I registered on TTR in 2008 and this is my first post. Back when I registered I was working in the construction industry and I wanted out of it so I was seriously considering getting my Class A (I had already had a B and some 10 wheel experience) and do OTR. An opportunity arose in the airline industry to work as an industrial maintenance mechanic and I went in that direction and it has worked out extremely well for me since then.
Here is my situation which is why I have a question about drug testing. I moved from the LA area to a town about an hour east of Amarillo. My hobby is restoring old machine tools. I’ve already moved about 40,000 pounds of machinery with a Penske box truck and my F-250 and a gooseneck trailer. I still have about 200,000 pounds of machinery to move from Hesperia, CA to Texas. At 10,000 pound a trip I won’t be out of there until the end of next year. I made the decision to get my Class A and buy a real truck to finish the move. I ended up with a 1989 Peterbilt 567 flatbed (488,000 miles, Cat 3406B, 13 speed, 10 wheel with a duel wheeled pusher and 54,000 lb. GVW). I had it gone through at a shop and all of the mechanical and DOT safety issues have been fixed. I plan on keeping the truck after I’m done with the move because I will have a use for it in the future, and it was a heck of a lot less money than a decent F-350 with a heavy duty gooseneck. I am not and will not be using this truck to make money. It is strictly for my personal use.
So here is my question. I was reading the Federal regulations for drug testing and my understanding is that an O/O has to put themselves in to a drug testing pool for random testing. Since I’m not using this truck for business purposes do I still have to place myself in that testing pool? Since I’ve never done any type of illegal drug I’m not worried about failing a test. My concern is that if I’m at my regular job I can’t just leave to go take a test. I can’t find an answer to my particular situation so any information would be appreciated.
An intro and a question about drug testing.
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First, welcome to Texas.
Second, I'm not a lawyer and you should check with one or call the DPS office in Amarillo or Childress. With that said, I looked through the green book and didn't see any mention of operators using a vehicle strictly for personal use, so I assume that you fall outside the scope of the regulation and thus don't have to place yourself into a consortium. But like I said before, check with an attorney or a DPS Trooper to get an authoritative answer.
Third, what kind of machinery and tools do you restore?
A few things to note.
1. Personal use doesn't require you to follow any FMCSA rules, as it's only allowed to regulate commercial moves.
2. If you sell any of that machinery after restoring it, it's no longer a hobby but a commercial business in the eyes of the regulations.
3. Even if 100% personal I think the biggest issue will be convincing a random dot officer somewhere in, for example, Arizona that it is in fact personal.
If youre not using your CDL then you are not subject to FMCSA regulations until you get over 26k or pull over 10k.
Exemptions to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) | FMCSALast edited: Oct 7, 2022
As long as you are “NOT FOR HIRE” and it is plainly stated on the truck and, the items you are hauling belong to YOU and, you have proof, that truck is no different than your personal pickup truck.
You are going to have problems with California with that truck.
Here is a suggestion, get the thing titled as an RV. This exempts you from CARB and also most of the issues related to being a truck so FMCSA does not matter at that point. I don't remember what Texas requires, but I do know Escapees club has details on what to do in Texas.
Here when I converted the title from a commercial vehicle to an RV, all I had to add was a sink and have a toilet which didn't have to be integrated into the sleeper.
Just also to add, as Zvar said if you are making money off of your work, then you will be considered commercial but as I thought about my hobbies, I don't make money off of them at the time I purchased my little truck and trailer to haul things out of different states, to avoid any issues I sold both of them as soon as I stopped stocking my collections, avoiding any problems. Now I am selling and letting the buyers deal with shipping or picking things up.boomer641 Thanks this.
As far as CARB, I highly doubt you'll run into any kind of issue as an out-of-state plated truck.
As far as non-commercial, the phrase "not for hire" has no legal meaning on the Federal level. It's used a lot, and I'll guess it has legal meaning in some states, but as far as FMCSA is concerned, it's meaningless. DOT loves to push the "commercial" line, as was mentioned". The commonly used example is rodeo participants being nailed for being "commercial" because there's prize money involved. Beyond stupid, but as mentioned, that's the world we live in, and if you sell your restored equipment, you leave yourself vulnerable.
As far as drug testing notifications, our notifications come in the mail. It's not like you get a phone call from the consortium and then have 30 minutes to go. If you set it up to where your wife is the contact, YOU don't get notified until she notifies you, and she typically has pretty wide discretion on when to send you. The cost is more of an issue than the inconvenience, to me.
Have fun, use twice the securement you think you need.....
Thanks for the welcome! Just FYI, I am NOT going to Califonicate Texas. I been asked that question more than once.
I’ll pay a visit to the DPS office and ask them. Thanks for the advice on that!
Old lathes, mills, drill presses, etc. They didn’t skimp on the cast iron when this stuff was made. Thus the need for a heavy duty truck. I also have an International 500C crawler loader that will be going in the shop as soon as I get my machinery set up.
I’ve been reading the regulations on HOS and I did find where it says that I can log in as Off Duty so long as I’m hauling my personal property. Knowing that, I would just as soon keep proper logs and HOS just to avoid the hassles of not doing it. Even though I can prove in court that I’m not hauling for hire I still don’t want the hassle of doing so.
You’re right about convincing a DOT or Highway Patrol officer that I’m hauling my own stuff. I know a guy that bought a 25,000 pound metal planer that he and a friend hauled home to his shop with a F-350 and a gooseneck trailer. They blew by a weigh station and were chased down and stopped. He somehow managed to convince the cop that it was for his personal use and avoided a ticket. I will be pulling in to the weigh stations just to avoid that kind of aggravation. And if I’m ever asked, I don’t sell any of it. As of right now that is true. But I know that that will be changing once my move is complete. No matter what, my plan is to just play by the rules of a commercial business. Again, it’s just easier to do it that way.Last edited: Oct 7, 2022
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