DOT "tricks" Should Be Aware Of?

Topic 24592 | Page 1

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Don's Comment
member avatar

About 10 days ago, I was pulled over by Ohio DOT for a safety inspection. I got a clean inspection (and a company bonus...whooo...hooo), but I am curious about things I should be doing to make future inspections go smoorhly. Also are there tricks DOT does to catch us in violations? I ask because years ago, I received a seatbelt violation after being stop by a Ohio State trooper for not having a license plate light. My truck at the time did not come with one. After I stoppped, I had to unbuckle my seatbelt to get into my glove box for my registration, and did not refasten it when the trooper came up to the window. When he told me why he stopped me, I pointed that out to him, that my pickup did not have a light installed. So he comes back with a seatbelt violation. I explained to him why I unbuckled it, but well, you know how that went. Anywhoo, back ro mt DOT inspection. Whenn the inspectors came up to the pasdenger side they knocked. I could not reach far enough over to open the door with my seatbelt fastened, but damned if I was going to unbuckle. Quite a site when I finally managed to open the door. I did not want a seatbelt violation. I explained to the inspectors why I did not open the door right away. Call me paranoid, but you never know.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Don's Comment
member avatar

'Tricks' isn't the right word, because no one 'tricked' me. What I meant to ask if what things should I do (besides making sure my truck/trailer should pass inspection) and should not do that will ensure I continue to not get a citation during any future inspections.

Sid V.'s Comment
member avatar

The only things I've heard about is dot measuring bridge law with a tape measure and fussing over trailer and lights.

But every dot officer I've personally encountered has been very helpful and honestly just thankful I can speak and comprehend English, lol.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Sid V.'s Comment
member avatar

*Trailer abs light

The only things I've heard about is dot measuring bridge law with a tape measure and fussing over trailer and lights.

But every dot officer I've personally encountered has been very helpful and honestly just thankful I can speak and comprehend English, lol.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

The only things I've heard about is dot measuring bridge law with a tape measure and fussing over trailer and lights.

Not exactly...

Bridge law will never apply to a 53’ trailer. Even with the tandems tucked under the trailer (in the one hole) it will comply with federal bridge law axle spacing and distances.

They are measuring KingPin setting laws which are based on an individual state. Some states have nothing, others like CA, MD, CT, & NJ tend to be rather strict and very happy to take our money.

Bridge law is federal, KingPin Setting law is not the same and state DOT enforced.

See below:

0209800001549992215.jpg0334037001549992264.jpg

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Don's Comment
member avatar

Typical loads hauled range from 8,000lbs and the heaviest load has been about 25,000lbs, driving a single drive axle. At FAB, we usually slide our tandems all the way forward to the one hole.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Travis M.'s Comment
member avatar

I see the two confused all the time in discussions. Even in training material.

Can you explain the rationale behind the kingpin rules? Is it just to ensure maneuverability?

Bridge law will never apply to a 53’ trailer.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

It is mostly for weight distribution over the (normally) 5 axles. The better it is distrbuted, or closer to equal for each axle, the less wear on the road surface.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

It is mostly for weight distribution over the (normally) 5 axles. The better it is distrbuted, or closer to equal for each axle, the less wear on the road surface.

True, except in the case of states that have none (KingPin setting law), and allow a full stretch, allowing tandems slid all the way to the rear or in the 1 hole. Don’s state, Ohio is an example of where you can do either or somewhere in between.

Rear overhang is also enforced in many states which qualifies as both safety and maneuverability.

Here is a great thread on the subject of KingPin Setting Law, that was posted a while back.

I do think it’s all of the above...distance between the drives and tandems, safety and maneuverability. Depends on the state, the greater the population density, areas of tighter maneuverability and over developed urban centers tend to have the stricter laws and they are enforced.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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