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Thread: Stacker trailer owners trouble with DOT much?

  1. #1

    Stacker trailer owners trouble with DOT much?

    Hello guys i have a 40' coach(425hp C12 cat motor) and looking at 28ft stacker the tongue is 5ft so that puts me at 73' (max 75') exact length in my home state of Washington. but i travel with work all over the us and will bring the trailer with me

    so my question is any of you have much trouble with DOT in different states, my trailer will be plain, and not for hire sticker-ed. i don't race for money or have sponsor's i just tow my cars n atv's and workshop behind me.

    is it the odd occurrence that DOT gives you trouble or is it something i really need to reconsider before i order this trailer.

    i wanted a 30-32ft then decided that is too long to tow, cut it down to 28ft hoping this would be a bit easier.

    thanks for your thoughts hard to find people that actually use these trailers since its a specialty item.

  2. #2
    Senior Member RACING JUNKIE TheRabbit's Avatar
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    As long as you stay under length per state you are in you're are ok. As you know it ranges from 65' and up and each state can be different on that. However, after that the laws are the same as far as being an RV or NOT commercial. Keep the trailer clean, no decals or big wraps.
    You still need to make sure you are not overloaded on any axle, gross or on the tow vehicle. I know in Ga, Fl, and SC you can only get tags for so much weight as a non commercial vehicle no matter what you do.
    A 28' is not a big stacker so you should have no problem with of getting a tag weighted correctly for the tow truck.

  3. #3
    Senior Member DYNO OPERATOR
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    hummm, if it has not for hire on it, i believe DOT rules do not apply. I drive a 2000 Peterbilt for a living, and some times i take a vacation and go out to Sc, and drive the Pete and take my 32' bumper pull trailer, at that time i do not even stop at scale houses and drive more than 11 hours a day. and No log book. and never had a probum.. YET,, LOL. But i am not close to the max lenth. heck i would just drive it, and then ask for forgiveness,

  4. #4
    im not too concerned about being overloaded on the axles, if i had to i could get a toad or tuff tow to take weight on the back of the coach, the trailer will have 3x7000 or 8000# axles they will be fine my stuff doesn't weight alot the atv's and dune buggy weigh 2500# about the same for car, so 5000# in weight plus tools and generator im figuring 16-17k on the high side of loaded trailer.

    my only worry is the length as any normal sized stacker is longer then 65' with a 40' motorhome

    40+30+5ft tongue = 75
    i was looking at having a 28ft built but in most states that would not pass either.

    65-40 means i could only tow a 22ft trailer thats a bit too small for what i want to carry in it

  5. #5
    Senior Member RACING JUNKIE TheRabbit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigray
    hummm, if it has not for hire on it, i believe DOT rules do not apply. I drive a 2000 Peterbilt for a living, and some times i take a vacation and go out to Sc, and drive the Pete and take my 32' bumper pull trailer, at that time i do not even stop at scale houses and drive more than 11 hours a day. and No log book. and never had a probum.. YET,, LOL. But i am not close to the max lenth. heck i would just drive it, and then ask for forgiveness,
    Actually unless that truck is registerd as an RV it is still commercial even if it is pulling a camper. You may not have gotten stopped or go through weight stations but that doesn't mean it's ok. You just haven't been caught.

    Saying DOT rules do not apply to "Not for hire" or any kind of vehicle is a really bad way of explaining an RV or towing laws.

    DOT rules apply to ANYTHING on the road including a car. a 1/2 truck going down the highway with mom, dad and the kids in it or a motorcycle.
    WHICH DOT laws is the thing. EVER vehicle has DOT rules it must comply with.
    The confusion is a lot of people think commercial laws apply to a big RV / toterhome with a car hauler type of trailer and they do not to a point.

    You can still get a ticket for over length or overweight etc. Most states don't bother with any type of rv / toterhome / pickup hauling an enclosed trailer however. some will and do. A lot a big toterhomes simply want go race in Fl. because they will get a ticket for being over 65' long. NC DOT works ( or at least use to )on the 3rd Saturday of the month and does pull over pickups hauling enclosed trailer or big boats that "appear to be overloading the truck". I tried for several years to convince a good friend of mine that he was overloaded with his 1 ton dually with 2 trucks in his 40' enclosed trailer. He told me he was " Not for Hire" so DOT laws did not apply to him. I tried and tried and tried to explain it to him. Needless to say one Saturday a DOT officer in NC on I 77 pulled him over and weighed his truck and trailer. He was over weight on the front axle of the trailer and the rear axle of his truck. He told the office he had " NOT FOR HIRE" on his trailer and the office told him exactly what I told him. That's means nothing as far weight, length etc. When he got his $800 ticket he told me he was going to court to fight it. Long story short he did and it was a waste of his time. He paid $800.

    Not being a smart ass but CDL stands for Commercial Drivers License.

    You can have a 3/4 ton pickup pulling a 24' enclosed trailer with lawn mowers (to make $ as a business) that only weighs 10,000 lbs, but that is considered a commercial vehicle. You would not have to have a CDL, but you do have to have a DOT physical to drive it and it all starts from there.
    Bottom line is it's all about money and you paying some additional taxes and fees to the DOT.


    I do this for a living and have spent several hours with DOT officers on the do's and dont's of anything that applies to big RV's, big (up to 53') LQ's trailers and even towing more than 26,000 lbs and not having a CDL. When you make $ at the race track that can open a can of worms or if you have sponsors / big decals for advertising. That's another topic for another day.

  6. #6
    rabbit earlier you mentioned getting a tag for the vehicles weight, you mean licensing the trailer in that state correct? well considering i dont have an address in any of those states i dont see how i could license them there anyway to drive through the sate.

    ive talked to a local guy who pulls his trailer 30' with 40' motorhome from texas to oklahoma and back.

    hes over length in both states by 5' hes been pulled over a couple times because he has stickers on it and they harass him about a CDL and log books because they say he races for money. (which he does) but they never mentioned getting a length ticket.

    i would like to find a way to be legal to do this but so far i have not found a way to do it 100% correct which is the same for alot of things in life.

    so from the earlier post i should stay out of florida and NC while towing a big trailer that is good info.

  7. #7
    Senior Member RACING JUNKIE TheRabbit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by motofool250r
    rabbit earlier you mentioned getting a tag for the vehicles weight, you mean licensing the trailer in that state correct? well considering i dont have an address in any of those states i dont see how i could license them there anyway to drive through the sate.

    ive talked to a local guy who pulls his trailer 30' with 40' motorhome from texas to oklahoma and back.

    hes over length in both states by 5' hes been pulled over a couple times because he has stickers on it and they harass him about a CDL and log books because they say he races for money. (which he does) but they never mentioned getting a length ticket.

    i would like to find a way to be legal to do this but so far i have not found a way to do it 100% correct which is the same for alot of things in life.

    so from the earlier post i should stay out of florida and NC while towing a big trailer that is good info.
    BEFORE ANYBODY READS THIS NOTHING IS NEW AND NOTHING HAS CHANGED FOR 2013, SO DON'T START PANICKING ABOUT D.O.T. STUFF. DRIVE. HAUL, RACE JUST LIKE YOU DID LAST YEAR!!


    Not much I can add as far as being over length. It is what it is! lol

    Stickers draw big attention to a racer. I'll explain the sticker issue as a DOT officer sees it.

    1 You are a business and you are advertising your products or you are advertising your business / products. If you are a business you ARE COMMERCIAL. Having the tow vehicle registered in the business name obviously for tax reasons is what causes many guys their issues with the DOT. If that vehicle ( even a 3/4 or 1 ton pickup) is registered in the business name it may be a commercial vehicle. (that doesn't mean he has to have a CDL or do a log book, but MAY need a DOT physical) I got a ticket in my F450 service truck ( no trailer) for not having a DOT physical in 1995)

    2. You are a racer that has sponsors that pay you to use their products.
    It is impossible for an officer to say you made $ unless he was actually at the track and saw you get your $, but the decals are a excuse for him to be able to pull your vehicle over for " an inspections" to see what he may find. All an officer needs is a "reasonable cause" to pull you over and for a DOT officer that can be about anything. Decals DRAW ATTENTION.
    I'll also add that he honestly is not concerned about the money you won at the track, it's about the tax breaks you get from the advertising your doing with those vehicles. Many business use their race program as a BIG tax right off as "advertising".

    I've heard so many rumors from racers about the DOT telling me I need to get a CDL, but didn't give me a ticket. B.S. DOT DOESN'T GIVE WARNING. THEY GIVE TICKETS TO GET $ FOR THEIR STATE.


    You have to have the correct weight tag from your tag office in the state you register the vehicle when you get your tag.
    Just like my dually, if I go in the tag office and just pick up a tag it's only good for a 10,000lb trailer. I have to tell them to tag me for a xxx weight. That only cost about $20 more, but I have to have it.

    Some states are a lot worse than others. NC because off so many NASCAR and dirt track guys for many years were racing for large amounts $$, getting the tax breaks, not abiding by the DOT laws and eventually the DOT got involved. Even at that it's still very rare they pull over a race trailer of any kind.



    If an officer pulls you over you don't have to tell him anything about what you do or where you have been. He has no way to prove that you race for money or not or even that you were racing. You don't have to tell him anything and you shouldn't !! It even opens up a can of worms about how much fuel you have it the trailer. Some states you can haul as many 5 gallon cans as you want. Some states say no more than 55 gallons, some no more than 500 gal. Best advise on that is just make sure your fuel is in some kind of approved container and securely tied down.

    This is nothing new it's been this way for many years, but every year about this time of the year you start hearing rumors about CDL, DOT #'s etc.

    2 or 3 years ago a friend started his DOT CDL, DOT log book, need #'s, that he heard somebody got a ticket, we can't haul more than 5 gallons of fuel crap again and I told him to load up his 40' Goosneck behind his dually and go get his CDL w/ combinations and HAZMAT endorsement with it then I'll believe it! lol

    They would laugh at him all week if he tried it.

    BEFORE YOU READ THIS LOOK AT THE 2ND PAGE AT EXEMPTIONS!!

    It states for recreational vehicles for personal use. That is the part so many people don't pay attention too and it's the most important part for us!! lol And yes, a race car trailer is "personal use" so don't think it's only for a true RV with water, and it's own power source.

    That is where the idea of using " Not for Hire" on our trailers came from. It was started by the girls in the tag office and they don't know shit about the DOT laws! That was actually told to me by a DOT officer! lol




  8. #8
    Senior Member DYNO OPERATOR
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    yep. knew i left that kinda open,, but it was way to much to explane, and yep, i just get lucky,, i would rather ask for forgiveness than ask for permision, LOL..

  9. #9
    back to the original question who has actually had trouble towing overlength with a stacker trailer? gotten pulled over cited etc.

  10. #10
    Senior Member RACING JUNKIE TheRabbit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by motofool250r
    back to the original question who has actually had trouble towing overlength with a stacker trailer? gotten pulled over cited etc.
    Honestly only a very, very few people ever have. When they did they just don't go back to that track or if possible not even that state.

    DOT hardly ever messes with race car trailers and a lot has to do with we travel on weekends and at night. DOT is mostly Monday - Friday and knock off around 5 or 6. Government jobs aren't likely to work any overtime either! :lol:


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