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commercial vehicle used as a personal truck


buzz64

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Can some one tell me how this works. If you have a truck you use for my business during the week. It has commercial tag and D.O.T. numbers. It also has "private RV' stickers for weekend use. Do you still have to log your time and stop at weigh stations if you are using the truck for personal reason on the weekend? Thanks.

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Ok, first of all you are asking RV'ers a question that 99.9% of them have no clue about how to answer. RV'ers are exempt from the commercial regs and therefore do not keep logs.

 

I know this will cause some debate with the few OTR truckers that use their truck to RV but here we go.

First of all, your question is too vague for an accurate answer. Who owns the truck? How is it registered? Whose name and DOT number are on it? Who owns the trailer? How is it registered?

 

First scenario, the truck is registered to the company, Smith & Sons LLC or JS-Star Transportation and the trailer is registered to you, John Smith. Don't even try it. 395.8 allows for personal conveyance, and the guidance is very specific. " time spent traveling from a driver’s home to his/her terminal (normal work reporting location), or from a driver’s terminal to his/her home, may be considered off-duty time."

Hauling your RV to the campground is neither of those. The guidance also allows for " time spent traveling short distances from a driver’s en route lodgings (such as en route terminals or motels) to restaurants in the vicinity of such lodgings may be considered off-duty time. " and again, hauling the RV is neither.

 

Second scenario, the truck is registered to you (a named individual, John Smith) and the trailer is also registered to you, John Smith. I might see how you can get away with this and claim personal usage. I would question it real heavily if I stopped you. The guy on the other side of my county wouldn't ask near as many questions. He would place you completely in the regs and start hanging paper on you for everything he could find. A "laden" truck can not be used for personal conveyance and that RV is a load.

 

In my opinion...(and it is just that, my opinion) a "company" truck, used for anything more than a short trip to the house (not deadheading from California heading home in Florida) or going to eat and back to the truck stop is still a commercial truck. Roadside, you will be hard pressed to prove that your "company" truck is being used for a weekend RV trip when it is more likely that you are in commerce moving RV's. Bosses are nice, but not that nice and your company's insurance carrier isn't covering your RV trip either.

 

Back to scenario #2, if you own the truck, who is holding the operating authority and the insurance? What does your lease say? Do you have your own insurance for none business purposes? Whose insurance are you gonna lay down when that accident happens pulling your RV? You may never get stopped, but when you do I can see a big headache coming your way.

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I fall right in the middle of this situation. And all of what Big5er says is correct. This is how i handle things.

The truck is registered to me, but because it is an apportioned license plate, the company I am leased to is also on the registration. My truck is commercial 100% of the time. When I get ready to move my RV, I notify my company and we handle the move just like I was moving any other customers trailer. It is their hauling rights, their liability insurance, technically under their control(dispatch). I stop at all weigh stations, my logs are up to the last change of duty status. The company name and address are on the door. The trailer is also registered to me, and I am ready to show the registration to the authorities.

 

In the 12 trips in the last 3 years I have made, crossed maybe 20 weigh stations, I don't get a second look. Granted my Work and Play looks more like a cargo trailer than a typical RV.

 

I am not able to use the "personal conveyance" off duty guidance because the vehicle is "laden". Most companies that do use that guidance restrict the drivers to bobtail only, but policies vary widely on how the vehicle can be used. One of those vague areas Big5er can tell you about over a DrPepper.

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I asked the IL State DMV about using my farm semi to haul an RV.

 

"Buy another truck--it'll be cheaper."

Same here. Buying the Volvo allowed me to downsize my daily driver to a half ton (aka "girly truck").

 

But it frustrates my bride to have two big trucks when one could do both jobs.

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Thank you big5er, This was a discussion that was misleading another that wanted to purchase a separate truck for RV use. He was told that as long as he had "private rv not for hire" and was pulling his RV he was free and clear. No log book, no weigh stations.You answered the question with no room for interpretation error. Just want to save a newbie a lot of frustration and money.

Thanks everyone for these answers.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm considering getting an HDT to pull a 5er, and this thread is of interest to me for a few reasons. Mainly, I've been thinking that I may need to keep the truck commercial. I have some tools that I tote around in the back of a truck right now that I use for work purposes (I own my own business). With a light duty truck its no big deal, but with the HDT it would not be legal to use the truck to carry tools for work unless it was registered as commercial. I'd be the owner, registered in my name, towing my own 5er, also in my name. And the reason for having the tools and the RV is that I travel for work, and I'd like to be able to continue to do so while full/part time RV'ing.

 

I don't currently have a CDL, so I'd have to get that license, which I'm not concerned about really. The bigger questions are:

  1. Is it a mistake to try and buy a HDT for RV'ing and also use it for some work?
  2. I don't mind a bit of extra cost and some paperwork and a few stops as long as its not outrageous...how bad is it?
  3. Are the stops for scales time consuming?
  4. How much more would the registration fees be for the truck versus RV?
  5. How much more is the insurance versus RV?
  6. Can i single the HDT if I keep it commercial?
  7. oh, and is this even possible?
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Palmer_MD, to answer some of your questions:

1. No mistake if you have to do it and it works for you. Some do it, many don't.

2. If it was easy and not a pain, more of us would probably do it but see comments to 4 & 5.

3. Only depends on how many more trucks are in line and if they ask you to pull around back.

4. Varies by state. Check with your local DMV. It usually is pretty expensive in our mind. Don't forget the cost for other items like DOT numbers and IFTA.

5. Again varies by state and your insurance company. Check with them they should be able to give you a price for comparison but be sitting down when you get it.

6. Single or Tandem does not have any affect on commercial use. It is all about how you use it. A 1ton dually could be commercial.

7. Yes others do it. Think of it though as using the truck for commercial use and on occasion using it to pull your RV.

 

Dave

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6. Single or Tandem does not have any affect on commercial use. It is all about how you use it. A 1ton dually could be commercial.

 

LOL Thanks Dave. Too many people don't grasp that. "But it's an RV. And RV's are exempt." A moped can be a commercial vehicle under the right circumstances.

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I remember my Dad was a mechanic and he carried tools. He registered his pickup commercial because if following the letter of law if he stopped and helped someone he was now commercial. Did not want the hassle as I recall. I don't think he considered if he got paid or not for stopping to help. Heck I carry enough tools if that caused you to be commercial I would be in trouble. Depending on how and what kind of tools you carry and how visible maybe no problem.

 

In Arizona and let me emphasis my state. All 1 ton and above vehicles are registered commercial. I had a an argument with the state MVD what they do about motorhomes and she said they register commercial. I have really did not pursued but I don't think so but that is the MVD!!! The registration cost here for private/commercial and commercial is more than double.

 

Insurance I did check on regular insurance compare to commercial and here is was about 5 times higher at least with the one company I checked with. As everyone stated all kinds of restrictions you need to be aware of.

 

Finally it seems you can be private or commercial not both. Or at least the cost and hassle make it not worth both. Also those things on the side of the truck "private not for hire" have no legal standing. We really do it so a LEO may look at at it and say to himself I got better things to do and drive on. I even added another line that says " No Commerce" sounds good. Oh if you have anything on you truck advertising you business you are asking to be stopped and questioned and would be surprised if you where not if truck registered private and you had that billboard on your door.

 

Still don't let this discourage you just check closely your state and Federal regulations. Good luck and welcome no matter what you decide.

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