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Old 06-05-2014, 04:24 PM   #1
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State DOT regulations regarding towing

I am a drag racer and tow my race car in an enclosed trailer behind my motorhome and have done so for years. I have never encountered any issues here in the Northwest or Northern California regarding weigh stations or needing commercial driving documentation in all those years. I have never gone through a weigh station since I am a private motorhome in private usage and it is my hobby and not my profession.

I have been reading several other racing forums that have threads relating to issues racers are having in Illinois, Maryland and a couple of other States. They have been pulled over for not going through a weigh station or have been pulled over and checked for CDL, medical card, log books and verification of load capacities of motorhome and it's tires along with the trailer and it's tires. Many have received hefty fines.

I was curious if anyone on this forum as encounter such problems. I am heading to Kansas in September for a race and don't want to get ticketed. I already have my CDL and medical card but that is for my profession.

Thanks for any and all input.

Paul
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Old 06-05-2014, 05:05 PM   #2
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I can only speak of North Carolina when I say that if you have Advertising of any kind on the unit you are required to go through the weigh stations and if asked you must show proper paperwork
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Old 06-05-2014, 05:50 PM   #3
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You just have to have somewhere on the coach and trailer "Not For Hire" and Don't put any of your sponsers names on anything! Tires all need to be in great and/or new condition, Memeber, DOT dates are on your motorhome tires! NO NO NO!
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Old 06-05-2014, 06:09 PM   #4
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I think the AAA has a table on its website that lists all of the requirements for towing, license, etc, etc for each state. I
I'll try to find it again and post a link
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Old 06-05-2014, 06:45 PM   #5
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Not an expert but even though it's a hobby if the prizes are in the form of pictures of dead presidents (CASH), that makes it a commercial enterprise. I ran into the same problem several years ago hauling show horses. Left that hobby due to that problem!
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Old 06-05-2014, 07:20 PM   #6
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Not an expert but even though it's a hobby if the prizes are in the form of pictures of dead presidents (CASH), that makes it a commercial enterprise. I ran into the same problem several years ago hauling show horses. Left that hobby due to that problem!
That is the same way it is here in Minnesota. You even need a DOT number on the side of the tow vehicle. You are considered "for profit" if you are racing a car due to the cash prize.
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Old 06-05-2014, 08:39 PM   #7
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WOW, I didn't know how wide spread this is. Here is the west there isn't an issue. I think State DOT's are cutting some fine lines in there interpretation of Federal law, which all States have adopted. I'm glad I race for trophies.

I don't have sponsors but it is nostalgia decaled. I guess I'll get a log book and hope for the best.

Paul
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Old 06-05-2014, 08:47 PM   #8
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If it is an enclosed trailer without any markings or sponsors on the outside, how will they know it is a drag car and not your everyday driver? Now if there is markings, then you will need CDL class A, current medical card that is registered at your local DMV, A current DOT inspection sticker on Motorhome and trailer, DOT numbers, and don't forget a log book that is current.
And some on here wonder why the LEO's are despised like they are, they don't care about anything but money!!!!!!!!!!!
Frank
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Old 06-06-2014, 11:57 AM   #9
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I'm sorry Franka548 but I have to disagree with you here.

Let's have a bit of background info first. The commercial vehicle laws are promulgated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Here's a bit of good reading on the laws: Regulations | Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The law states "...used in commerce..." That's it. I have a couple friends that are commercial vehicle enforcement officers in MN. They've told me if the use has anything to do with "furthering a commercial venture" it's commercial. Doesn't have to have advertising on the outside. You take a race car to the track and run it around the track (or down the 1/4 mile) and it's got "Acme Muffler Shop" stickers on it, you're furthering Acme's business. You used your rig to get the car there to do it. Boom goes the dynamite.

Now, you raise an interesting point. Nothing on the outside, how they gonna get you for what's inside? Well, it's pretty easy to hang around at the track near the end of the day and watch everybody roll their cars back into their plain white trailers and head out down the road. Bam, now they've got ya. They've done it here, and I'm pretty sure they've done it around Paul's (original poster) circles.

You can't run DOT numbers on a recreational vehicle. The r/v license plate is for "recreation" not commercial. People do it, I've seen them, but it's wrong and a sharp cop will get them. Commercial plates are more expensive than rv plates for a reason. And Comm. Veh. Officers know it and know why a person would try to get by with not licensing their vehicle as a commercial vehicle.

I'm not a cop anymore, 29 years was a good run. I never was a commercial vehicle inspector, but I worked with several of them on enforcement details. I do believe most of the ones I know are most concerned with safe operation of comm. vehicles. They're second highest concern is with proper compliance with the registration/licensing rules. I sure don't see any of them caring about the bottom dollar. It's not like they get a percentage of the fines or anything. I see them getting the most satisfaction out of taking a dangerous vehicle off the road and forcing it to get fixed. This might be why they don't usually focus their enforcement on a guy that only uses his drag car on the weekends and sure isn't making a living out of it. And most likely takes pretty good care of his equipment so it's not as much of a danger to the other motorists. The traveling carnival ride trucks make the C.V.E. officers salivate the most that I've seen.
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Old 06-06-2014, 12:00 PM   #10
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You just have to have somewhere on the coach and trailer "Not For Hire"
Actually not true. That has no basis in fact. The C.V.E. officers I know love those signs and say that's a red flag that the veh. is in fact being used for commercial use. My rig had that lettering on it when I got it. I asked them about it. That's when they told me I should take it off because it's just asking to be stopped. I've left it on to harass them since I do in fact do nothing commercial with my rig.
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