Trainer friend of mine on way to Tom Powers wrote this:
Horse people listen up. Just going to share my misfortune from traveling to tom powers. They are starting to really crack down on DOT #'s and CDL's. I was driving through Iowa and got pulled over by the county sheriff. He pulled me over to check my paperwork (coggins/healthpaper). I had all my paperwork in order. He then asked for my DOT number on my truck. I said I didn't need one, I was private. He proceeded to read me all the rules and regulations and give me NINE tickets. Kept me on the side of the road with horses for two hours and said that I had to get DOT numbers for my truck and trailer and a CDL. I told him I was not commercial. Doesn't matter he said. Your truck and trailer combo is rated for just over 26,000 lbs. I have been checking into fighting this, but it is looking like there is no way out of it. If anyone has had this happen and knows a rule to save me from having to get a CDL, I would really appreciate it. If not, watch yourself. By the way, my truck is a one ton dually and I have a six horse gooseneck trailer with midtack. Not that big of a rig. Just thought I would share. Used with permission.
This is easy money for states, and the feds.
You have to have a Class A CDL if over 26,000. You also have to have a DOT number on power unit, medical card, log books, and follow HOS and go through weigh stations.
It remains to be seen if they are going to do fuel purchase requirements yet? But if they can get money from it, I look for them to do so.
And going through weigh stations is perfect way for them to shut you down if you are not legal.
One woman was shut down in MN on way to vet with her own horses, but her rig was over 26,000. They kept her there, while she tried to no avail to find driver with CDL, when she couldn't, she was turned around, missing her vet appointment, and wasting time sitting with a loaded trailer.
While you may think you can try to fight this? The reality is you are not going to be able to, and you run the risk of them impounding your horses and rig if you get too wound up with them.
And they are checking Coggins and health papers too.
According to FMCSA, if you are 26,000+, and even haul a friend to trail ride and they give you gas money? You are considered 'For Hire' and fall under this. If you show even for ribbon? You are a commercial driver, even if it is your own horses.
And using the RV excuse if you have LQ will not work if you are hauling customer horses, or competing yourself.
This link also gives more information. http://gohorseshow.com/article.cfm?articleID=34603