Discussion in 'Expediter and Hot Shot Trucking Forum' started by Lopstah, Feb 6, 2023.

  1. Lopstah

    Lopstah Bobtail Member

    Feb 6, 2023
    I have a business buying lobsters off the boats in Maine and bringing them to sell at Farmers Markets. When we started this whole thing it was simply a knee jerk reaction to the Covid shutdownin the Northeast, and at the time didn't give one thought to the future of where it would go, until now. At the time my wife and I were just using a pickup truck towing a 16' enclosed trailer with 2x3500lb axles, and were staying at hotels over the weekend. This got to be expensive, so we decided to convert a shuttle to stay in. I went with an F550 powerstroke and it's been going just fine. I upgraded the trailer to a 24' with 2x5500 axles. Now we're thinking of going farther with our product, but it looks like I'll need to get a DOT number to do it. But from what I'm learning about being a non CDL driver, and going from being a commercial fisherman my entire life to a driver, there's definitely a learning curve, and because of that I very well may have put myself in a bit of a pickle.
    An F550 has a GVWR of 18,500 and my trailer is rated at 11,000. From what I'm finding out, DOT goes by GVWR not GVW.
    My question is this: if my GVWR is over 26,000lbs but I don't exceed 26,000 GVW, can I still run my rig and be compliant at a weigh station?
    On a scale the 550's GVW is just shy of 14,000 full of fuel and water.
    Tell me I don't need to buy another f**cking vehicle...
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  3. Jubal Early Times

    Jubal Early Times Road Train Member

    Oct 17, 2022
    We had a pretty heated discussion a few weeks back. I think if you get a trailer rated at 10k or less you are good. @ZVar is the guy to ask. Since I was wrong in the discussion and he was correct.

    oh that pains me to say…
    tscottme and Lopstah Thank this.
  4. Lopstah

    Lopstah Bobtail Member

    Feb 6, 2023
    So there in lies the problem I think I'm facing.
    I bought the trailer I need to carry the product we need to sell. If I go with a lighter rated trailer, I lose money.
    On the other hand, if I have to buy another truck, I lose money.
    So it looks like ###### if I do, ###### if I don't.
    What was the thread?
    I'd like to read through it.
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  5. Jubal Early Times

    Jubal Early Times Road Train Member

    Oct 17, 2022
    It this legal?

    You may can take the trailer to a trailer shop and have it down graded to a 10k trailer and get a certificate stating it’s a 10k trailer. Unless that extra 1,000 pounds is where your profit is. In which case yes you’re F’d
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2023
  6. ZVar

    ZVar Road Train Member

    Sep 10, 2010
    Flint, MI
    DOT doesn't care about actual weight until it goes over the weight rating. There are three numbers that matter. The GCWR and the GVWR for each vehicle .
    26,000 for tractor
    10,000 for trailer
    26,000 for combined

    If the trailer is over 10,000 gvwr and the combination is over 26,000 you are in CDL A territory.

    You might want to talk to @Accidental Trucker as he started in your shoes. Hauling fish until the trucking part became a full time business.
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  7. Janniboy

    Janniboy Bobtail Member

    Feb 14, 2022
    Have the trailer derated on paper to 7500lbs new registration from trailer shop
    If you are over 26000lbs you need a Class A. I believe if you have a class B you can have a trailer less than 10,000 lbs.
    if your are driving anything larger than an f250 across state lines for commerce you need. DOT numbers( I think). Google your states CDL license requirements. It will be explained.
  8. Lite bug

    Lite bug Road Train Member

    May 3, 2014
    Columbus Ohio
    Like @Janniboy said get a trailer with a rating of 7500 lbs. the combination will be 26,000 lbs. I can run this in my state under 26,000 lbs. Your state my be different some states are. I have been running under 26,000 since 2008 with a F350 GVW of 11,500 lbs and a gooseneck with 14,000 lbs. total 25,500. I have been running this combination since 2008. IMO a little under 26 is better. Some trailer manufacturers will derate their product some will not. Good luck with your new adventure and post how it turns out.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2023
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  9. Brandonpdx

    Brandonpdx Road Train Member

    Dec 27, 2007
    Elkhart, IN
    Nope. Your combined gross vehicle weight rating (GCWR) is 29,500 on that truck and trailer and that will get you ticketed and shut down if DOT happens to catch up to you. Even if the truck itself is only plated/registered at 26k and you don't exceed that, it's still how they look at it. Personally I think it's stupid and you should be able to do that since the truck itself does not require a CDL to drive, but they base the decision on the theoretical maximums of both when you get into combination vehicles.

    You'd be better off with a modern 1-ton dually that only weighs around 8500 empty with a 14k GVWR if you want to avoid the CDL thing. The F-550 is too heavy for non-CDL work and cuts way too far into your payload capacity on the trailer if the hard ceiling for everything is 26,000. Derating the trailer down to 7500 (if you can even do that...some trailer mfgs refuse to play such games after the trailer is built) is a bad idea. The trailer itself probably weighs 4,000 lbs empty meaning you'd only be able to haul 3,500 lbs of lobsters to stay legal which sucks.
  10. JChors

    JChors Medium Load Member

    Apr 20, 2009
    Newport, OR
    Why use a combination vehicle at all? Sell the truck and trailer, and get yourself a 26,000lb GVWR rated box truck with a liftgate and a small sleeper. It keeps you under CDL, means less vehicles to register and insure, lower toll road/bridge fees, less tires, brakes, and axles to maintain, a more durable Class 5 or 6 chassis than a pickup, a DOT legal sleeper, easier parking, and the ability to load/unload at both a dock and ground service. That's what i would do.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2023
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