DOT Numbers - General Discussion - Contractor Talk
View Poll Results: Do You have a DOT#?
Yes and I'm proud of it. 3 37.50%
No, but I'd like one. 4 50.00%
DOT #'s are for poons. I like looking like a Craigslist Contractor. 1 12.50%
Voters: 8. You may not vote on this poll

DOT Numbers

 
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Old 06-24-2009, 06:50 PM   #1
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DOT Numbers


How many of you contractors have DOT numbers on your work trucks?

Why or why not?

I got one because I get a 25% discount on my commercial truck insurance when I have DOT#'s and an 18 month compliance check. I can insure my truck as a commercial vehicle cheaper than as a personal vehicle.

Being on the Washington/Idaho stateline I frequently engage in commerce across state lines.

Image. Having a DOT # on my rig makes me look more professional.

It's free to get a DOT #, so why not get one.

Your thoughts...
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Old 06-24-2009, 07:38 PM   #2
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Re: DOT Numbers


http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/registratio...escription.htm

That's the link to get a free DOT #. If the GVW of your truck and the trailer you may tow add up to over 10,000lbs you qualify to get one.

As requested by CScalf.

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Old 06-24-2009, 07:47 PM   #3
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Re: DOT Numbers


I don't need one
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Old 06-24-2009, 07:49 PM   #4
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Re: DOT Numbers


Quote:
Originally Posted by BobsLandscaping View Post
I can insure my truck as a commercial vehicle cheaper than as a personal vehicle.
Either your vehicle is commercial use and then it is rated with Commercial rates, or your vehicle is personal use and then it is rated with Personal rates. Having a DOT# or a company logo painted on the vehicle doesn't give you the option of choosing which rating system can be used.

Side-issue:
When you think about it there really isn't much difference between driving a pickup to jobsites or driving a pickup to the homes of friends/family, so why are commercial insurance premiums lower than personal use premiums? The main reason is this: Accident Benefits. This is the part of the policy that pays for medical bills, time off work, and other expenses resulting from injuries to the driver and passenger(s) of your vehicle.

If the driver (and/or a passenger) of a company vehicle is injured, the accident more than likely happened while they were working which means that Workers Compensation will be paying their medical bills and their time off work, not the insurance company. Because accidents involving injured workers in a company vehicle have lower claims payouts, subsequently the premiums charged for commercial vehicles are lower.

However, your Workers Comp premiums will go up, so in the end it still costs you.
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Old 06-24-2009, 07:53 PM   #5
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Re: DOT Numbers


My truck is both my personal vehicle and my work vehicle. I only own one truck. I go with what's cheaper. Also commercial plates for a 6,450GVW truck driven less than 20,000 miles a year is cheaper to register than as a personal vehicle. Overall is saves me a couple hundred a year having commercial plates and a DOT#.
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Old 06-24-2009, 08:02 PM   #6
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Re: DOT Numbers


I totally understand that given the choice, one would always go with the rate calculation that results in the lower premium. And true, sometimes a situation can fit in more than one rating slot. In your case where there is combined use, I truly hope that your agent did their job correctly and disclosed the mixed use to the insurance company. People bend the rules all the time (goodness knows I certainly do), but I would hate to see you have an accident while driving your kid and his friends to little league practice and then having your insurance company deny the claim for the kids' injuries because your policy was rated "commercial use only" and not "commercial with incidental personal use".
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Old 06-24-2009, 08:05 PM   #7
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Re: DOT Numbers


Mine is commercial use only. No wife (prison) and no kids. As the owner of the company I'm considered to be on duty at all times. I always keep my clipboard and computer with me anyway. Works for me.
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Old 06-24-2009, 08:08 PM   #8
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Re: DOT Numbers


My insurance agent told me that commercial insurance is actually slightly more expensive than personal insurance. Reason was that business vehicles are often loaded down and therefore more damage can occur. Or a piece of equipment could fall of and cause damage or injury.
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Old 06-24-2009, 09:20 PM   #9
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Re: DOT Numbers


Michigan doesn't require one as long as I only haul my own equipment and materials.
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Old 06-24-2009, 09:48 PM   #10
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Re: DOT Numbers


If I didn't need to have them i wouldn't.

Here in MN they aren't free:
1. Health physical every 2 years = $75-100 plus 2-3 hrs time at $x/hr
2. Fire extinguishers and triangles= $50.00
3. A couple minutes a day when your job is on the other side of a weigh station and you have to pull through daily.
4. An extra 1/2 hr to 1 hr if they flag you over for inspection.
5. An extra 1/2 hr to (all day) if you get caught in any of the local suburbs "DOT stings" and have something wrong and need to fix it immediately.
6. Something clever I can't think of that = Priceless!
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Old 06-25-2009, 06:42 PM   #11
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Re: DOT Numbers


Another thing to think of is some states dont allow commercial vehicles on the throughway so they have to take an alternate route. I wont be getting any DOT#'s until DOT says i have too. My trucks are not lettered for my business either but my trailer is. So if they bust me for towing my business trailer with one of my "personal" trucks then i will worry about it.

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