Scott ‘Lucky’ Hudson: Is Your Rig Legal?
A hot topic these days is the laws regarding tow rigs and drag racers. Many race teams have stepped up to a larger truck and trailer and that has put them on the radar as commercial drivers. But many sportsman racers have just a truck and a trailer and the local law enforcement agencies have looked at them as a possible revenue source. The reason this is so difficult is that the laws are so poorly written and enforcement can be interpreted in many ways by whomever it is that pulls you over. If you are on the highway, you are a potential source of income for the local law enforcement, and they need money. Budget cutbacks have many agencies looking for new ways to generate funds.
I decided that since I drive a toterhome and a stacker trailer with sponsor logos on the side, I better jump through all the hoops required of me. I wanted to make sure that I could pull into any inspection station and be completely compliant. However, I quickly learned that it is not easy due to the many different interpretations of the laws. I got my CDL (Commercial Drivers License) and my medical card. I signed up for my DOT (Department of Transportation) number. And I signed up for my IFTA (Fuel Tax) program. When you go through an inspection station, or weigh station, they want to see all this paperwork. You also need to display IFTA stickers and DOT numbers on the side of your truck. Of course, you also are required to fill out a log book, and be ready to show your log book at any time. The log book shows how many miles you have driven and how many hours per day. You must take a half hour break in the middle of the day, and only drive 10.5 hours per day.
I recently spent a month drag racing in Kentucky and drove the rig from California to Kentucky and back. I learned a lot on the trip and found that some states are easy-going while others are much more difficult. My next blog will tell more about the trip behind the wheel of a drag racer in a commercial vehicle.