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Old 09-25-2010, 12:55 PM   #1
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Double and Triple towing definition

Every year for some reason the definition of towing double or triple arises.Some think the tow vehicle is included some do not. This link is to a CDL study booklet, which includes the DOT definition of these terms: CDL (REA) - The Best Test ... - Google Books
This should end such confusion/misunderstanding once and for all.
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Old 09-26-2010, 09:27 PM   #2
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Your reference is not accessible.
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Old 09-26-2010, 11:43 PM   #3
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I looked at it twice. You have to scrowl down to find the ref to double & triple towing.
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Old 09-27-2010, 06:58 AM   #4
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Oops. Sorry. The first time I tried I got a screen that said I didn't have authority to access that page. Works fine now.
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Old 09-27-2010, 11:48 AM   #5
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My eyes are not what they used to be - I did not find reference to mentioned DOT definitions.
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Old 09-27-2010, 03:21 PM   #6
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There is nothing official in that source - it's just one of many CDL test reference/training books on the market. I don't think even the various state regulations all agree on "double" vs "triple" terminology.

Here is one article that alludes to the terminology confusion.

Double Trailer Towing Laws Reed Brothers Automotive Blog
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Old 09-27-2010, 06:11 PM   #7
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Double towing is pulling two trailers, to call pulling one trailer double-towing is nonsense. It would mean just driving your car down the street would be single-towing.
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Old 09-28-2010, 01:17 PM   #8
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Agree, but there are often human expressions that don't make much sense when scrutinized closely. My guess is that the "triple" came about because the resulting captive caravan has three elements - the tow vehicle and two trailer units.

In any case, I don't think you are going to change the world on this score. "Triple towing" is a widely accepted term to describe one tow vehicle and two trailers, whether it makes sense or not.
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Old 09-28-2010, 02:18 PM   #9
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Maybe if we used the trucking term term "pulling doubles" everyone would understand that we mean 2 trailers, but, as was mentioned, the expression "triple towing" is so ingrained that it's probably too late to change the world on this one.

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Old 09-29-2010, 07:52 PM   #10
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Triple towing is THREE trailers. You see them all the time on the state hiways and interstate in Nveada, and Oregon used to (maybe still does) allow them on interstates and I believe restricted them to certain times of the year. UPS for one pulls them a lot here. Many of the dirt haulers around here pull two trailers with a full truck rather than a tractor, they are still doubles.
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Old 09-30-2010, 12:31 PM   #11
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Yes, however I believe that is a DOT term (semi with 3 trailers), whereas non-DOT trippletow means a RV/Pickup/Tow Vehicle, with two trailers, usually a 5er and something else, but not always. I never understood why it was called that, however when someone says Triple Tow on a RV forum, I understand it this way.
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Old 09-30-2010, 09:36 PM   #12
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Back when I was doing it we called them wiggle wagons. 1 Tractor + 2 trailers + 1 tow dolly constitutes pullings doubles! Add another tow dolly and a third trailer and you are pulling triples! (also called a train!) I retired from doing that only to get back on the road in a MH.
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Old 10-01-2010, 06:38 PM   #13
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Gary it might be "widely accepted" somewhere, but not by knowledgeable people.
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Old 10-03-2010, 07:53 AM   #14
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I would just say go to your local DOT office in your area and just pick up a CDL training manual, as each state is completely different, although its under Federal Regulations & Laws, some states and even in the area of the state that permits doubles/ triples there maybe a curfew, as we call it ( time when you can not drive equipment like this) it is like a over size loads, There is times we need to stop and waite for rush over to be over, or go around in some states.
Although it may be a Fedral Law, the state can over ride it only if the state law is tougher / stricker then the Federal Law.
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