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Old 10-04-2008, 06:48 PM   #15
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Our Chevy 3500HD is a single cab w/an 11' flatbed on it, without added tool boxes. I was all set to go get several nice heavy tool boxes to mount under the bed, but that just seemed like a good way to decrease the 16,500 pound towing capacity while opening up more 5W space to store more junk! I plan to have the truck weighed before we get to Livingston, I'm sure the 11' flatbed weighs a bit more than an 8' pickup bed.

With our 5W GVWR of at 15K, we are certainly going to hit the scales before we set foot onto I-40 in a couple of weeks. We hope to be around 13.5K max with my tools in the 5W.

One of the first things we did was to get the brakes cleaned and adjusted, bearings repacked, etc. With the 5W empty the combo stops very nicely in a panic stop, love that built-in brake control in ABQ rush-hour traffic! I hope it does nearly so well loaded. The Tow/Haul mode sure work wonderfully pulling t he 5W.

I like our trucks GCWR at 23500, no need to stress out DW the first week we go FTing by having her go for her Class B license, LOL. She'll have to leapfrog to a Class A license when we go for that Freightliner M2-112 and Wild Cargo w/ Smart Car in garage, LOL!

... back to packing so we can close on the house in 6 days and SAFELY go FTing with our 23.5K GCWR ... please thank an American teacher when you see one next! It is an employed American science teacher who is buying our house, which came at the nick of time as we are going FTing at age 47 because my wonderful aerospace employer decided a year ago that outsourcing to India was more cost effective than having test equipment designed and built in the USA. Now if I can just mow grass and do onsite resort maintenance without trying to be an engineer, LOL!

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Old 10-08-2008, 05:34 PM   #16
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Quote :
" Could you further explain "de-rating" the rig. Is it something done on paper...or actually doing some changes on the build of the rig? "
derating GVWR is a common practice with all types of trailers. Commercial haulers have their trailer manufactor re-tag trailers to a lower GVWR for various reasons such as keeping their combined plate/tag numbers down/etc. It changes nothing on the trailer. The 7k axles are still 7k. Bryan from Excel probably knows we figure payloads from the truck manufactors GAWRs not GVWR. By the way in TX and a few other states GVWR can be uprated BUT you cannot go over the trucks GAWR numbers.
Figuring what size truck will tow a 30' 5er requires knowing the trailer pin weight. There again lower the trailers GVWR and the estimated pin weight is reduced. Actual numbers will come from actual weights.
The OP uses the word "legally". Legal loads on a truck are figured using GAWRs not GVWR as many states allow uprate GVWR for LDT size trucks. Thats where GAWRs come to play. The 3500 DRW Dodge has a 9350 RAWR. Ford is approx the same but GM for some reason derated their RAWR to 8250 lb on their 3500 DRW. Having a 9350 RAWR will make over 5500 lbs for a payload. The 4500 trucks have a 12000 RAWR which is overkill for a 30' 5er.
I know its popular with some on RV web sites to use GVWR to figure payloads and its well within any legal issues. Just as overkill works also.

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Old 10-09-2008, 03:59 AM   #17
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Let's not confuse commercial vehicle weight regulations with non-commercial. Here's how Texas looks at non-commercial vehicle weight registration:

502.055. DETERMINATION OF WEIGHT.

(a) The weight, net weight, or gross weight of a vehicle, as determined by the department, is the correct weight for registration purposes, regardless of any other purported weight of the vehicle.

(b) The department may require an applicant for registration under this chapter to provide the department with evidence of:
(1) the manufacturer's rated carrying capacity for the vehicle;
(2) the nominal tonnage rating of the vehicle;
(3) the gross weight rating of the vehicle; or
(4) any combination of information described in Subdivisions (1)-(3).

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 625, 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

#3 = GVWR

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Old 10-10-2008, 12:16 PM   #18
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you gotta' keep in mind many folks like myself tow with a commercially registered vehicle. Myself included. Lets not get confused by saying GAWR/GVWR is different for commercial/non commercial purposes. It isn't. This is grossly misunderstood throughout the RV web communities. Keep in mind "GVWR does not carry the weight". Thats where GAWR with matching tire caps come to play. If you have ever been weighed with a truck/trailer combo commercially or non commercially they drive you up on the portable scales and your truck axle weight is checked against your GAWRS from the door tag. GVWR is only used if the officer is weighing the truck and trailer as a combination.
Your TX 621.421 laws regarding weighing of overweight vehicle is very clear;
621.402. WEIGHING LOADED VEHICLE. (a) A weight
enforcement officer who has reason to believe that the single axle
weight, tandem axle weight, or gross weight of a loaded motor
vehicle is unlawful may:
(1) weigh the vehicle using portable or stationary
scales furnished or approved by the Department of Public Safety; or
(2) require the vehicle to be weighed by a public
weigher.
(b) The officer may require that the vehicle be driven to
the nearest available scales.
(c) A noncommissioned employee of the Department of Public
Safety who is certified for the purpose by the public safety
director and who is supervised by an officer of the Department of
Public Safety may, in a port of entry or at a commercial motor
vehicle inspection site, weigh a vehicle, require the vehicle to be
weighed, or require a vehicle to be driven to the nearest scale
under Subsections (a) and (b).
(d) Prior to assessment of a penalty for weight which
exceeds the maximum allowable axle weights, the owner or operator
is authorized to shift the load to reduce or eliminate such excess
axle weight penalties as long as no part of the shipment is removed.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended
by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 737, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts
2001, 77th Leg., ch. 941, 20, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003,
78th Leg., ch. 1275, 2(136), eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

my state's title 47 sect 14.111 vehicle codes regarding weighing of a vehicle are the same as TX 621.402 weighing of a vehicle.
The 502.055 reg is for registration purposes and line number three only says "the gross rating of the vehicle" which according to your vehicle registration laws ,and my registration laws, may be uprated under certain conditions. Keep in mind its not saying the manufactors GVWR.
In OK for example we can uprate our LDT trucks GVWR to 15k max for commercial purposes only. I registered my 2500 Dodge for 10900 GVWR which is the trucks GAWR combined. BUT I'm still limited to the trucks GAWR numbers/matching tire caps.

JIM
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Old 10-10-2008, 03:27 PM   #19
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522.003. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:
.
.
(17) "Gross combination weight rating" means the value specified by the manufacturer as the loaded weight of a combination or articulated vehicle or, if the manufacturer has not specified a value, the sum of the gross vehicle weight rating of the power unit and the total weight of the towed unit or units and any load on a towed unit.

(18) "Gross vehicle weight rating" means the value specified by the manufacturer as the loaded weight of a single vehicle.

These definitions are referenced in other sections of the Texas Transportation Code.

Rusty
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Old 10-12-2008, 07:52 AM   #20
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(18) "Gross vehicle weight rating" means the value specified by the manufacturer as the loaded weight of a single vehicle.

These definitions are referenced in other sections of the Texas Transportation Code.

correct. Now how does TX use GVWR.
Keep in mind GVWR isn't used to weigh the truck but its important to understand how GVWR is used. Now comes the part of how TX, or other states, uses GVWR.
I realize many RVers simply load their trucks by using the truck manufactors GVWR, which is a legal number, but is only around 80 percent of the truck legal payload. AS TX 621.402 "weighing of a vehicle" code which is the code a TX officer uses to weigh a suspected overweight vehicle, states the "axle" and "gross weight" is unlawful.
Same with other state regs regarding how a vehicle is to be weighed. Do they use GVWR or GAWR's when weighing the truck when carring a trailer. Many RVers will be surprised how GVWR/RAWR/FAWR/GCWR/tire caps terms are used and what part do they play if any for legally loading.
I would hope the OP will check with his state on how those door tag numbers/terms are used for his legal weights as being legal is important from a safety perspective.

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Old 10-12-2008, 10:38 AM   #21
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> 621.402. WEIGHING LOADED VEHICLE.

(a) A weight enforcement officer who has reason to believe that the single axle weight, tandem axle weight, or gross weight of a loaded motor vehicle is unlawful may: </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Note the use of the word "or". That signifies that there are three (3) potential violations listed:

A single axle weight violation.

A tandem axle weight violation.

A gross weight violation.

Note in 522.003 that there are two (2) gross weight ratings, a combination rating in (17) and a vehicle rating in (18).

Rusty
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Old 10-12-2008, 11:37 AM   #22
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So . . . when are they going to start enforcing the brake and GCWR requirements on the literal trains of junk cars towing junk cars from the US to south of the border??

I think they constitute a lot greater hazard than a bunch of old codgers in motorhomes.
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Old 10-12-2008, 11:53 AM   #23
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Good question. In point of fact, I don't think Texas weight enforcement officers spend much (if any) time on anything other than commercial enforcement. I've seen a Ford Ranger pulling a 28 foot or so 5th wheel on I-10 just west of Houston - the rear of the truck was on the bump stops, smoke was pouring out from under it and it was struggling to make 45 MPH, but it was still on the road. I think a "civilian" rig would have to be really over the top before it would be pulled over for a weight violation.

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Old 10-12-2008, 03:46 PM   #24
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Note the use of the word "or". That signifies that there are three (3) potential violations listed:

A single axle weight violation.

A tandem axle weight violation.

A gross weight violation.

now were gettin' there. The single and tandam speak for themselves which will be trucks GAWR's which is the max the truck can weigh.
The "gross weight", in our situation, violation is for a combined GVWR weight (truck and trailer) and thats where our GVWR comes to play. The only place I know of, when weighing for a combined combo such as truck and any type of trailer, (even a RV) that GVWR is used for a combined weight. GVWR is used for purchasing a combined plate for a commercial rig over 26001 lbs. But again, GVWR is not how much the truck can weigh. Thats why your TX 621.402 uses axle capacities.
I'll get off here but I'll make a point. Our commercial and non commercial weight regs are the one and same regarding the trucks payload capacities which is figured by using GAWR/tire caps. If a RV/non RV owner with a 4500 truck and a big 5er is over 26001k combined he's in commercial licensing area. If another RV owner/non RV 4500 owner has a big 5er but is only 25900 lbs combined he isn't required to operate with a commercial license. BUT the weight requirement regarding how the 4500 truck is weighed is the same in both cases. GAWR/tire caps in either case. Commercial licensed trucks do not get to haul more weight (GAWR's) but may pull more weight (GVWR)
One of your TXDOT officer gave me a good lesson on how to weigh a truck pulling a heavy trailer. I was 390 lbs over my 3500 DRW RAWR. He was nice and let me move my wheeled equipment on the flat deck trailer to take weight off the trucks rear axle. He also checked the tire pressures in all four rear tires for max pressure vs axle caps as I was max axle loaded. He checked my registerd combined truck/trailer GVWR which was well under. Trucks registered GVWR (the higher GVWR allows more combined weight plates) and the trailers GVWR gives us a combined weight. BUT again the truck cannot be over its GAWR's/tire caps. Thats called being legal by the numbers.

Jim
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Old 10-12-2008, 03:56 PM   #25
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One clarification - you do NOT have to have a commercial license (CDL) in Texas to drive a rig over 26000 pounds. You DO need a class A or B license, depending on if it's a MH or a 5er. There's a non-CDL waiver for the A and B licenses for RVers (and some other uses).

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Old 10-13-2008, 01:20 AM   #26
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your probably right. BUT my point is the weight numbers pertaining to how much the tow truck can haul/carry are the same regardless of commercial or non commercial purposes.

Jim
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