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Old 01-10-2011, 09:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
racer55
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96 C3500 6.5TD gvw ?

Hi folks
I am very new to towing and wondered if the people in the know would be kind enough to explain the weight limits and the like as well as DOT rules in Canada or the US.

I Checked my door placard and my vin,it seems my gvw is 11,000 lbs,how does this translate to real worls #'s?

I have yet to learn what the vehicle weights or combination of vehicle weights mean in the real world as far as laws go and hope to get educated here.

At present I only have a class G drivers licence that limits me to a 22,000 lbs vehicle or comination of vehicles with a max trailer weight of 10,120 lbs.
In metric thats 11,000 kg's total or 4600kg's trailer weight.

My question is since my gvw is nearly the same as my max trailer weight with my current licence can I leagally only weight 11,000lbs total?

I have also been told that there is a law that when towing a gn or 5ver that a portion of the trailers weight gets transferred to the truck?What percentage of trailer weight gets tranferred?

How does the registered weight come in to play as far as licencing the trucks go?

I am sure that there is a lot of highway traffic act laws involved here that are not common knowledge but any help in understanding the rules would be appreciated.

The questions I am asking may be clear as mud so please correct anything that doesn't make sence since I am asking about something I have no understanding of.

I have gotten some info but that has raised another question,how do I determine the GCWR?

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Last edited by racer55; 01-10-2011 at 09:36 PM.
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Old 01-10-2011, 10:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
PrivatePilot
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Ok, lets go.. I'll preface my response by saying that the information I'm giving is valid in Ontario only. Most other juristictions follow similar guidelines, but some US states especially may have RV relatex exclusions, Farm exclusions, or non-commercial exclusions such that may not make the information directly transferable.

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Originally Posted by racer55 View Post
I Checked my door placard and my vin,it seems my gvw is 11,000 lbs,how does this translate to real worls #'s?
That's probably your GVWR. That's the most amount of weight your truck should ever see on it's own axles, including anything you may load upon them. Basically, think of it as the weight on the front and rear axle combined, irrelevant of anything you may have hooked or be towing.

Your empty weight will be but a fraction of that, in the case if your truck perhaps as little as 7,000 LBS...meaning you can put up to 4000#'s on it before you reach your GVWR. Whether or not you can do that without exceeding your axle (GAWR) ratings is a separate matter, but GAWR's are typically what is looked at before all else from an enforcement standpoint.

GCWR is another figure you may see in your manuals but is not a legally enforceable figure, only a manufacturer suggestion. So long as you are registered correctly (read further) GCWR means very little overall.

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Originally Posted by racer55 View Post
My question is since my gvw is nearly the same as my max trailer weight with my current licence can I leagally only weight 11,000lbs total?
The Ontario class G licence is valid for 22,000Lbs max combination. The 10,120LB limitation on the trailer is also a limitation, however it is rarely enforced based on plenty of experience, at least in the recreational (RV) side of things - you may have a different experience since what you are hauling (and hauling with) looks much more commercial, so I would be sure to adhere to the licence limitations if ultimately you want to stay 100% legal.

A 10K trailer isn't much in the grand scheme of things...and plenty of people have found out the hard way that the Class-G licence is inadequate. You will not likely have any issue with the 22,000 overall gross limitation since your truck will be fairly light comparatively, but you are apt to run into issues with the 10K trailer limitation.

Again, it all comes down to luck. You'd have to have a really unlucky day to find a mobile MTO officer who scales you, but it can happen.

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Originally Posted by racer55 View Post
I have also been told that there is a law that when towing a gn or 5ver that a portion of the trailers weight gets transferred to the truck?What percentage of trailer weight gets tranferred?
This is misinformation that some MTO officers are still spreading. Pin weight transferred to the truck doesn't effect or change anything. I too was mistakenly told that I only needed to register (GRVW) my truck for the weight of the actual truck and ONLY the pin weight of the trailer...I was led to believe (and again, this was an MTO officers interpretation of the non-commercial guidelines!) that the trailer axle weight mysteriously dissappeared so far as a registration standpoint, so long as I was fully non-commercial.

In the end, that was INCORRECT information. You must be registered for whatever your entire combination grosses on a scale, nothing less. There are no mysterious exceptions or weight transfer clauses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by racer55 View Post
How does the registered weight come in to play as far as licencing the trucks go?
Scale the combination in the worst-case (fully loaded) situation and register accordingly. You can pay in 3-month chunks (nice, as it's more expensive) and change the registered weight anytime for a small charge at the licencing office. I register heavy for the summer, and lower it to a (less expensive) weight in the winter when I'm not towing.

You CAN technically register your truck for less then it's actual weight (down to a bottom of 3500KG I think, which is actually less then what my own 3500 weighs empty) but if you get pulled over in this scenario you are technically not legal...

Again, lots of people inadvertently break this law as well...but when you get into 3500 territory enforcement can be more harsh versus the "clueless guy with a half ton that's never seen dirt" type situation.

Golden rule, scale it empty with full tanks of fuel and yourself in the cab (and whatever else you normally haul around when unloaded/not towing) and register it for at least that much in the off season if you want to go that route.

Quote:
Originally Posted by racer55 View Post
I am sure that there is a lot of highway traffic act laws involved here that are not common knowledge but any help in understanding the rules would be appreciated.
In Ontario at least, the most commonly overlooked one for 3500 series trucks is the annual inspection. Any truck with a placarded GVWR of 4500KG or over MUST be annually inspected to commercial standards - AKA, yellow sticker. There is NO exceptions regardless of what you use the truck for, commercial or non commercial, personal or whatever - no yellow sticker with a placarded GVWR of 4500KG or more and you're eligible for a ticket...again, if you get an ornery MTO officer who happens to see you don't have a sticker already on your windshield.

Otherwise, as long as you are totally non-commercial (NOT hauling for profit in any way, shape or form) you are exempt from every other commercial law including daily inspections and logbook requirements.

Quote:
Originally Posted by racer55 View Post
I have gotten some info but that has raised another question,how do I determine the GCWR?
As mentioned earlier, it's irrelevant. So long as you are registered to whatever you weigh, are within all your placarded axle weight limitations, and your licence class is sufficient, you're good to go.

That doesn't mean you can hookup 30,000 LBS to your truck and haul it around even if you're technically legal on axle weights...there is MTO/DOT discretion on what's safe from a basic "is it safe, can it start, stop and maneuver safely?" standpoint...but so far as being ticketed for being over a manufacturers "suggestion", it isn't going to happen.

So, ultimately...knowing what you're hauling and what you're hauling it in, I think you're biggest issues will be the following:

1/ Gotta get an annual inspection. I know you're familiar with this.
2/ Gotta get registered heavy, at least for the towing season.
3/ Your licence will probably be an issue. You may have to consider upgrading to a D class licence - pretty easy, you can do the road test with your pickup truck and trailer, and challenge the written test after self-study - it's dead easy. You won't need to bother with the Z airbrake endorsement.

You may want to consider the new class AR (A Restricted) licence as it will be all you ever need ultimately - it gives you class A non-commercial weight abilities but has restrictions that limit it to non-class 8 equipment.. It's a new licence and I'm unsure of the testing standards...presumably more difficult versus a D, but not entirely sure.

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Old 01-10-2011, 10:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
racer55
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Thanx for the very informative responce.

At one time I was transporting farm equipment as part of my job and was pulled into a safety blitz on anempty return trip.
That is when I discovered the drivers licence limit for trailer load as pointed out to me by the inspector.

At that time I asked about the class D licence restrictions since many straight truck(tandem)gravel truckers were pulling pups and the inspector told me that the D licence had the same weight restriction for trailers as the G licence,he said that the guys pulling pup's had to have an A licence?


I will do some research on the AR licenece in the near future.
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Last edited by racer55; 01-10-2011 at 10:20 PM.
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Old 01-10-2011, 10:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
turnpike
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In Ontario, do some of the RV dealers offer a class for the "AR" drivers license so you can pull their product?

When I lived in Saskatchewan, some of the dealers would set up a one day course that would help you challenge the province's special license to tow a private trailer with a weight more than 4550 kgs (10,000 lbs). They would offer it free if you purchased their product. The special license was not for commercial use. The weight on the truck was another matter regardless of the trailer weight. But, the province did required the truck be registered for the combination weight, in my case I was at 11,000 kgs (24,200 lbs) year round. Private vehicle - no log book & no safety inspection.

In Alberta, the vehicle placards are the limits for private vehicles. Private vehicles in NON commercial use, eg: truck & 5th wheel, don't register any vehicle weights. Private vehicles in commercial use and commercial vehicles used singlely or in combination over 4550 kgs (10,000 lbs.) must register by weight, use a log book and get a annual vehicle safety inspection.

I'm not sure about motor home weights, But, an "air brake endorsement" is required on the drivers license if the vehicle has air brakes.

Fun stuff..and when you get it all figured out, some province/state will change the rules.
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Last edited by turnpike; 01-10-2011 at 10:59 PM.
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