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Old 05-30-2012, 10:45 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by lynn boyd View Post
This gets posted on a lot of websites involving trailers of some type. Looks like over half the states allow doubles however not all info on this particular website is correct from what others say and have posted their state regs.

My state size and weight codes says truck-tractor can pull another semi trailer. DPS has allowed TTs pulling a trailer till the state legislature changes wording in our size and weight codes. Who knows how long that will take or how they reword the code.

The towing world website as much RV related web info involving vehicles size and weights have it wrong and are calling a three vehicle combination a tripple tow when in fact a three vehicle combination is a truck/semi trailer/trailer or simply a truck pulling two trailers (doubles) or double tow.
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Old 05-31-2012, 11:30 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by 3665RE View Post
Hi

Don’t confuse the commercial vehicle with the non-commercial vehicle.

...
I am unaware of any state that allows the double tow for non-commercial vehicles.

I agree I see some people pulling double trailers with their fifth wheel RV’s. The fact that some people are doing double tow trailers for their RV’s doesn’t make it legal.

3665RE
I'm not the one that's confused big browns trucks are easy to distinguish from little white 5th wheels with boats and golf carts

as posted, many states allow it... and Texas certainly does as I researched it...
BUT, in my case, the other limitations like 60' total length or under 26,000 lbs put me over the limit, so I didn't do it...
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Old 05-31-2012, 06:53 PM   #17
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Still confused

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Originally Posted by JohnBoyToo View Post
I'm not the one that's confused big browns trucks are easy to distinguish from little white 5th wheels with boats and golf carts

as posted, many states allow it... and Texas certainly does as I researched it...
BUT, in my case, the other limitations like 60' total length or under 26,000 lbs put me over the limit, so I didn't do it...
As you stated your length limitation makes your double tow illegal. The Federal regulation is first trailer has to be the Semi type of trailer (5th wheel)the second trailer can be any approved hitch type, have brakes on all wheels and neither trailer can be over 28 ft long. Most states have adopted this into their non-commercial regulations as well. Some states have prohibited the double tow for non-commercial vehicles.

The 26,000 lb reference is only a weight to change the “class” of CDL a commercial driver is required to have and the number is 26,001 lbs. An owner driving a 18-wheeler weighing 80,000 lbs is not required to have a CDL provided he owns the tractor, trailer, cargo and they are all for his / her personal use.

These regulations are Federal in nature and apply to the Interstate Highway system and the Federal Highway system. Federal Highy system is a fancy way to say the access roads to the Interstate come under the same regulations and are eligible for Federal funding.

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Old 07-11-2012, 05:22 AM   #18
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It seems like many LEO's don't know the laws in thier own states. Several years ago during a multi state move we towed a 17.6 bass boat (3500lbs) behind a double axle HD flatbed utility trailer, behind a Crewcab Dually 4x4. We towed the rig accross three states. Before making the trip I called state highway patrol offices in all three states we were traveling through and was given the green light by all agencies. I called our insurance agent, and there were no objections from them as long as there were no objections from the states. We prepped the trailers by installing electric brakes on all axles. The utility trailer had a 10K GVW, and the hitch mount was rated at 20K, so there was no probelm with weight capicity of the truck or the front trailer. We used a class V weight distribution hitch so we could implement a dual cam sway control on the front trailer. Our truck had a 15K class V reciever. We installed electric break-away switches on both trailers. All lights were operational, and we installed extra HD safety chains on both. The utility trailer was loaded to a gross weight of 8K so that the boat would be the lighter of the two.The trip was sort of uneventful. We had one panic stop when a driver pulled out of the emergency lane right in front of us on I-285 in Atlanta. The whole rig stopped very quickly and straight as an arrow. The trailer and the boat stayed right behind the tow vehicle, and there was zero sway. We traveled 400 miles though three states and 200 miles of it on mountain highways. Near the end of our trip the DOT stopped us. They said that they thought we were a commercial vehicle, and were disappointed when I produced the registration and they realized that it was a private vehicle. I have no idea why they would think that we were commercial, since we were running a crewcab pickup with a tonneu cover on the back, a flatbed trailer with a large dog house, riding mower, and some assorted farm equipment. Then of course a bass boat with a canoe tied on top of it. We looked more like the Beverly Hillbillies than anything commercial. Either way, DOT only has jurisdiction over commercial vehicles, so they could not do anything except hold us and call the highway patrol. The DOT inspectors called the Highway Patrol, and when the trooper arrived, he asked what the problem was. He asked me if I was running brakes on all axles. When I answered yes, he inspected the rig. He said it all looked good to him and told us to have a nice day. We made our desitnation around 5PM and I have not towed anything double since, however it was not a bad experience.Years before that last double tow adventure, we towed the same bass boat behind our 36 foot Holiday Rambler Imperial 5th wheel. We had a custom made class three hitch made for the 5th wheel that had a 10 foot center bar that connected to the frame in six places. The center bar went to just behind the rear axle on the trailer. The rig towed great, however after several years of towing, the trailer started to show some wear and tear from the weight of the boat behind it. It developed stress cracks in the side walls and some of the paneling popped off of the walls in the rear of the coach. Trailers are designed with thier frames to support the weight of the coach and the cargo, not a 3500 lb boat bouncing behind it. Charles
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Old 07-11-2012, 07:31 AM   #19
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An owner driving a 18-wheeler weighing 80,000 lbs is not required to have a CDL provided he owns the tractor, trailer, cargo and they are all for his / her personal use.
No, but in the state of Texas (the subject of this thread) he WOULD be required to hold a Class A NON-COMMERCIAL license as opposed to the standard Class C NON-COMMERCIAL license. Just because a private operator does not need a CDL, at least here in Texas, that does NOT remove the requirement for upgraded driver licenses once GCWR/GVWR reach 26,001 lbs or higher. See Texas Transportation Code Sections 522 (CDL) and 521 (Non-CDL) to verify if you wish.

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Old 07-11-2012, 07:39 AM   #20
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I just pulled for the first time a 2 stall trailer behind my 28.5' fifth and find the rear trailer wants to wander back and forth. I thought it might be the weight was too far back, not so. I questioned the tire pressure, not that. a friend suggested a sway brake hitch but I'm not sure what that is exactly, any ideas?
I hold a Class A CDL with doubles and triples endorsements. (By the way this is not required for RV applications)

You could have an axel alignment problem with either or both trailers.
An easy way to check this is to pull each trailer independently. Have someone follow you and have them watch the movement of each trailer. This could point you to which trailer is causing the problem.

If your fifth wheel axels are slightly out of alignment, this wiggle will amplify to the second trailer.

If the stall trailer axels are out of alignment then this can make your fifth wheel wander especially if the weights of both trailers are nearly the same.
If the weights of both trailers are close in weight the wiggle problem will be increased. Ideally your first trailer should be much heavier than the second trailer.

Example, in my case my Jeep toad at 3,500 lbs has little effect on my little 18,000 lb Teton.

The weight of your tow vehicle can also be a factor. A heavy tow vehicle will not be influenced as much as a lighter tow vehicle. Example, my truck weighs close to 15,000 lbs.
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Old 07-12-2012, 05:46 AM   #21
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Hi

gcsprayjr

You are lucky that most DOT inspectors and most Highway patrolman are not that familiar with the regulations as written.

You were probably stopped by the DOT because the commercial vehicle regulations applied to any truck towing or hauling any thing that doesn’t belong to the owner or operator of that vehicle and is for the owner or operators personal use. This applies to a Ford ranger as well as an 18-wheeler. The reason for the “operator” term is a leased or rented vehicle is considered the same and an owned vehicle under the commercial vehicle rules. A fellow on one of the truck forums was telling about a $600 ticket he got for not have commercial vehicle authorization because he had loaded his neighbors disable car on his car hauler and had been stopped by the DOT. The car wasn’t his and wasn’t for his personal use. This doesn’t meet the “personal use vehicle” definition in the DOT rules.

You didn’t say what states you went thru but you did mention Atlanta. So I have looked up the Commercial Vehicle regulations in Georgia and Florida. In the commercial vehicle regulations of both states in the regulation that allows the towing of 2 trailers with a towing vehicle (3 unit operation). I find that after all of the statements for the requirements for a commercial vehicle has to meet to operate a 3-unit vehicle is a one-line sentence that states, “Non commercial vehicles are limited to a 2-unit vehicle operation".

Because of the location of this rule the average DOT or Highway patrolman commonly overlooks it. Where this would come out would be in an accident investigation.

So in Georgia you weren’t legal.

RustyJC

You are only partially correct. A driver holding a Texas driving license and operating a Texas licensed vehicle is subject to your stated regulation regardless what highway he is operating on in Texas. A Florida licensed driver operating a Florida licensed or a Texas licensed leased or rented vehicle is exempt under the Federal DOT regulations while operating on the federal highway system, which includes all highways eligible for federal funding not just the Interstate highway.

Remember as a consultant I audit DOT commercial carriers certificate holder records for errors so I spend a lot of time in the DOT regulations. A number of DOT regulations contain exceptions to the rule stated. In the case of the 2-trailer tow the rule excepting the non-commercial operator is contained in the commercial driving rules. The definition of a “personal use vehicle” is contained in the definition of a commercial use vehicle. For this reason most law enforcement personnel miss them.

As a note there is not a rule or regulation that states RV’s are exempt from the Commercial vehicle regulations. The RV comes under the definition of a “private use vehicle” until it is towed or operated by some one other than the owner, leaser or renter of the RV and is for the owner, leaser or renters personal use.

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Old 07-12-2012, 05:56 AM   #22
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RustyJC

You are only partially correct. A driver holding a Texas driving license and operating a Texas licensed vehicle is subject to your stated regulation regardless what highway he is operating on in Texas.
The OP is a Texas resident asking about operation in the state of Texas; thus, driver license requirements enumerated in Sections 521 and 522 of the Texas Transportation Code apply to him. I was not addressing out-of-state operators. Non-commercial out-of-state operators traveling in Texas are governed by reciprocity provisions contained in the Driver License Compact and upcoming Driver License Agreement insofar as their licensing requirements in the state of Texas are concerned.

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Old 07-12-2012, 06:07 AM   #23
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Indiana says you can pull a double, if the total length is less than 65'. A CC TV, 35' FW, and 24" pontoon boat don't qualify, thank you officer.
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:14 AM   #24
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Indiana says you can pull a double, if the total length is less than 65'. A CC TV, 35' FW, and 24" pontoon boat don't qualify, thank you officer.
My CC TV was 22', my 25' 5er added 21' for a total of 43' before adding the third trailer. My tag trailer added about 14', so the combo was about 57', so no problem with the LEOs in Texas. A 24' pontoon boat on the trailer would be about 28' tip to tail, so that's 71' total. But a 35' 5er would be 81' combined length, and I doubt that's okay anywhere for a non-commercial vehicle without a special permit.
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Old 07-12-2012, 12:32 PM   #25
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Old 07-12-2012, 12:47 PM   #26
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The OP is a Texas resident asking about operation in the state of Texas; thus, driver license requirements enumerated in Sections 521 and 522 of the Texas Transportation Code apply to him. I was not addressing out-of-state operators. Non-commercial out-of-state operators traveling in Texas are governed by reciprocity provisions contained in the Driver License Compact and upcoming Driver License Agreement insofar as their licensing requirements in the state of Texas are concerned.

Rusty
Sorry about that. These thing happen when the tread get this long. I was referring to the fellow that mentioned Atlanta but didn’t mention any state.

Your post came shortly after that.

As I stated in Texas a Texas driver would be governed by the state regulations.

The reciprocity you refer to is the result of the Federal government requiring the states to put that in their traffic laws in order to comply with the "Qualification" requirement for the grants they receive for road construction.

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Old 07-12-2012, 01:02 PM   #27
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I'd be more concerned about insurance, or the lack thereof, towing a double rig.

The trailer is covered by the liability insurance on the vehicle towing it, however I've never seen a personal policy yet that covered a second trailer towed by a trailer. Commercial policies, sure, it's common.

I'd bet an insurance company and give you a polite 'no' when if tried to make a claim when for example, the second trailer came disconnected.

A guy in the park my folks winter in had a case where a toad came off the dolly and caused an accident, the m/h's insurance company said "No, the dolly didn't cause the accident, the towed vehicle behind it did. Claim it on that policy." When they called the auto insurance company they got as far as "....it came off the dolly...." and they said "No, it wasn't being driven, claim it on the tow vehicle's policy."

The classic "Catch 22".

Luckily for this guy the money wasn't a big deal, but he ended up paying to fix the other cars out of his pocket. He's loaded anyways, or was at least.
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Old 07-12-2012, 01:06 PM   #28
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Hate to tell you this but that table is full of mistakes for WA, OR and CA in some areas, which make anything on it suspect.
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