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Bus Discussion => Bus Topics ( click here for quick start! ) => Topic started by: TheHollands! on August 18, 2013, 05:45:58 PM



Title: Weighing the Bus
Post by: TheHollands! on August 18, 2013, 05:45:58 PM
Had some fun this past week while visiting Scott Bennett. I have never weighed my bus and as I was building it have roughly kept a tally on what I thought it might weigh. Scott hooked me up with a local scale and we headed down there with fellow bus owner Shaun (herd of turtles). We all took guesses before rolling on. 34800lbs. I have a 1984 MCI -9. My informal tally was surprisingly close although I was dreading the possibilty of being over weight. Have other folks been more calculated as the've done there buildouts?
Craig


Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: 5B Steve on August 18, 2013, 06:12:37 PM

 I had no idea what mine weighed untill heading north to the Sturgis ralley a few weeks back on hwy 29N . A sign said all trucks , buses , motorhomes ect. This scale was north of sioux city, Ia. I pulled up on the scale , stopped and the sign above  said precede to the back of the building. What'this all about. Inspection? Weight
what? Top the tanks off several miles back. 149 gal on board, 110 gal fresh water.  Could I be overloaded (oh! God hope not)  long story short they were asking everyone where they were headed and if to Sturgis do you have anything on board if you were going to be a vendor there. I guess it was a REVENUE THING.   I was free to go. Turned an walked out the door, stopped turned around , went back in side and ask what was my weight.

They said it 23,386 LB. Guess I have along way to go before it's over weight. Maybe thats the reason it gets good fuel mileage.

Steve 5B...


Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: Dave5Cs on August 18, 2013, 06:33:21 PM
OK now, What did each axle weight, then what does each corner weigh. Go back to the scales and have more fun. ;D

Dave5Cs


Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: niles500 on August 18, 2013, 06:39:29 PM
Steve, they have a weigh station on I90 near Rapid City too that doesn't state if the vehicle is commercial or not - Even though I have an RVIA sticker I went through - Still not sure if it was required - I guess your saying I did the right thing but it was still confusing -


Title: Re:
Post by: Seangie on August 18, 2013, 06:46:58 PM
Craig -

Ill be weighing mine on the same scale before I leave here.  I am hoping that we are under 30!  Ill post back here once we get weighed. 

-Sean

Sent from my SPH-L900 using Tapatalk 4


Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: Ed Hackenbruch on August 18, 2013, 07:43:56 PM
 Steve, i think that you still have about 10,000 lbs. to go before being over weight. :)


Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: Scott & Heather on August 18, 2013, 08:33:54 PM
Craig -

Ill be weighing mine on the same scale before I leave here.  I am hoping that we are under 30!  Ill post back here once we get weighed. 

-Sean

Sent from my SPH-L900 using Tapatalk 4

Pretty sure you weigh around 45,000 lbs Sean. You might need to add a bogie to that Eagle :)


Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: bevans6 on August 19, 2013, 03:51:40 AM
I have to register my bus for actual weight in Nova Scotia (sucks, it costs way more than my insurance!), so on the way back from passing my DOT inspection I ran it across the local highway maintenance crew scales, which they leave on 24/7.  It was 11,150 Kg, which is 24,530.  That is loaded light, with no water, but almost full fuel.  I think that with 60 gallons of water and our normal luggage it will be closer to 25,500, which is very close to my estimate of 26K.

Brian


Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: Jon on August 19, 2013, 04:25:44 AM
The first thing I do when I get a different coach is load all our stuff in it, full the water tank, fill it with fuel and get it weighed.

How can anyone drive a coach without weighing it? That is how the correct tire pressures are determined.


Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: white-eagle on August 19, 2013, 09:15:32 AM
are those iowa scales mandatory?  last few weights we did showed a tad over the gvw, like maybe a ton.  not sure what that might mean since we are not commercial, but i don't feel like stopping to get weighed and find out i need to use up a 100 gal of fuel and empty all tanks.  and we have to go to sd to get new drivers licenses.  maybe i'll just skip ia.


Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: Jon on August 19, 2013, 09:52:17 AM
Unless you are a commercial vehicle you are not subject to going over the scales or having a roadside weight check any more than a conventional RV or travel trailer.

And we aren't going to tell anyone that you are overweight. (Your coach, not you)


Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: B_K on August 19, 2013, 10:39:16 AM
Unless you are a commercial vehicle you are not subject to going over the scales or having a roadside weight check any more than a conventional RV or travel trailer.

And we aren't going to tell anyone that you are overweight. (Your coach, not you)

I had no idea what mine weighed untill heading north to the Sturgis ralley a few weeks back on hwy 29N . A sign said all trucks , buses , motorhomes ect. This scale was north of sioux city, Ia. I pulled up on the scale , stopped and the sign above  said precede to the back of the building. What'this all about. Inspection? Weight
what? Top the tanks off several miles back. 149 gal on board, 110 gal fresh water.  Could I be overloaded (oh! God hope not)  long story short they were asking everyone where they were headed and if to Sturgis do you have anything on board if you were going to be a vendor there. I guess it was a REVENUE THING.   I was free to go. Turned an walked out the door, stopped turned around , went back in side and ask what was my weight.

They said it 23,386 LB. Guess I have along way to go before it's over weight. Maybe thats the reason it gets good fuel mileage.

Steve 5B...

Jon not to dispute you as you are in most cases 100% correct!

However here is where it gets tricky! They put up a sign saying ALL trucks , buses , motorhomes ect.
So any law abiding citizen that pulls in as directed is questioned.
Once someone admits they have ANYTHING they plan to sell there, then they just became "COMMERCIAL" and are subject to all rules governing commercial vehicles.

First and for most will be a ticket for not being registered as such and no having USDOT #'s on the side of the bus.
Second will be log books and such.

So yes Steve you are correct it is a revenue thing!

I'd bet $100 that anyone in a motor home, NON-Commercial bus or any other non commercial looking rig that just rolled right on past the scales would not be chased down and harassed.
But once you "voluntarily" pull in as directed to by the sign they will take advantage of it and question you.
Also those that have company names on their rigs and trailers and such that don't stop are subject to being chased down and made to return to the scale where they will go over them with a fine tooth comb and "try to find ANYTHING to make an example of them"!
;D  BK  ;D


Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: belfert on August 19, 2013, 11:10:35 AM
I have never pulled into a weigh station, but neither have I seen one that says RVs or motorhomes must weigh.  There is a weigh station along I80 that does weigh in motion and the sign often says truck pull in, but I have never done so and have never been chased down.


Title: Re: Re: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: Seangie on August 19, 2013, 11:42:13 AM
Pretty sure you weigh around 45,000 lbs Sean. You might need to add a bogie to that Eagle :)


Scott -  You may be right.  I think we will leave the 4 turtles with you. Seeing as 3 of them are girls.. that should loose us about 7.5k right there.  And if you'd stop feeding me ice cream every night we just might make weight!

-Sean
 www.herdofturtles.org  (http://www.herdofturtles.org)
1984 Eagle Model 10S


Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: akroyaleagle on August 19, 2013, 01:26:42 PM
I don't remember ever seeing a sign that says RVs must stop anywhere. I have travelled from Alaska to Key West and most points in the US, Canada and the northern half of Mexico.

I can find no requirement in the SD State Laws for RVs to stop.

I did come across this but caution it is not State Law, only AAA interpretation. If you expand the State name, you will find weigh stations in the alphabetical listings.

http://drivinglaws.aaa.com/laws/weigh-stations/ (http://drivinglaws.aaa.com/laws/weigh-stations/)

It would not surprise me that the State was stopping RVs at border stations to inquire about commercial activities. If you are involved in commercial activities in any way you are probably Commercial!

I had a bit of a run-in with a Canadian DOT Officer once about converted buses not being Commercial Vehicles. I did not convince him even when I produced the law. They can get Pig-Headed on occasion.

States are getting a bit carried away with possible new found revenue sources. South Dakopta is one that has a law that State sales tax must be paid on anything bought out of state includung the Internet.

When I moved here in 2007 from Alaska, I had to pay sales tax on all of my vehicles I brought with me. Their justification was, "You didn't pay sales tax in Alaska". It got more stupid the farther I pursued it, including Sate Senators and Representatives. I paid the tax.



Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: B_K on August 19, 2013, 02:04:25 PM
They are probably only using the signs targeting RV's in SD trying to catch all the people headed to Sturgis for the "Black Hills Rally" for REVENUE !
;D  BK  ;D


Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: wg4t50 on August 19, 2013, 02:23:31 PM
Having driven my coach ( not a bus conversion) on I-29 and I-90 Iowa & SD 3 trips, never noticed a sign like that, the only place a sign saying Bus Inspection  have seen was in NJ.
Would most likely drive by it, if the needed me, they know how to get me.  I am very able to miss an unusual sign  :D. That is an unusual sign in my world.


Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: Jon on August 19, 2013, 05:44:38 PM
B.K. I failed to appreciate the fact there was a sign that said motorhomes. My bad.

However, we had a Prevost rally in SD and invited the state police to the rally to weigh our coaches and talk about the laws regarding our coaches such as weights, lengths, etc.

At their seminar they made two points. First, tourism is a very big deal for the state and as such recreational vehicles such as ours were off their radar. (their exact words.) They went on to say however, if we are stupid, such as speeding, aggressive driving etc. they will then likely go over our rig with a fine tooth comb.

But they made it clear we are not commercial and they have no interest in us.

The Montana LLC was questioned because the bus is registered to a business venture. The response was if they have no reason to stop us that is a non issue.


Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: akroyaleagle on August 19, 2013, 09:07:50 PM
Some confusion also may be that folks delivering new RVs are probably Commercial.


Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: TomC on August 19, 2013, 09:08:48 PM
You should weigh the bus by front axle, rear axle, tag axle. Then you'll know exactly what tire pressure to run and get the best combination of ride and longevity out of your tires. Good Luck, TomC


Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: TheHollands! on August 19, 2013, 09:30:08 PM
I know when we first purchased our bus I was not sure whether I had to pull into weigh. We do about 25,000 miles each year and I haven't seen a station that said a motorhome needed to pull in. Most troopers or sheriffs Iv'e run into in casual meetings have been more than encouraging that we converted a bus and hit the road with our family.
Craig


Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: bevans6 on August 20, 2013, 04:56:19 AM
Where we live there are a few weigh stations on the main highways that require all vehicles registered for over 3,000 Kg (6600 lbs) to pull in if directed or the lights are on.  There is no distinction between commercial and non-commercial up here as far as weight laws go.  I always pull in, because my truck is registered for 4,000 Kg, but I always just get a wave and a thumbs up and go.  I asked my friend about it, he said he hasn't pulled in since the weigh stations were first built, and never had any issue.  I just figure it's better to be safe than sorry. 

Brian


Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: 5B Steve on August 20, 2013, 07:54:48 AM
Steve, they have a weigh station on I90 near Rapid City too that doesn't state if the vehicle is commercial or not - Even though I have an RVIA sticker I went through - Still not sure if it was required - I guess your saying I did the right thing but it was still confusing -


  Niles,

  I also saw that scale but didn't enter, never saw a sign saying so.  What I think they were looking for were
 
 people that might be selling things out of there vechicles. If that was the case I guess like  I mentioned "A

REVENUE THING" Lol!!

Steve 5B......


Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: John316 on August 20, 2013, 09:57:00 AM
BK nailed it. If you are discovered to have anything that you are selling, the law considers you commercial. Can you skate by and avoid the law? Maybe, but lookout if you are caught.

We played it safe, and are fully commercial. Is it a major pain? Yes it is, but it just isn't worth it to not be commercial.

YMMV


Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: Miss Scarlett on August 20, 2013, 04:03:10 PM
What would it cost someone to go from RV status to fully commercial? I would think insurance and DOT inspections would be the biggest cost and hassle.


Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: Jon on August 20, 2013, 05:01:30 PM
I imagine if a coach is used for commercial purposes such as for hire, or as a display coach it would require all that is required of any commercial heavy vehicle. But there is a huge gray area in between full commercial and personal use only.

For quite a few years my personally owned coach was used to cover trade shows and we carried the display and product samples in the bay. As a result I was using my coach as a salesman would use his car in the pursuit of business. Just like the salesman using his car with a trunk full of brochures making sales calls has a commercial purpose, his car is still a non-commercial vehicle. That is a direct parallel to our use of the coach. At the end of the day it was our home away from home.



Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: wg4t50 on August 20, 2013, 05:36:08 PM
My good friend using a Senicrusier, towing a 1 car trailer, frequenty drove from Va to Fl, buy upper end slightly used autos, all went well, many trips. One day he drove into Pa, bought a very fine upper end car, and headed home to Va, OH, the Pa state police had a road check, all would have been fine as a private operator who just purchased a new toy, problem was he bought the car in his business name, BINGO, they got him big time, now needs log book, fuel sticker, DOT inspections etc.  He gave up on that mode of operations.  Still cost a large bundle to get out clean.


Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: TomC on August 21, 2013, 07:17:33 AM
Just like rodeo people-if they have a chance of winning a purse-that is a commercial vehicle hauling the horses. Good Luck, TomC


Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: Jon on August 21, 2013, 08:25:20 AM
I'm having a hard time getting around the premise that if I use my personal bus (you can substitute car, pickup, plane, etc.) to take me to trade shows or a rodeo it can be construed as a commercial vehicle.

It is easy to understand someone who is asked a question about the purpose of a trip to state they are going to a business destination, but that doesn't instantly convert the conveyance into a commercial vehicle unless that is the vehicle's sole purpose. I can understand how an owner can get himself in a jam if he is using a Montana LLC (and Montana plates) to avoid sales tax because at that point he has just dug himself a hole he will not likely crawl out of. But my coach has the same type tags as my car. And even if I go to a bus rally to sell helium filled tires, the coach is still my home on wheels and is not used solely for commerce. Its use to take me to a trade show is no more commercial than if I drove my car or pickup truck to the same trade show.

There has to be more to the horror stories some folks are telling that is omitted. I can easily imagine a guy with a Scenicruiser engaging in friendly conversation with the traffic cops who want to know all about it, and then casually asking him does he get to use it much. At which point he blurts out "oh yeah, I take it to all car sales and usually bring back cars I buy on the trailer." At that point he has opened mouth, inserted foot.


Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: akroyaleagle on August 21, 2013, 09:43:08 AM
This is from the FMCSA regulations.

§ 383.3Applicability.(a) The rules in this part apply to every person who operates a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in interstate, foreign, or intrastate commerce, to all employers of such persons, and to all States.

To most folks these Regs mean nothing and they are rightfully unaware they even exist.
The problem arises in the interpretation of what constitutes a "Commercial Vehicle."
If interpretation were left up to the individual, we would never need lawyers.

Government regulations are written not by one person but by different entities in their own interests. They are then enacted by politicians with no knowledge of the matter. Most (including the FAA) end up being very confusing to the normal reader.

The burden of proof resides with the "Violator".

Having owned, driven, managed large fleets of trucks and busses and written entire safety programs including OSHA Rules for some of them, I believe the folowing to be the norm:

Except for the largest companies, there exists a "We've always done it this way mentality."
Ignorance of Requirements.
Inability to understand the complete regulations.
A tendancy to ask "someone who knows" instead of researching for themselves.
"It'll probably be OK."
Forgiveness is easier than permission.

These are just a few of the problems.

I am of the school that states: "If you have to ask yourself "Does this describe me?" it probably does.


Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: Jon on August 21, 2013, 10:08:19 AM
A vehicle may be considered a commercial vehicle if it is:
Belongs to a company or corporation
Used for business, but is in an individual's name, such as a sole proprietor
A leased vehicle and in the name of the financial institution that owns it
Exceeds a certain weight or class and therefor,e is "classified" as commercial even though it may not be commercially used or commercially owned. A weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more is always consider commercial.[2]
Used to haul any hazardous material
A vehicle can be used for a business, if not exclusively, and remain privately licensed, depending on the amount of time used for business.

The above was from Wikipedia and I believe the last sentence says it all.


Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: akroyaleagle on August 21, 2013, 10:18:28 AM
Jon,

I am familiar with that wikipedia document.

A couple of comments:

wikipedia is neither official nor a government entity. It is a web site. It has no legal status.

The LAW relating to this thread is Federal Motor Carrier Safety Admistration.


Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: Jon on August 21, 2013, 10:48:30 AM
Joe,

Not to belabor the point but where is the definition of what constitutes a commercial vehicle. There are all kinds of regulation about how to operate one and how they must comply, but I cannot see where my personal converted coach becomes a commercial vehicle if I use it to go to a trade show.



Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: muldoonman on August 21, 2013, 11:01:50 AM
There is a weight station east and west side, East of Luling Texas on I 10 that has been there for years but they haven't been manned or open that says "All Buses and Commercial Vehicles must stop."  If they open, I will cruise on by and see if they chase me down. Will change and let my wife sit in the drivers seat because she always says I never take her anywhere. Maybe to jail?


Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: sledhead on August 21, 2013, 11:28:03 AM
They sell new sticks and staples  R V s at 50,000 lbs , do you think that guy even thinks about the   TRUCK scales as he drives by going to a rv rally with his blinds for sale?     we own rv's   not buses                               dave


Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: akroyaleagle on August 21, 2013, 01:56:21 PM
Sledhead:
You are absolutely right! The word bus should be dropped from the RV vocabulary. Our coaches should be titled and registered as Motor Home or Recreational Vehicle.

Jon:

http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/administration/fmcsr/fmcsrruletext.aspx?reg=390.5&keyword=15%20seats%20or%20more (http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/administration/fmcsr/fmcsrruletext.aspx?reg=390.5&keyword=15%20seats%20or%20more)

FMCSA part 390.5

Bus means any motor vehicle designed, constructed, and or used for the transportation of passengers, including taxicabs.

Commercial motor vehicle means any self-propelled or towed motor vehicle used on a highway in interstate commerce to transport passengers or property when the vehicle—
(1) Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating, or gross vehicle weight or gross combination weight, of 4,536 kg (10,001 pounds) or more, whichever is greater; or
(2) Is designed or used to transport more than 8 passengers (including the driver) for compensation; or
(3) Is designed or used to transport more than 15 passengers, including the driver, and is not used to transport passengers for compensation; or
(4) Is used in transporting material found by the Secretary of Transportation to be hazardous under 49 U.S.C. 5103 and transported in a quantity requiring placarding under regulations prescribed by the Secretary under 49 CFR, subtitle B, chapter I, subchapter C.

(My note: Our coaches are designed for other purposes and become the recreational vehicles they are now designed for. They no longer meet the definition of bus. Entertainers coaches still meet the definition of buses. There is a gray area when it comes to vans. The law says if they have the capacity to seat 15 or more, they are Commercial. We have Hutterites in this part of the country. They use vans of that capacity but I don't see Commercial plates on them).

Internet Boards are probably not the place to get legal information (unless the reference is furnished and correct).

Understanding the rules for Commercial Operations requires a lot of studying.

Determining whether they apply by definition is simply knowing where to look and understanding what you read.


Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: eagle19952 on August 21, 2013, 02:09:58 PM
define property.... :-\


Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: akroyaleagle on August 21, 2013, 02:20:07 PM
Donald,

From the Webster Dictionary:

prop·er·ty   [prop-er-tee]  noun, plural prop·er·ties.  

1. that which a person owns; the possession or possessions of a particular owner: They lost all their property in the fire.  

2. goods, land, etc., considered as possessions: The corporation is a means for the common ownership of property.  

3. a piece of land or real estate: property on Main Street.  

4. ownership; right of possession, enjoyment, or disposal of anything, especially of something tangible: to have property in land.  

5. something at the disposal of a person, a group of persons, or the community or public: The secret of the invention became common property.


Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: Miss Scarlett on August 21, 2013, 02:34:53 PM
The bottom line is that if you use your bus for any purpose where accepting or making any money is involved you are viewed as commercial by the authorities. That probably includes winning a prize at a rodeo or selling a doughnut. Even if we see it as a hobby and spend 10 times more money than would ever be won they still see it as commercial.


Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: Len Silva on August 21, 2013, 02:53:41 PM
Using your coach to travel to a show and to live in is not commercial.  Even carrying sale literature and promotional materials is no different that any sales person transporting that type of material.
Using your coach to transport material that you will sell at a show is commercial use.


Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: Jon on August 21, 2013, 04:35:07 PM
Joe, Great job in doing the research and my reading of your efforts means my converted coach (oops. I mean my motorhome) is not a commercial vehicle. When I was doing trade shows the materials I carried were not for sale but for the display so even if questioned I would not be construed as a commercial vehicle.


Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: akroyaleagle on August 21, 2013, 04:46:31 PM
Jon,

Thanks for the comments!

Just as a clarifier, I did not address sales literature and materials. Only property, which I provided the standard definition of, for Donald.

I will restate:

The burden of proof is on the perceived violator.

I am not by any means the authority. I do have considerable experience keeping employers out of hot water with the Feds.
My experience has always been that the Feds will back off IF they can be persuaded that their interpretation is weaker than yours.

This is especially true of the FAA. That's another kind of soup!

In closing,

It ain't hearsay, if you can back it up!


Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: John316 on August 21, 2013, 06:06:11 PM
A little late to the game, but this is an issue very near and dear to my heart.  ;D

We have tried to figure out what the law says, and here is what we found. If you make ANY money with your RV, then you are commercial. Haul your racecar to races to win some money? Based on what the troopers say, you are commercial. We went to the top dog at the Kansas DMV, and he said that "If you make money with your RV, then you are commercial." Not as in the case of I haul your materials for a set amount of money, but as in a private commercial vehicle.

The other details? No idea. You can debate it. ;D


Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: Lin on August 21, 2013, 06:44:08 PM
I think that John's research and experience just posted is very important.  It tells us that, whether the authority is technically right or wrong, they are likely to use a simple, highly inclusive formulae that errs on the side of calling you commercial.  From there, you will be welcome to fight the citation.  So, if a trooper asks you if you make any money from your coach, you should deny knowledge of the existence of money in the first place.


Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: wg4t50 on August 21, 2013, 06:54:10 PM
When in the vicinity of police dogs, be aware the standard German Shepard is being replaced, since the Germans are not a problem, they are changing over to the Coon Hound.


Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: Scott & Heather on August 21, 2013, 07:54:23 PM
So, we live in our bus full time. It's our house. I use my computer inside my bus to take IT support calls and make money from them. Am I commercial? Are you kidding me? This whole thing has everything to do with revenue for the state and absolutely zero to do with common sense.


Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: sledhead on August 22, 2013, 04:52:09 AM
I looked at my ownership ( title ) last night and as it was put by the ministry of transport 
 M C I 102c motor home  . My insurance has the same name , is insured as a private motor home .               So I guess its not a bus anymore   :-*                dave


Title: Re: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: Dave5Cs on August 22, 2013, 06:34:55 AM
Scott you bet you are. It also comes into play if you take ANY business deductions such as electric gas or maintanance on your coach. Registration tires etc. If it helps you in anyway make a wage or living.
If I was to have rentals in another state and took the bus to live in while fixing them up.Then took a deduction for my fuel to get there.I would then become commercial even though the coach was not being used to haul anything to the site except me.
Dave5Cs from Galaxy S III


Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: Jon on August 22, 2013, 06:44:27 AM
Let's take the words bus or coach or motorhome out of the conversation and insert the word car, which also happens to be privately owned and registered in your name. If you drive anywhere in your car in the course of your business or employment and take the allowable deductions it still does not make your car a commercial vehicle, so if that is correct how is it possible to change the rules just because our motorhome (coach, conversion, bus) is used in the exact same manner?

Does anyone seriously believe a traffic cop or DOT inspector is going to ask to see our tax return? And so what? I have deducted bus expenses when we used it to go to trade shows, just like I would if I was using my car. I use my bus so I don't have to use a hotel, or so I can have my own bed, coffee and toilet. Hardly a commercial reason.

I think the bottom line is if you put a company name on you motorhome, or tell a cop you are on a business trip or you tell the cop it is nothing more than you home on wheels you can expect to put yourself in the position of trying to convince someone it is not a commercial vehicle. The best way to deal with officials is to say as little as you can and think before you say anything. The more you say the more likely you are digging yourself a hole.


Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: white-eagle on August 22, 2013, 08:46:53 AM
This seems to have gotten out of proportion and off track?  Subject: Weigh the bus?

Maybe some of you should start another thread about common sense, legally commercial buses, and what not to say catchwords.

back to weighing the bus.  so what happens at a scale in IA when i'm not commercial, but I am over my load plate gvw, for example purposes only, by about 2000, and on the rear dual axle.  since i'm not selling anything, do I just drive on?


Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: John316 on August 22, 2013, 08:57:52 AM
Just to be clear, our setup is titled as an RV, it is privately owned, and it did not have the name of any business on it (now it does, with our DOT number). We try to stay inside the law as much as we possibly can (lol, who fights the law and wins? not...). Not to mention, there is personal beliefs that cause us to try to abide by the law.

We asked the local DMV, and they said don't worry about it. You are a private RV. RickB posted his situation, and that caused us to dig a lot deeper into this. Of course, going commercial is not popular and is not nice. Each person can justify why they think they should or shouldn't be commercial. That is fine. However, when you are sitting on the side of the road, with a cop parked behind you, that is not the time to get educated. Vehicles have been impounded for much less. Is it really worth the risk of losing your bus and facing heavy fines? I really don't care about explanations about how somebody isn't commercial. Whatever...  The question is, have you done the research yourself? Have you called the highway patrol? Have you talked to the really high ups at the DMV? Ideas and justifications don't matter at all. What does the law say? Do your own research, not just what you read online.

FWIW

Back on topic....(sorry for the thread drift, but it really all works together). We weigh about 45K, depending on how full our tanks are.


Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: eagle19952 on August 22, 2013, 09:11:07 AM
Let's take the words bus or coach or motorhome out of the conversation and insert the word car, which also happens to be privately owned and registered in your name. If you drive anywhere in your car in the course of your business or employment and take the allowable deductions it still does not make your car a commercial vehicle, so if that is correct how is it possible to change the rules just because our motorhome    (coach, conversion, bus) is used in the exact same manner?
 The more you say the more likely you are digging yourself a hole.

Does your car weigh over/under 10,000 lbs. ?

@ Scott, have you considered taking your calls in your car ?  ???


Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: Jon on August 22, 2013, 10:24:23 AM
My Freightliner 15 yard dump truck does weigh in excess of 10,000 but since I never do anything with it other than for my own personal purposes (mulch, compost, etc) I was told by DOT of TN to register it as a farm vehicle and I did not need a CDL or have a need to cross the scales.

I personally verified that at the Nashville DOT as well as calling the nearest scale house and talking to a trooper there and the story was the same.


Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: muldoonman on August 22, 2013, 11:25:04 AM
Have a small 100 acre farm here. Haul my own equipment/hay/cattle and whatever. Have been told different rules on my farm tagged trucks. Some (DPS Offices) say I need a non Commercial CDL and some say no. Yes I carry an Ag Registered card. They say the same on my Texas Titled Prevost Motorhome. 42,000 lbs on title. Had one tell me at a coffee shop down Galveston Tx.  way, as long as I had Private Coach tag mounted by door, No Problem. Go figure with the dps not knowing there rules.


Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: Jon on August 22, 2013, 11:28:47 AM
That shows the difference between states. I believe TX requires a CDL for vehicles above 26,000, but for my 53,000 pound coach or the dump truck used non commercially a regular car driver license is all that is required.

I have a Class A CDL and current medical so the driver license requirements are not a concern


Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: akroyaleagle on August 23, 2013, 08:19:47 AM
I have no personal monetary interest in this outfit but for a little over $4, you can have your very own copy.

This is the top rated authority for most Operators. It is easily understood. I have issued a lot of them when I was employed. Every driver got their own. I still carry one in my coach which has the important, often questioned, rules high lighted.

http://www.jjkeller.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_Federal-Motor-Carrier-Safety-Regulations-Pocketbook_10151_-1_10551_59244?PromoCode=32305&cm_mmc=Google-_-JJK+>+Trans+>+Srch+>+FMCSR-_-FMCSR+>+Srch+>+Ext+>+Txt-_-txt>888+url>150&gclid=COCNutTwk7kCFcdr7AodEEIAjw (http://www.jjkeller.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_Federal-Motor-Carrier-Safety-Regulations-Pocketbook_10151_-1_10551_59244?PromoCode=32305&cm_mmc=Google-_-JJK+>+Trans+>+Srch+>+FMCSR-_-FMCSR+>+Srch+>+Ext+>+Txt-_-txt>888+url>150&gclid=COCNutTwk7kCFcdr7AodEEIAjw)


Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: Scott & Heather on August 25, 2013, 09:45:01 AM
So we will be weighing Sean (Seangie)'s Eagle tomorrow. Anyone placing bets on his weight? Single Axle 10S. Sean's been eating a lot lately, so if he's the one driving onto the scales, count that in too  :o   

And I know this has been discussed before, but if our coach tips the scales at around 33,000 lbs, (MCI 9) can we legally chain our tags in the lifted position? Not asking about driving characteristics or braking performance, etc, I am aware of those variables, just for my own thought process, just wanted to know if it was legal for me to drive with my tags chained.


Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: belfert on August 25, 2013, 09:57:25 AM
If you aren't over the federal limit for axle weight you should be legal.  I had to chain up one wheel on my tag axle once to get home.  Based on previously weighing each wheel I was transferring about 3,000 to 3,500 lbs to the drive axle.  I inflated the drive axle tires on that side to max and only filled the fuel tank half way to save on weight.  (Fuel tank directly in front of drive axle.)


Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: TomC on August 26, 2013, 09:19:15 AM
The only time you are considered commercial is if you're carrying anything you can make money from. Computer doesn't count. Like rodeo people carrying their horses to the rodeo where they could win a purse. Or pulling a race car where you could win money. Take the money factor out, and it turns into a hobby. Good Luck, TomC


Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: luvrbus on August 26, 2013, 09:38:56 AM
The problem is now the entertainers are running on RV plates we just got back from the KS rally and they were pulling over bus type and  motorhome RV's outside Guymon Ok and Dalhart Tex we went through both checks points following the signs it said all RV's must exit I think the best is yet to come  ::)


Title: Re: Weighing the Bus
Post by: Jon on August 26, 2013, 10:06:12 AM
There are entertainer coaches that do not have commercial plates because they are privately owned. I believe most are owned by leasing companies and carry all the licenses and certificates. But the privately owned coaches are what has begun to attract attention. I am not sure what the officials are looking for, but that skirting of the law likely has now focused attention on all bus conversions. Once anyone sharper than a door knob sticks their head in the door they know it is not a RV or motor home. From that point on they know as a commercial bus they need a fresh box of BIC pens for all the tickets they can write.

Ironically two identical rigs can have to meet completely different rules regarding their operation.