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Guys, I found this today and asked Randy if it was ok to re-post in it's whole. Some interesting reading.

David :( :(

Toterhomes are commercial vehicles


For all the NHRA racers like us, I thought I would share an experience with you that just happened to us TODAY.

Pete was driving my rig back from Topeka. I have a 2003 Freightliner Columbia NRC 16' toterhome and a T&E 5th wheel trailer that is 51 feet long. Total length is 85'2".

Just as he came in to California, a CHP officer from the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement department pulls him over. He wants to see driver's license, registration, log book, proof of insurance, etc. While Pete digs all that out, the officer grabs a tape measure and measures the length.

When I bought this truck a couple months ago, everyone told me it's a motorhome...except Lou Gasparrelli (thank you, Lou). So, I never tried to register it as a motorhome. Because I placed USDOT numbers (I even have IFTA stickers) on the truck the day was saved. One of this officer's jobs is to look for toterhomes and trailers all day long. If it's registered as a motorhome you are in deep doodoo...aka parked.

He also said because we are carrying racing fuel in containers larger than .6 gallons we need to have a simple form in the glove box along with a 24 hour phone number (like a cell phone number) of a contact person (me) in case of fire. The form indictates type of fuel and amount on board for the protection of firefighters just in case. He said we do not need placards even though my trailer says TORCO Racing Fuels all over it.

For us, this is the second time we've been pulled over. The first time was back in 1999 by a City of Brea police officer who wanted to see the same things. Back then we had an FL70 Freightliner with a 13' NRC conversion and a 46' T&E trailer which measured under 75'.

Now before you drive your rig through the highway truck scales, look at the front tires on your truck if you have a Columbia or Century Class Freightliner. The tire capacity they come with is rated at something like 7,130 pounds per tire or 14,260 total. I weighed the first truck I had (2002 Columbia, single screw rear axle, 505 HP Cat) and it weighed 15,150 with 3/4 of a tank of diesel WITHOUT the trailer hooked up. The second truck I bought which I have now is a 2003 Columbia Freightliner twin screw with a 500 HP Detroit. It also weighed over 15,000 pounds on the front axle. At the prompting of Lou Gasparrelli (again, thank you, Lou) I had Larry Miner at Diesel Performance change the front tires to a set that has over 15,800 capacity. The very first trip with the thing and sure enough, the red light comes on as it goes through a truck scales. The office comes out of his little booth with a flash light and looks at the weight rating on the front tires. He walks back in the booth and turns on the green light. Thank you, thank you, Lou.

Also, while educating myself the hard way, I lost my you-know-what by buying that 2002 Freightliner single axle I already mentioned in February of this year. I went through a scale after hooking my trailer up to it and "bing" 23,400 pounds popped up as the truck rear axle weight. Federal limit on a single axle no matter how many tires is 20,000 no exceptions, period. So, I either had to run an empty trailer down the road or trade it in for the twin screw toter I just got. Twin screw (dual rear axle) is allowed 34,000 pounds.

I have had some conversations with different individuals at several races who have similar stories in their states. Pete promised the officer we would share todays experience with our fellow racers, so in keeping that it is.

I was told that in Texas they have been pulling over dually pick-ups with one horse trailers whenever a rodeo is in town. If in fact they are on their way to compete in the rodeo, it's considered a for profit business and Texas wants to see DOT numbers.


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