, in my experience plow vehicles in a storm are treated like emergency vehicles by most officers around me, city, state and most private (unless they are morons and act accordingly...).
    The fact a truck is in a pit "to be used" doesn't mean it IS being used. Unless the state requires all vehicles on state property to be properly registered and insured (in which case they state would have to have informed the contractors at the time of contract signing) the DOT has little grounds since the truck was not IN USE at the time of citation.

    I had an issue with an inspection station last year about my exhaust. He referred me to the DOT- when I asked the DOT they said exactly what I said to the inspection guy, who promptly passed me on my return (and who may have received a call from the DOT about the issue in between, I don't know).
    Unfortunately if you ask the same question to 6 different officers you will get multiple different answers, regardless of the legality and correctness of any of the answers.