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Author Topic: Updated - Weigh Stations, help please....  (Read 6338 times)
John316
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« on: October 04, 2010, 06:23:40 PM »

Okay folks, here is the short story.

We are looking into whether we have to be a commercial vehicle or not.

One of my biggest questions are weigh stations. The state regs say 20K maximum on a single axle. What happens if the steer axle is tagged by the manufacture at 16K? Would the weigh stations care/catch that? When they weigh a bus, what are weight limits on a bus, when you are rolling through a weigh station?

What happens if you get inspected, and the officer looks at the VIN plate and sees that the steer is tagged for 16K? Would that be a show stopper?

Can anybody help me?

Thanks.

God bless,

John
« Last Edit: December 29, 2010, 06:23:09 AM by HighTechRedneck » Logged

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luvrbus
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« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2010, 06:50:50 PM »

John, they don't care what is on your id tag inside the bus just don't exceed their limits per axle, John some states do it by tire width OK rates the weight on the tires as I remember it was 800 lbs per inch of width no problem for the drivers but the steering and tag can get you in trouble.
Why would you want to be commercial the paper work and paying the road use tax and permits in different states will drive you nuts and your neighbors in Colorado are the worst of any state


good luck
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steve wardwell
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« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2010, 08:23:47 PM »

everythings OK until you clause an accident in the meantime careful you could put your eye out................just drive on by that badboy scale like all rvs
Just like life...if you ask for trouble you will find it
« Last Edit: October 04, 2010, 08:25:21 PM by steve wardwell » Logged

Sometimes the more I think about something the less I think about something.    As soon as I save a little money my bus finds out.                                      Why grab a plane when you can take the bus ?                         If I'm wrong 10% of the time how can the "Queen" be right 100%
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« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2010, 09:00:00 PM »

Iam with Steve unless your have your business name on that bad boy , just keep on drivin It's an RV and not a commercial Bus
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« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2010, 09:30:09 PM »

John,

The states generally follow the federal regs, but the feds do allow them to restrict axle weights to the manufacturer's rating. So it depends on how the state code is written. If you were found to be over weight, you'd most likely be looking at a citation and fine, as opposed to being placed out of service.

My question for you is why do you think you "have to be a commercial vehicle or not"?

CLifford,

The number you're looking for is 500lbs per inch, but it doesn't apply to the steer axle, per the federal regs.

Bob

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« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2010, 10:58:38 PM »

I know here in Calif the scales only care that you have enough tire to carry the weight.  20,000lbs max on a single axle (steer too).  You can run the 315/80R-22.5 up to 20,000lbs, but with a 65mph speed limit (if the tire is rated that way).  Most states don't bother motorhomes.  But-I know that North Dakota is way behind with only 550lb/in of tire measurement.  So a 11 would be 12,100lbs and the 12" would be 13,200lbs.  Most are way below rating.  I know my bus weighs in at 10,500lbs in front and 20,500lbs in back with 13,000lbs rating in front and 23,000lbs rating in back-so I'm way under GVW rating.  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2010, 03:36:15 AM »

There are scales out there that call in all vehicles of any kind over a certain GVWR or over a RGW number.  Regardless of commercial or not.  Not to many but I have seen them.

Brian

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John316
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« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2010, 04:29:17 AM »

Gents,

Thanks for the replies.

Actually most of this is thanks to RickB Grin.

We have looked into the state regs here, and if we continue what we are doing, we are commercial. Believe me, that is the last thing we want to do. We don't enjoy changing the way we do things, but we always try to stay on the right side of the law.

That was my biggest question though. What happens if we get inspected, and the front axle says 15K max on the sticker right inside of the door. We have 315's on the front, so our tires are rated for 9K each. So if they looked at tire weight we are fine. If they looked at per inch, we would still probably be fine. If it was under 20K we would still be fine. However, what happens if they look at the sticker?

I just don't see anyway that they would let that past. However, we are still working through things.

Thanks for your help.

God bless,

John
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« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2010, 04:57:51 AM »

John, they pay no attention to the manufactures rating here is expample on my haul trucks and low boys standard rating was 80,000 lbs and I could carry 118,000 lbs with the same amount of axles add 2 more axles and I could haul 200,000 lbs. 
Just up your weight to 52,000 lbs GVW like the big boys and travel on it will not be a problem


good luck
« Last Edit: October 05, 2010, 05:06:56 AM by luvrbus » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2010, 05:53:09 AM »

There are scales out there that call in all vehicles of any kind over a certain GVWR or over a RGW number.  Regardless of commercial or not.  Not to many but I have seen them.

Brian


Brian is correct there are a few  here in Maryland that say all vehicles  over 5tons. John you were quite clear in your statement "that if we keep doing what we are doing, we are commercial". Be that so you dont want ( as you also stated that you want to be within the law) be stopped and not be up to commercial rules.
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John O
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« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2010, 07:08:58 AM »

I don't think that you will be bothered if you do not have commercial plates on the bus.  If your plates are RV type plates then you do not have to cross the scales.  If for some reason they chase you down, play dumb and act like you don't know anything about anything.  Sometimes they will give you a pass...sometimes not. 

I don't recall busses having to stop at the chicken houses...but my memory may not be great.  BK could likely clarify this.  If you think there will be a problem then Choose not to participate.  There are many different ways to get from point A to your destination and if you check your map carefully, you can find ways to completely avoid crossing scales.  Remember, one burnt out marker light can cost several hundred dollars (I once got fined $200 for a marker light out on a trailer) and once they stop you they will very probably squeeze as much money from you as they can.  Think of yourself as the goose that laid the golden egg in the DOT's eyes.

If you are a truely commercial operation then you have many hoops to jump through and you may find it very expensive to continue. 

Just my 2cents.
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Dennis Watson
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John316
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« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2010, 09:50:00 AM »

Thanks so much for the help, gents.

Okay, I think we have things figured out. We called around, talked to the DOT guy (he is great, he really is. He has helped us figure out what the law says, and he isn't one of those that tries to get you to do everything that you don't need too), and called some troopers at the weigh stations. Turns out all they are concerned about (just like you guys said, the sticker doesn't matter), is what the tires are rated for. Our tires are rated for somewhat over 9k each. So we are just fine. WHEEWWW....Did I mention that is a relief?  Grin

And yes, we are a commercial vehicle. There is really no other way. We could probably squeak by, and not go commercial, however that is a huge can of worms. The problem lies in what happens if there is an accident? That is when things get really nasty (just ask RickB Wink). We really don't want to go there.

In addition to that, we are not a bus in the eyes of the law. We are general cargo carrier, just like a truck. Hence we have to pull through all of the weigh stations. Could we get by without? Probably yes for a long time. However, the one time that you don't and you get a grumpy county mounty, your day just went to hell.

Our bus passed DOT inspection very easily. One gent said that he hasn't seen a DD look so clean Grin. But that ain't fair, because it isn't a two stroke, and we don't leak any oil when we are parked.

Thanks for your help, gents. It really was nice to have some real life experience.

God bless,

John
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« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2010, 10:19:55 AM »

Nebraska and other states have weigh in motion right in the road.  I've triggered the TRUCK MUST EXIT sign multiple times, but I've never stopped since I'm an RV.  I always figure I'll get chased down if they really want me to stop.

I do make sure all lights and such are working so there is no reason an enforcement officer would want to stop me.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2010, 02:33:02 PM »

John, I guess everyone probably knows what you do, that is commercial. I was just curious as to what you do? Glad you got it worked out.
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« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2010, 02:59:13 PM »


[/quote] Brian is correct there are a few  here in Maryland that say all vehicles  over 5tons. John you were quite clear in your statement "that if we keep doing what we are doing, we are commercial". Be that so you don't want ( as you also stated that you want to be within the law) be stopped and not be up to commercial rules.
[/quote]

I run US 301. US 50, & US 13 in Virginia & Maryland frequently & never cross the scales. No one has ever chased me or asked. Of course, my bus looks like & is painted as an RV.

TOM
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