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Ask a Trooper; What vehicles must enter weigh stations?

Sgt. Neil Dickenson, Minnesota State Patrol

Question: What are the rules about who has to pull into a weigh station? Two specifics: a three-quarter-ton pickup — licensed as a car, with a heavy trailer — and an RV-type camper.

Answer: If the vehicle or combination of vehicles is in excess of 10,000 pounds actual weight or gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), then it needs to enter a weigh station.

When it comes to driving a motorhome or pulling a fifth wheel or travel trailer, it all depends on the GVW. Generally speaking, most of the RVs on the road today are not considered a CMV and do not need to pull into a weigh station.

As far as pulling a trailer with a pickup truck and the trailer does not exceed or have a GVWR of more than 10,000 pounds, and you are not for hire, you will also not need to stop at a weigh station.

Remember that all trailers with a gross weight of 3,000 or more must be equipped with brakes on all wheels. All trailers that are required to have brakes must also be equipped with breakaway brakes.

Who is required to obtain a USDOT number?

All interstate motor carriers operating any of the following vehicles must obtain a USDOT number:

• A vehicle or vehicle combination greater than 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight.

• A vehicle of any size required to display hazardous materials placards.

• A vehicle designed or used to transport more than eight passengers, including the driver, for compensation.

• A vehicle designed or used to transport more than 15 passengers, including the driver, not for compensation.

• All intrastate motor carriers operating a truck or truck-tractor having a gross vehicle weight of more than 10,000 pounds must obtain a USDOT number. USDOT numbers must be displayed on vehicles operated intrastate.

• The requirement to obtain and display a USDOT number does not apply to a farm truck that is operated intrastate.

If you plan on traveling through other states, check with those states as each could have different rules when it comes to CMV requirements. Go to fhwa.dot.gov/about/webstate.cfm for a list of other state's DOT websites.

When you have questions or you are unsure if the vehicle you are driving meets the criteria for an inspection or if it needs to be weighed, pull into the scale and inquire. Minnesota state law only exempts state, county or municipalities from weigh stations.

Send your questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota to trooper@duluthnews.com or Sgt. Neil Dickenson — Minnesota State Patrol at 1131 Mesaba Ave., Duluth, MN 55811.

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