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Do You have a DOT#?

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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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Discussion Starter · #2 ·

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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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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
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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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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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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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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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Windwash
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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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Head Grunt
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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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