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Colorado Green NOW
Monday, September 22, 2014 02:14 PM

landscape truck

When a landscape company’s truck with trailer is pulled over by a state trooper, one of the top two most common violations is lack of US DOT markings on the truck.

Troopers with the Colorado State Patrol readily admit that landscape industry vehicles are some of the least compliant with Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations.

Many times, drivers are not aware that most truck and trailer combinations meet the definition of a commercial vehicle and therefore must comply with certain regulations – which includes having the DOT number clearly displayed.

Currently, there is no charge to obtain the number – but beginning in October 2014, there will be a $300 fee to get the US DOT number.

Basic facts:

  • The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issues DOT numbers
  • One number is issued per company and that number must be displayed on vehicles and/or trailers as required by law.
  • The company name and the US DOT number must be marked on both sides per certain requirements. 
  • There is an alternative to this marking requirement for some vehicles. If the company’s business operates as an intrastate carrier, meaning solely within state boundaries, and the GVWR of the power unit – the truck doing the towing – is 10,000 pounds or less, then the trailer can be marked rather than the power unit.
  • When the combination weight of truck and trailer is higher than 10,001 pounds, either the pickup truck or the trailer must be marked.

How do you know if you are driving a commercial vehicle?
The definition of a commercial vehicle is specific and has two components – vehicle weight and, as the name suggests, commercial use. The Colorado Revised Statutes (CRS) define a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) as: Any self-propelled or towed vehicle bearing an apportioned plate or having a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) or gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 10,001 pounds or more, which is used in commerce on a public highway.

 
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