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Old 06-02-2012, 10:06 PM   #1
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Default Meandering My Way Into a Project.

first post. pretty much committed to building a shoestring budget toter rather than deal with CDL. more of a haul all work truck that my wife, dogs and baby wont mind being stuck in for days on the road when we uproot and move our machine shop/life from massachusetts to tennessee in 2-3 yrs. im looking to retain a short wheelbase and the minimum comfortable living space, approximately 12' box with over cab bunk and some integrated dog crates, then a stubby hauler bed off the back.

so far ive determined:

-i need a class 8 daycab or removeable sleeper, which would be sold off
-need tandems to get frame length even if i only one run axle.
-no dayton/cast wheels, must be big 10 hub piloted
-no V engines, no cats, inline 6 aftercooled only
-#2 bellhousing preferred, since i have an RTOO9513 (top 3 gears are OD)
-prefer air ride but willing to convert from spring. i can fab.

the stumper, what engine. 6BT, DT466 and L10 too small. 8.3 cummins borderline? detroit S60, cummins 855 variants, M11, ISM, N14?

one kicker, its gonna be running one of my manual WVO setups. (my oil is very clean and dry, lots of experience) so mechanical pumps with simple fuel routing are very favorable. cheap injectors is also a bonus. i take oil samples for the lab and have no problem pulling, cleaning, pop testing/balancing injectors.. i just dont want them to be unobtainable. $7500 max budget and hoping to find a truck thats still got a 100k left before an inframe.

what would you run for a motor?

how many horse and what gears to hold a 50k GCVW to 65mph up grades and touch 80 in the flats?

my RTOO was behind an NTC250 in a '73 autocar with a 55k GVW. its got 12.10 low gear, 7th under is direct and top gear is .62

thanks for your opinions. great site!
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Old 06-02-2012, 11:42 PM   #2
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-no V engines, no cats, inline 6 aftercooled only
Why no Cats?
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Old 06-03-2012, 06:13 AM   #3
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a friend of mine owns a 10,000SF diesel engine rebuilding facility with large tooling. i worked there a year and have been hanging out now and then for nearly a decade. caterpillars are a staple over there, more than i want to see in for overhaul. a lot of very large V engines, maybe more because they were the only shop in the region that could do such monsterous decking and boring. but it still leaves me with little confidence in them. i dont want to toss money at something i dont feel good about owning. its like why chevy or ford or dodge. well, because thats what i do or dont like.

when ive priced out my cost on rebuild parts through their wholesale account, the caterpillar stuff has always been more. id try on a detroit S60 if a deal came up, but dont really feel the need to abandon what i know and like, which is cummins. theres a really good cummins dealer 5 minutes from my house, and a lot of parts trucks at my disposal locally.
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Old 06-05-2012, 10:52 PM   #4
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no such thing as shoe string budget in this biz, go to racing junk, find something you can afford and buy it, as its allready 50% off what ever the seller has into it..
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Old 06-08-2012, 11:29 AM   #5
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I just recently got an education on what needs a cdl and usdot numbers the hard way, and licensing as an RV will no longer let you skate the dot regs. You may get away with it for a while, but they are actively hunting these types of rigs and small trucks as the dot recently dropped their target enforcement from 26000 gvw to 10000 gvw (combined). Anything with dual wheels or towing a trailer will put you over the 10000 gvw and full dot enforcement. They nailed me with a pickup and an EMPTY 14' enclosed trailer.

While going through my ongoing process of "getting legal" I specifically asked the PUCO person (ohio's dot) about RV's, and the bottom line is ANY commercial activity with the motorhome or a trailer towed by the motorhome classifies you as commercial and every requirement that goes with it just like an 18 wheeler. Some specific examples she outlined for me would be hauling any products for sale (even small quantities), carrying tools for your business, racing and/or show cars where you get any sort of prize or compensation (even tow money, purse, or she even specifically said trophies), or even the RV itself if for example you are going to display the RV at a trade show or some such commercial activity.

So if you are doing all that to have a nice toterhome for your family, more power to you. If you want to get around the dot, it ain't happening anymore. I have pretty much stuck a pin in my own toterhome plans, and am thinking about just sticking a gooseneck hitch on my Kodiak and rolling now that I have to be "legal" anyway.

Good Luck.
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Old 06-08-2012, 05:07 PM   #6
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I talked personally to the Ohio clerk of Courts and she told the DMV lady what to do. From the actual person in charge, you may carry tools in your TC/RV for work to be done away from home and still be considered consumer. If you carry anything that you exchange for money (ANYTHING) you are a commercial vehicle. She said it was the same as a construction guy driving a pickup to work with tools in the bed.

One of the main problems is DOT cats are being ordered to come up with more and more violations , especially in the gray areas. Ask any truck driver, 80% of DOT regs are in the gray areas. That is why I wanted a personal call with the Ohio Clerk. I asked 4 different officials (including the ODOT officers) and got 4 completely different answers.
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Old 06-10-2012, 11:12 PM   #7
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Doc- you hit the nail on the head, none of them can agree on what the rules actually are, and they are all undereducated. The problem with your specific case, is the clerk of courts is not the guy that is going to be rolling a creeper under your rig at a roadside stop, and I doubt he is going to go to court with you and say "yeah, I told him it was ok". Unless you got all that in writing. That would be a cool thing to have in the glove box to show the dot cop. As an example of under informed public servants, at my roadside stop the Ohio State Trooper had mistakenly listed my trailer gvw on the ticket as 10,000 gvw (it was only 7,000 and under class A cdl) which I pointed out and asked him to correct it as I only had a class B cdl at the time, and his reply was "you're ok anyway, you don't need a class A unless you are over 26000 combined". Which is flat wrong. Just an example of even the law enforcers don't know what's what. But Doc, back to your tools, what I was specifically told is that if you are carrying those tools in the furtherance of a commercial enterprise (i.e., you are making money with the tools), you are a commercial vehicle. Otherwise no business would need to follow dot rules unless they were actually carrying goods for sale. Construction companies, utilities, excavators, etc. are all examples of people that only carry "tools", but they certainly fall under dot (and also usdot). If you are under 26000 you don't need a CDL, but if you are over 10000 you do fall under dot regs as far as licensing and logs and insurance, etc., and you would only need a USDOT number if you cross state lines. As another specific example, a buddy of mine (from here in Ohio) with a construction company got busted in Pennsylvania last week taking his tool trailer to a jobsite with his pickup truck. Got the same wringer run through as me, armful of tickets. Your theory of taking your tools to work aren't going to save him. You MIGHT have a case for that if your do not have your own business, and are strictly employed by someone else, so then the truck really is your transportation to your place of employment and then that argument might fly in court. But I am doubting that is the case, and the dot guy is not going to listen to it, he is just going to write the ticket(s) and let the court figure it out.

Believe me, I'm all for skating, I did it for a long time and wish I still could, but I just think those days are past. It's just a matter of how long, not if, everybody is going to get caught. And you are right, it is all about the money right now. The state is short of it, and we are an easy target. And I am now spending a moderate amount of money and LOT of time on useless paperwork that does not make me or anyone else any safer than they were before.
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Old 06-11-2012, 06:37 AM   #8
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I am a pilot, I carry a flight bag with manuals, ie tools of my trade. When I drive to the airport in my truck am I "commercial" ? Don't think so.
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Old 06-11-2012, 07:24 AM   #9
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Actually if the rig was owned by a company (mine or others) then it would be commercial, whether it had tools or not. A personal vehicle (rv, pickup, or smart car) can have tools in it without being commercial. I don't carry any "for sale" gear on purpose. We drop ship everything as to follow the rules the best we can.

As far as the glovebox I documented the 6 months of exploration, including the title fiasco, and have kept it in my glovebox ever since.
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Old 06-11-2012, 11:37 AM   #10
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Doc-
Just sayin'. That's not what I was told personally (not 3rd hand hearsay) by the PUCO compliance person handling my case. Do with that info what you will. If you are truly non-commercial by their definition you are all good to go. I'm rooting for you. Screw government paperwork.
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Old 06-11-2012, 12:02 PM   #11
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Im confused as to why PUCO would be interested in your vehicle if it is not part of a commercial carrier company. PUCO conducts audits, inspections, and safety reviews to evaluate motor carriers’ safety records, policies, and procedures. ODOT is in charge of all motor vehicles in Ohio. Puco never should have inspected you in the first place.

War between government bureaucracies. Geez.

Point - What you experienced is not what I personally experienced from Mary Swain, the DMV, and the ODOT inspector. Massive gray areas
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Old 06-11-2012, 11:21 PM   #12
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In Ohio, the motor carrier enforcement falls under the PUCO, they do all the things you mention, plus roadside enforcement and they man the scales. When you see the cars (now Tahoes) that say "motor carrier enforcement" on the side instead "highway patrol", those guys work for the PUCO. In the old days ODOT did roadside vehicle inspections for cars (remember the inspection checkpoints way back in the day?), but now automotive inspections fall to the highway patrol, trucks fall under PUCO, and ODOT just builds and maintains the roads, etc. The Highway Patrol also has authority to do roadside stops on trucks and write "tickets", but you won't see them on a creeper, and the "ticket" gets referred to the PUCO to ultimately decide which violations you are actually charged with, and sets the fines. A trooper is who stopped me, which is why I probably got off relatively light with only half an armful of tickets instead of a whole armful. lol. And by their definition, since I do have a business, and I do occasionally use my personal vehicle (over 10,000 gvw combined) for business use, I am a motor carrier just like any trucking company out there. A "private carrier" since I only carry my own stuff, but a motor carrier nonetheless. And 95% of the paperwork is the same as a "common carrier" which hauls for-hire. Trust me, you ought to see the pile of paperwork on my desk right now. The fact that the "motor carrier" only consists of me and my wife (and she does not drive it) and a pickup and a couple of trailers does not make a bit of difference, I might as well be UPS as far as the paperwork is concerned. Today's project of the day was getting the paperwork done to get set up with a company that administers my new drug testing program and will tell me when I am selected for a "random" drug test. Fun, Fun, Fun!

My whole idea of wanting to build a toterhome to pull my trailers was to avoid this whole mess, but now I am "legal" anyway, and have a shiny new USDOT number on the side, so the motivation to build the whole thing has kind of fizzled. Still have the topkick and want to tow with it, but looking like I am scaling down to a small box that is either an overgrown sleeper to keep the wife and dog comfy, or maybe still have a larger box, but half storage, and half room for the wife and dog. My current thinking is a small box truck type box like you used, maybe with an attic, cut it down to 10-12' with a solid rear wall and rv door on the back, and a toter style bed and rv fifth wheel for my trailer. Since I don't need any RV amenities to be "legal", I can just put in carpet and paneling and roll for now, and work on it later as time allows. The whole ordeal sort of disappoints me and pisses me off all at the same time. Gotta love the government.
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Old 06-11-2012, 11:27 PM   #13
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One more thing I forgot- I have to shake my head now when I see all these racers, vendors, rv's and various other big rigs trying to skate with "private - not for hire" on the side. From what I have had to learn in this mess "private not for hire" is a term that actually means that you ARE a motor carrier, just that you don't haul other people's freight. It does NOT mean you are non-commercial.
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Old 06-12-2012, 06:57 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hot rod View Post
One more thing I forgot- I have to shake my head now when I see all these racers, vendors, rv's and various other big rigs trying to skate with "private - not for hire" on the side. From what I have had to learn in this mess "private not for hire" is a term that actually means that you ARE a motor carrier, just that you don't haul other people's freight. It does NOT mean you are non-commercial.
20 years ago "private not for hire" protected you from search, but that got changed. It most reasonable states (OH and WV not included), its only purpose is to save officials time from chasing you down and finding out you are an RV. Legally it means nothing.

ODOT officers still do inspections as well. look out for FMSCA. They will be next to give you a call.
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:00 PM   #15
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What's FMSCA?

Anyway, I'm in FL and changing the title to motorhome involved an affidavit and getting the truck weighed (22360# with half tanks and my fat ass). My full intent is to do the shower, bed, toilet, etc. thing with maybe 8' for model airplane workshop, toting the harley for local wheels, and maybe the barbeque grill until we get there. Also planning RV door on the side, awning, a few windows. E.g. an RV. Does this mean the whole idea is shot down the toilet?
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Old 10-05-2012, 01:39 PM   #16
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Is it possible he means FMCSA? Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration? Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
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Old 12-21-2012, 10:58 PM   #17
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Heres one for the cdl side of it. 2 states I can quote for positive (MD and WV). Number 1 ANYTHING with air brakes requires an air brake endorsement in both states and in WV no air brake endorsement without a cdl. and you legally cant drive anything with airbrakes in either state without it no matter what state you are from.
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Old 12-22-2012, 02:30 PM   #18
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Wow! Any links to the regulations?
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Old 12-23-2012, 12:07 AM   #19
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Its in the cdl manual for each state
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Old 12-23-2012, 09:56 AM   #20
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Quote:
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Heres one for the cdl side of it. 2 states I can quote for positive (MD and WV). Number 1 ANYTHING with air brakes requires an air brake endorsement in both states and in WV no air brake endorsement without a cdl. and you legally cant drive anything with airbrakes in either state without it no matter what state you are from.
But that's just if you're driving a commercial vehicle. Not an RV.
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