Jump to content

Texas ... Too long at 70' with commercial truck?


KWT660HDT

Recommended Posts

Howdy i've been reading up on this for a while now but there's still some remaining confusion ;)

 

My rig is 70' long - a 244" WB KW 660 with a 45' toyhauler - not carrying anything else on the truck

 

My KW is Registered as a private commercial truck in Alberta - (class 3 plate)

 

In Alberta this means i can't use it for any commercial purpose whatsoever - private use only.

 

I don't need to do a log and am not required to stop at weigh stations - in Alberta - other jurisdictions balk at this so i do a log and pull in at all the scales when travelling out of Province just to be safe - learnt this the hard way after bypassing an open scale in Sault Ste Marie Ontario and getting chased down by an irate commercial enforcement officer...

 

I am allowed to pull the same weights and lengths as regular commercial trucks but I am exempt from DOT and all the other commercial fuel taxes etc...

 

Seemed like a good idea at the time ... At least until I realized that some states/provinces don't care for that type of rig 'classification' and may want to enforce RV length rules on it regardless of the 'commercial' plate

 

So ... Can anyone help me figure out if

 

1 - is Texas going to be a problem for length

 

2 - if so, can I obtain an overlength permit for this rig - everywhere i've looked seems to indicate overlength/overwidth permits are only for commercial trucks operating commercially i.e. with DOT registration

 

we're on a pretty big road trip now (first one!) went from Calgary to Montreal then to Miami and now we're working our way back home through Pensacola and (hopefully) Dallas and Moab...

 

now we're near Pensacola wondering if we can even go to Texas with this rig (legally)

 

Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome to the forum! I believe that this has been discussed here before but I believe that 65' is the legal length in Tx. There is someone here that is the expert on the subject and he may chime in. The question I have is why didn't you register your truck as a motorhome instead. I don't stop at any commercial required stops as a motorhome (Alberta plate). Also, my DW and I are the only names on the registration and even at customs makes things very straightforward when RV, Smart Car and motorhome are all the same.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i went to the registry in Okotoks to register as a MH and the lady there saw that I had a CDL and recommended this plate since in canada and US motorhomes have to be less than 65' but with this 'commercial' plate I'm supposed to be legal everywhere up to 75'

 

As long as i don't carry a car or anything else on the truck- then i would be limited to 65' same as a MH

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would not be too worried about your length. I think you will find that where the rubber meets the road, for most of us, we have length issues/challenges. Knowing this, most of feel that safety trumps length and if stopped and sighted for length we will just deal with it and continue on. This is not a flippant attitude towards the law, it is just the reality of balancing outdated, uninformed length laws vs the reality of the weights and mass we are moving down the highway.

 

Being cited for length is an exception and not the norm. If length was a priority for law enforcement then width would be also. Most Smart Cars exceed a length of 102". Almost all Smart Cars are carried across the width of the truck and not the length. So all of these trucks with Smarts, even if they do not exceed the legal maximum length, are out of compliance with the Smart Car loaded on the truck. I have yet to hear of anybody being cited with a width/oversized ticket.

 

At 70' in length it will be very difficult to know you are exceeding 65' running down the road. It will not be obvious and require a traffic stop and getting out the tape measure. Yes it could happen but highly unlikely. Now if you were 90' that would be a different story but again still more of an exception. I am sure Big5er will chime in here at some point with his vast knowledge of the priorities and mindset of the average DOT officer here in Texas. If you do decide to pass thru Dallas and need anything just drop me a PM. I live here in the vast suburbia of the greater DFW area.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rick says it well. Show me a pickup truck towing one of these big boys down the highway, there is no comparison for safety. Length has no effect when considering safety. Yes, we will have to deal with it when it happens, and maybe even start a fight against the law (for safety reasons) upon receiving a ticket. I think the real crime here is that the RV dealer tells you "no problem" towing one of these big boys with a LDT. As I've learned a long time ago - it might tow it, but will it stop it?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What everyone says is correct. I live, we'll use to live in Dallas. Have driven many miles in Texas in my volvo with no issues. At 74 ft I'm feeling lucky. It's not on the Leo's radar. But if you get caught speeding or for something else they might take a closer look.

 

Good luck and welcome to the forum and to Texas.

 

Y'all have fun, here.

 

JC

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I guess what I'm wondering here is will Texas honor my commercial designation on this rig or will they consider me an RV.

 

If nobody balks at the commercial status then as long as my trailer is less than 59' and my truck doesn't have a dromedary or car on it there's no overall length limit on STAA designated roads - in Texas

 

If i go on non-STAA roads then I can't be longer than 65' no matter what is my understanding.

 

I don't think I qualify for overlength permits since i'm not actually hauling commercially

 

As far as playing the odds...i'm not much of a gambler!

 

As far as safety goes this rig is so much safer than using my one ton dually I don't really understand how they can rate those trucks to tow up to 30k lbs now... Crazy

 

Looks like I have an unusual setup here and I'm in a massive grey zone when it comes to figuring is it an RV or is it commercial. You can easily argue either way so it'll make for some interesting roadside chats If I get pulled over

 

Thanks for all the input

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rick, registering as MoHo in Alberta only happens with a single rear drive axle. If he's still tandem, commercial is the only avenue open. This also entails a CDL, which was a non-issue, in this case. As he says, a huge grey area. With a CDL already in place, I'd drive it that way, including log book. If he appears to be 100% legal as a commercial unit, it'll deflate the RV argument. Not the path I'd choose, but then I don't have, or need a CDL.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do you have any commercial numbers on the truck- any signage or such? In the US, chances are if you are pulling your RV you will not be stopped (except for speeding, rolling a stop sign etc), as long as you have nothing showing that says I"m commercial in Canada. No one on here that I know of stops for weigh stations. As you blow buy, someone inside looks up and sees the RV and shakes their head. Even the scales on the highway tell us to BYPASS the station. Might be different if your tandem axle though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is a Florida Trooper threat has a YouTube video out. He works scales. He shows their monitor and how when you drive over the weigh in motion they have your weight. They also have you length and width with the widest parts highlighted on the monitor. I believe they also have your height. This is done by lasers. They have everything they need if they wanted to come after us. There is no money in stopping us. I just don't worry about it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Darryl,I did mine as a motorhome and it eliminated all the things I didn't want to do. I went right out to the scale house and talked to the supervisor there and explained what I was doing and that's why I went the "motorhome" route in Alberta and is why every truck RV haulers does here in Alberta is registered as a motorhome. If, I would have gone tandem I would need a class 3 license and "Q" endorsement instead of a class 5 and a "Q". Lot's of tandem "motorhomes" out there in Alberta. That is also a grey area registering them but it can be done.

 

toterhome.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No commercial numbers or anything on my truck. It says ' Private Rv not for Hire' on the sides like most folks

 

Yup i'm still tandem

 

Registering as a private commercial truck was the only way to be legal at up to 75'5" (23m) in canada.

 

I called a few states DOT dept's before venturing south and none of them wanted to deal with the length issue...they all said that I didn't need to do a log or stop at scales according to the rules BUT they highly recommended i do a log and stop at all scales anyways....sheesh

 

We went to florida where it seems every scale is open all the time and always got a green light after getting weighed so all good for length in Florida cause yes they laser measure you every time

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is a Florida Trooper threat has a YouTube video out. He works scales. He shows their monitor and how when you drive over the weigh in motion they have your weight. They also have you length and width with the widest parts highlighted on the monitor. I believe they also have your height. This is done by lasers. They have everything they need if they wanted to come after us. There is no money in stopping us. I just don't worry about it.

 

I think this is the video:

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rick, I did say "drive axle". Most motorhomes are using a tag axle. No grey area there. Greg's trucks are also mostly singled to get around the license issues. The max length in Alberta, for an RV is 20m, as I recall.

 

I agree with you Darryl and am aware of what a tag axle is. The picture posted above has tandem "drive" axles and is what i'm talking about registered as a motorhome, Anyway, not going to argue over it the choice is whatever works best for "your" situation just want to make it clear to the people asking.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't quite understand what a "private commercial" registration is. When I asked at AB Registries I was told I could register as a "private truck" for personal non commercial use only - same as a personal pickup truck, or a "motorhome" if certain conversion criteria was met.

 

Or "commercial" if the truck is used for commerce, or "farm truck" if used for certain farm hauling ...

 

I can tow a private non RV trailer up to 75ft. But the agent said "maximum length with an RV trailer would be 65ft just like it is with your pickup truck..."

 

Also the local vehicle dimension regulations where you are apply, not what you are allowed to do "at home" as far as I know.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How does a log book for a non commercial driver work? Do you have to shut down after 11 hours of driving for a 8 hours break? After a 72 hour work week, do you have to do a extended 34 hour shut down (not suppose to move the truck)? Do you have to keep 2 years of copies available for a audit? Do log book violations add points against your DOT record? Will a private driver be required to install E-log in his truck at a $5k expense like the commercial drivers soon will be.

This don't make sense (not even from Canada :) ) about a log book being required for a RV.

Greg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is someone here that is the expert on the subject and he may chime in.

I was called several things today Rick...expert wasn't one of them. But lets examine that word: "Expert"...Ex-pert....ex-spert...ex-spurt.

Hmm, "ex", as in "has been" and "spurt" as in "drip under pressure". Hmm....I guess I could be an exspurt.

Dr. Pepper does help to relieve some of the pressure though.

 

No commercial numbers or anything on my truck. It says ' Private Rv not for Hire' on the sides like most folks

First, welcome to the forum.

Second, I think your signage answered your question...In Texas a recreational combination is limited to 65 ft.

As I am sure most here have said, the odds are in your favor. BUT.....you could be stopped and ticketed. It HAS happened before and I am sure "that" other guy in Houston isn't the only one that will write you a ticket.

 

EDIT: Oh, yeah...take it from Rick's "exspurt". Do NOT run a log book and do NOT stop at the scales unless the signs specifically say you must. I would rather explain to their "exspurt" that I am not commercial on the side of the road after passing the scales, than explain to some civilian "expert" sitting in a scale house where I should be anyway. Have your paperwork ORGANIZED and ready to show the exspurt. Politely explain to him that you are a RV, (and I am assuming) that you do not do anything that even resembles commerce and are strictly (another assumption) vacationing from Canada. A copy of your laws governing registration that shows that your truck is personal use/recreational only won't hurt either. Offer it to him...he may or may not want to read it.

 

Disclaimer: The above paragraph assumes that you are not a race car driver, a rodeo rider or in some other "hobby" where you win prizes and want to "claim" that you are an RV and not a commercial vehicle. If you do engage in this activities, please come through Houston and I will meet with you personally and explain the differences between RV'ing and what racers do.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't quite understand what a "private commercial" registration is. When I asked at AB Registries I was told I could register as a "private truck" for personal non commercial use only - same as a personal pickup truck, or a "motorhome" if certain conversion criteria was met.

 

Or "commercial" if the truck is used for commerce, or "farm truck" if used for certain farm hauling ...

 

I can tow a private non RV trailer up to 75ft. But the agent said "maximum length with an RV trailer would be 65ft just like it is with your pickup truck..."

 

 

So you have a class 1 CDL and your truck registration says class 3 commercial?

 

Then one of us got bad info from AB registries cause they assured me I'd be legal length - wise even with a 53' commercial trailer converted to an rv toyhauler...

With a commercial fifth wheel that would put me right at 23m (75')

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How does a log book for a non commercial driver work? Do you have to shut down after 11 hours of driving for a 8 hours break? After a 72 hour work week, do you have to do a extended 34 hour shut down (not suppose to move the truck)? Do you have to keep 2 years of copies available for a audit? Do log book violations add points against your DOT record? Will a private driver be required to install E-log in his truck at a $5k expense like the commercial drivers soon will be.

This don't make sense (not even from Canada :) ) about a log book being required for a RV.

Greg

Logs and scale stops are required for Quebec and Ontario only in Canada where they don't recognize the concept of 'private commercial truck'. And yes they require you follow hours of service requirements.

 

If you have a MH or 'large pickup' registration logs and scale stops are not required anywherein Canada or US is my understanding

 

My truck is exempt from DOT since it is not being used for any commercial purpose

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was called several things today Rick...expert wasn't one of them. But lets examine that word: "Expert"...Ex-pert....ex-spert...ex-spurt.

Hmm, "ex", as in "has been" and "spurt" as in "drip under pressure". Hmm....I guess I could be an exspurt.

Dr. Pepper does help to relieve some of the pressure though.

 

First, welcome to the forum.

Second, I think your signage answered your question...In Texas a recreational combination is limited to 65 ft.

As I am sure most here have said, the odds are in your favor. BUT.....you could be stopped and ticketed. It HAS happened before and I am sure "that" other guy in Houston isn't the only one that will write you a ticket.

 

EDIT: Oh, yeah...take it from Rick's "exspurt". Do NOT run a log book and do NOT stop at the scales unless the signs specifically say you must. I would rather explain to their "exspurt" that I am not commercial on the side of the road after passing the scales, than explain to some civilian "expert" sitting in a scale house where I should be anyway. Have your paperwork ORGANIZED and ready to show the exspurt. Politely explain to him that you are a RV, (and I am assuming) that you do not do anything that even resembles commerce and are strictly (another assumption) vacationing from Canada. A copy of your laws governing registration that shows that your truck is personal use/recreational only won't hurt either. Offer it to him...he may or may not want to read it.

 

Disclaimer: The above paragraph assumes that you are not a race car driver, a rodeo rider or in some other "hobby" where you win prizes and want to "claim" that you are an RV and not a commercial vehicle. If you do engage in this activities, please come through Houston and I will meet with you personally and explain the differences between RV'ing and what racers do.

Nope I am not engaged in any commercial or sponsored activity this rig is just a big toy :) thanks for the offer though

 

I had been advised by NY DOT among others to run logs and stop at scales in the states since the truck registration says commercial even though logs etc... Are not required for recreational use of a commercial vehicle

 

They reasoned that if I did get stopped at a scale or pulled over everything would appear to be in 'order' to those officers that are less familiar with these rigs given the commercial registration

 

I was also told some states scan the truck plate before the scalehouse and blowing by with a commercially plated truck would likely lead to getting chased down which is bound to take more time than just pulling in and getting weighed

 

Things would have definitely been simpler with a MH or 'pickup' registration....

 

I will try not pulling into scalehouses and see how it goes .

 

Thanks for the all the input guys, it's much appreciated

 

 

I

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't understand your response KWT660HDT - driver license class vs class 3 etc... ?

 

I guess what I was trying to say is how can a truck be registered as "private" and "commercial" at the same time. It is one or the other. You can use a commercial truck for private purposes but not the other way round...

 

With your private truck you can tow longer than 65ft combination in AB except with an RV trailer if they want to be sticky about the law. I can't see AB DOT bothering you for a couple or 3 feet. If you convert a 53ft trailer whether or not it is an "RV" is open to discussion at the scale parking lot. A production RV rig covered with swoops and swirls stretched out to 80 feet might attract DOT attention.

 

Again when you leave Alberta the dimension laws where you are apply, no matter what your home registration allows.

 

I think Big5er gave you good advice.

 

Are you pulling a 53ft conversion now?

 

Always interested in looking at rigs with real 4 season capability B)

 

Travel safe

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also, I always get asked for my "motorhome" license plate number when crossing the US/Canada border. The "motorhome" license plate is required to be on the rear of the vehicle and if I was registered as a commercial vehicle it is required to be on the front in Alberta. So, going past scanner's all they can determine is that the trailer is a personal trailer registration. On the way back from Denver passing a Montana scale in some bad weather I had a DOT car come speeding up behind me and once he saw the PRIVATE RV NOT FOR HIRE and what I was towing backed off and turned around. That's as close as I've been to being pulled over and have never stopped at any scales or POE's.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

RVers Online University

campgroundviews.com

Our program provides accurate individual wheel weights for your RV, toad, and tow vehicle, and will help you trim the pounds if you need to.

RV Cable Grip

RV Cable Grip

All the water you need...No matter where you go

Country Thunder Iowa

Nomad Internet

Rv Share

Dish For My RV.

RV Air.

Find out more or sign up for Escapees RV'ers Bootcamp.

Advertise your product or service here.

The Rvers- Now Streaming

RVTravel.com Logo



×
×
  • Create New...