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Can GVWR be lowered?

MSinger

Expert Expediter
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1997 Dodge Ram 3500 with 12' cube. Dock high with jackstands. 5.9L Cummins Turbo Diesel.


I have recently fallen into a great deal as my carrier has picked up a new customer and I happen to be the closest driver to them. It is an aeronautical parts manufacturer who often fills my 12' cube however the average weight of the cargo is under 1000#.
My question is this. The above mentioned truck I have has a GVWR of 11000# which requires me to log. Is there anyway I could have the truck re-rated for a 10,000 GVWR which would still serve my purposes but free me from the hassle of logging?
I have never been stopped by DOT in this thing and when I do cross the scales they look at me like I'm an idiot but I know the first time I go out without a log I will get nailed.
I realize if this is possible that it could hurt the re-sale value but hey it's a 97 and I just turned 452,000 miles on the odometer so I really don't care about re-sale.
I know GM makes a dually van cutaway with a 15' box with a 10,000 GVWR and the new Sprinter cab/chassis duallies have like a 9980 GVWR so what's the difference? I could understand not being able to increase the GVWR for safety reasons but I see no harm in lowering it.
Actually by all rights I ought to be able to put 10,000 # plates on it and that SHOULD suffice but it's the government we are talking about here. They seem to lack the common sense that the rest of us have.
Just thought I would throw this idea out there and see if anyone could tell me if it could be done and how to go about doing it.
I love my truck and do not want to switch.
Thanks for any thoughts or suggestions.
 

tazman

Expert Expediter
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Depending on your state requirements
You can "downsize" your GVWR on the registration (at least here in Pa) ....

Frank in Pa.


"The Beast in the East"
 

Marty

Veteran Expediter
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I looked into this issue last year when I was considering purchasing a cube van on a dually cutaway chassis.
I found that if you buy a vehicle with over a 10,000lbs. gvw, you can register it for 10,000lbs. or less in many states but there is a problem.
I called up the DOT in a number of states and told them I was planning on registering a van with a manufacturer's gvw of 12,000lbs. at 10,000lbs. All of the DOT agents I spoke with told me the same thing. If I got stopped in their state that they would go by the vehicle's manufacturer's stated gvw and not what is on the registration. They check the manufacturer's sticker on the door well and a data bank on their computers.
A driver leased to the same company as I, was resently ticked for log book violations and removal of the manufacturer's sticker while driving a GMC with a gvw of 12,00lbs. even though he was registered in Pa. at 10,000lbs.
 

terryandrene

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Safety & Compliance
US Coast Guard
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Here's my understanding:

GVWR is a measure of the vehicles safe maximum weight as determined by the vehicle manufacturer. The weight rating may be lowered or raised, and certified as such, by the maufacturer or a certified vehicle modifier such as a van conversion company. You may not leagally do it yourself with a stroke of the pen.

The vehicles registered weight and the manufacturers rating are two separate issues; however, each are taken into consideration when determining legal operation. An Example: Missouri requires me to register my van at 12,000 lbs even though the weight rating is at 9600 lbs. Missouri defines a 12001 or greater vehicle as commercial and therefore must register at the next level of 18,000 lbs. With 18,000 lb plates, I needn't pay sales tax but I must scale, log and pay apportioned fuel taxes. I did that with one van and later changed when a DOT guy stopped me and 'splained the way it is.
 

tazman

Expert Expediter
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Direct from the PA Motor Vehicle Code as follows:

Section 1304 Subsection (3)(a)

General Rule - Application for the registration of vehicle shall be made to the department upon appropriate form or forms furnished by the department. The application shall contain full name and address of the owner or owners; the make, model, year and VIN of the vehicle;and such other information as the department may require. Applicants for registration of a truck, truck tractor, trailer or bus shall provide the vehicle's Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) or the Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) as applicable. If the manufacturer's rating are not available, the applicant shall provide sufficient information as to the horsepower, braking capacity, and other such data as necessary for the department to determine an equivalent measure of the vehicle's hauling and stopping capacity.
IF THE APPLICANT WISHES TO REGISTER THE VEHICLE AT A REGISTERED GROSS WEIGHT LESS THAN THE GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT RATING, THE APPLICATION SHALL INCLUDE INFORMATION AS TO THE WEIGHT, LOAD AND ANY OTHER SUCH INFORMATION AS THE DEPARTMENT MAY REQUIRE. The application shall be accompanied by a self-sertification of financial responsibility and the applicable fee....

I think this says you can register lower....

FYI,,

Frank in Pa.




"The Beast in the East"
 

terryandrene

Veteran Expediter
Safety & Compliance
US Coast Guard
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Registering lower than the GVWR doesn't change the truck's weight rating nor the federal requirement to log with a 10,001 weight rated vehicle. Probably save some money on the plates; what else would be gained?
 

Crazynuff

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Firsthand experience

I was a supervisor for a company and was following a 20 year old driver driving a Ford Super Duty . He was stopped by KY DOT . The first thing they checked was the GVW stamped on the door . It was 11,000 lbs . They were going to pull the driver from the truck saying he had to be 21 to drive interstate with a vehicle over 10,000 lb.gvw . The truck had Ohio tags . I was able to talk him out of it saying we just left a KY job and the driver lived in KY and was taking the truck home . Logs weren't required because the driver operated less than 100 miles . We were lucky the DOT didn't ask for a medical card . What does your carrier's safety department say about the logging situation ?
 

MSinger

Expert Expediter
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RE: Firsthand experience

1997 Dodge Ram 3500 with 12' cube. Dock high with jackstands. 5.9L Cummins Turbo Diesel.

Crazynuff,

I am currently doing the logs because of the stamp on the door being 11000#.
I realize I can plate it for 10000# but if the DOT guys are going to use the manufacturers GVWR that would not gain me anything.
So back to my original question. Is there some way of getting this truck re-rated as a 10000 GVWR instead of 11000?
My door sticker is not even from Chrysler. It is from Supreme Corp who made and installed the cargo box. The build sheet for my truck that I obtained from Chrysler also shows 11000 GVWR. It appears that the Chrysler door sticker was covered up by the one Supreme Corp put on.
 

Crazynuff

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RE: Firsthand experience

Have you tried the dieseltruckresource forum ? Those guys know about all there is to know about Dodges .
 
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