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  1. #1
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    Default Is my pickup a Commercial Motor Vehicle?

    From JJ Keller: You can’t be serious! My pickup truck might be a CMV? - IOTW2315 - J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.

    You can't be serious! My pickup truck might be a CMV?

    Did you know that your company pickup truck just might be defined as a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs)? You may be thinking to yourself, I'm not hauling cargo with the truck so it can't be a commercial motor vehicle, or "This truck is way too small.

    In order to understand how and when some of your company's smaller vehicles suddenly become CMVs, consider the following:
    • Commerce involves anything that is the furtherance of business, such as hauling supplies and tools to and from a worksite, dropping off workers, or just visiting a worksite during the course of business. If you are not hauling freight for someone else, you can still be considered a private (motor) carrier.
    • The weight of the truck, load, and any trailer you may be transporting are included in the 10,001 pounds or greater definition of CMV found in ァ390.5. This includes the manufacturer´s specifications of the truck by itself (i.e., Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)) or with a trailer (i.e., Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR)). If you exceed the manufacturer´s weight specifications, and the actual weight of the vehicle and load, with or without a trailer, is 10,001 pounds or greater, this is considered a CMV based on Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) or Gross Combination Weight (GCW).
    • Any size vehicle is subject to the safety regulations if it is hauling placardable amounts of hazmat.

    Even if the trailer is only a small utility trailer, if it places you at the 10,001 pounds or greater, you are now operating a commercial motor vehicle. If the vehicle only meets the definition when pulling a trailer, you would only be concerned about observance of the safety regulations on those days it meets the definition. This includes USDOT markings on the side of the truck and properly secured cargo. The pickups may have to stop at roadside inspection stations also.

    When you find your pickup meets this CMV definition, whoever drives this vehicle must be completely qualified under Part 391, including a copy of the medical certificate on the person of the driver when operating the truck. And the driver must comply with hours-of-service regulations. Even if he or she utilizes one of the short haul exceptions in 395.1(e) (i.e., 100-air-mile radius driver or 150-air-mile radius non-CDL driver), you will need to make sure that he or she does not exceed the daily on-duty hours, does not drive more than 11 of those hours, and has at least 10 hours off between tours of duty. In addition, you will need to make sure that the driver, even if he or she does not operate the vehicle every day, is able to drive based on the 60- or 70-hour rule. If the driver cannot meet the conditions set forth in 395.1(e), he or she would have to complete a driver's log for the day the vehicle is used as a commercial motor vehicle.

    The pickup truck and trailer are also subject to vehicle inspection and maintenance rules. On those days that the vehicle meets the definition of commercial motor vehicle, the driver must conduct a pre-trip inspection per 396.13 and 392.7 and be satisfied that the truck and trailer are in safe operating condition. The driver must also document a post-trip inspection in accordance with 396.11. The next time the pickup truck and/or trailer is used this report must be maintained and reviewed prior to operation, even if days, weeks, or months elapses. You must also retain records on the annual/period inspection of both the truck and trailer, including the appropriate documentation while on the road (i.e., inspection stickers or a copy of the inspection forms). In addition, you would be expected to present maintenance records on the truck and trailer in the event of an audit.

  2. #2
    Elite Member DieselPower's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is my pickup a Commercial Motor Vehicle?

    Nothing new there. There was a big stink back when they originally talked about doing this. Many companies had to get rid of employee's because they could not get a DOT physical card due to health problems. Basically if your vehicle or vehicle with trailer is over 10,001 lb GVW or higher and you use it for ANY type of business you need a DOT number on the side and need a DOT physical to drive it legally. Doesn't seem like a bad idea to me. If your using it for business then you should fall under the same regulations as every other commercial driver because that's what you are. I have DOT numbers on my trucks. They are easy to get and one number covers your whole fleet.

  3. #3
    Super Member Robert_in_NY's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is my pickup a Commercial Motor Vehicle?

    Our trucks here in New York have commercial plates regardless if you use it for a business or not. I remember when I bought my first truck (it was an Isuzu Pup), I had to exchange my passenger plates from my car and get "commercial" plates for that beast of a truck

    But with the new DOT regs we applied for our number and had it put on our trucks along with our company name so it looks nice. Cost $200 per truck but oh well, its only money


    God must love stupid people; He made so many

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Is my pickup a Commercial Motor Vehicle?

    I would think if your driving a company owned Yugo with a sandwich in the glove box it's a CMV
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Is my pickup a Commercial Motor Vehicle?

    Quote Originally Posted by Willl View Post
    I would think if your driving a company owned Yugo with a sandwich in the glove box it's a CMV
    What duz the samwich hafta do wit it?
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Is my pickup a Commercial Motor Vehicle?

    A couple years ago I asked a more general question when I was at a Pa. MVD station. I asked 'When is my pickup not a truck?' eh!

    Here in Pa we have weighing stations that require all trucks to stop. And we have roads that are prohibited to trucks. Also we have certain residential areas and bridges that are prohibited for them.

    The answer was that those rules apply only to 'commercial trucks'
    "What's that?"
    A big truck or a pickup with commercial plates or a company advertisement painted on its side.

    However, in New York any truck including my pickup is a truck. So I would be prohibited in using the Hutchinson parkway in New York state.
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Is my pickup a Commercial Motor Vehicle?

    State foibles aside, a pickup used for personal [non-commercial] use is not a CMV. Take a look at some of the larger RVs. States are now starting to address them due to the large number of in-experienced people driving such a large vehicle.

    I work in motor carrier safety and was around when the CDL was implemented. While I would not want to test it today; back in 90 - 91 when everyone was learning about the CDL it was presented that an individual could purchase a class 8 vehicle [full seze tractor-trailer] and use it for personal use without a CDL.

    Try explaining that to the trooper who just pulled you over for by-passing the scale house...

  8. #8
    Elite Member DieselPower's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is my pickup a Commercial Motor Vehicle?

    The guy's and gal's in the big RV's may not need a "CDL" in their state but in most states you do need a class A license. The only real difference is it's not a commercial license so you don't need a DOT physical card, the rest of the written and driving test is the same.

  9. #9
    Veteran Member chh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is my pickup a Commercial Motor Vehicle?

    It is always interesting for me to read how other states handle p/u's as commercial trucks. Here in OK, I can get away with quite a bit(comparatively speaking) as long as I am hauling farm equipment or farm products with a farm tagged truck. I can haul an 18,000 lb dozer to be repaired or haul it to property I own/rent, but hauling the same dozer to a paying job requires a CDL and commercial plates, DOT numbers ect... Currently hauling equipment to hay jobs is still considered "ag" work. I currently,not that I need to, could own a semi tractor and trailer rig and operate it as a farm truck without a CDL as long as it was clearly marked "Not for Hire" on the doors and I used it only for farm business.
    I recently towed a 24' stock trailer out of state. I found out after I got back that with my 1 ton and with that weight class trailer ,in one state, at least, on that trip I should have had a CDL and been in compliance ect... I have been reading on the horse mags about some states cracking down on enforcement for for 1 tons hauling the big horse trailers with living quarters as being above the CDL limit. One article mentioned a lady with 8 show horses(shows being a commercial venture) being stopped in 100 degree heat for non CDL compliance. The trooper threatened to have the rig "parked" until in compliance, but after a radio call on the animals sent he on with over $800 in fines with orders to get over the nearest state line pronto.
    I know bills have been introduced in congress to try and "clarify" and make a uniform standard for "farm" tagged vehicles, but so far none that I know of have made it very far.
    Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
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    The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale and pays the freight both ways.
    John F. Kennedy

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