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Trucking by mistake

Some people make the mistake of buying a truck for commercial purposes that is so big they must perform the functions of a truck driver even if it is not their profession. Log books, pre trip inspection, cargo securement, too much weight. It doesn’t take much of a truck to qualify for this attention from the DOT.

If it is registered commercially, a one ton truck, F350 or 3500 series, can qualify in some circumstances. certainly if you hook it to a trailer with tandem or tridem axles, it is very likely you will gross out heavier than the 11,794 kg (26,000 lbs) limit, which places you firmly in the land of trucking in the province of Alberta.

The one ton Truck  usually grosses at 5,000 kg and the tandem axle trailer at 10,000 kg, so you can see the combination can quite easily surpasses 11,794 kg.

Any commercial vehicle over 4,500 kg must pull in to the weigh station when the lights are flashing in Alberta.

Expect to deal with commercial vehicle transport if you cross provincial borders with vehicles this size and larger, make sure you have the proper documentation, like registration , insurance, commercial vehicle inspection, and a Safety Fitness Certificate. The driver needs his license, log book, daily vehicle inspection report and Schedule One. Any missing paperwork  could result in a half day delay by commercial officers.

Be thankful you don’t have to have a Class One license for the truck and gooseneck like they do in Saskatchewan.


17 Responses to Trucking by mistake

  1. You present a concise “heads up” for operators in this article. Does this mean that a truck licensed for 11500 kg, and a tandem axel trailer connected to it licensed for 6363 kg., even if they are not loaded to capacity, place the combination in a position to require the operator to complete all the documentation and records required by “commercial” trucking firms?

    • That depends on solely how the operator (carrier, trucking firm) registers the GVW. As long as the equipment and tires have a capacity equal to or greater than the registered GVW, it is the registered GVW that determines the reporting and compliance standard. if the vehicle is registered 11,794 kg or less, the carrier is not subject to the full weight of record keeping and trucking rules. As long as no vehicle over 4500 kg, in the fleet crosses into another province, territory or state, the carrier operator just has to make sure his actual weights are less or equal to his registered weights.
      One of the little “tricks” to stay under the radar is to register the truck and trailer separately so nothing triggers the requirement to operate with a Safety Fitness Certificate. But a sharp eyed enforcement officer is going to recognise when a 3/4 ton and a heavy duty trailer are married up and loaded heavy, there could be some flashing lights and portable scales in your future.

  2. Well written Dale! If anyone asks me for details about commercial vehicle weight thresholds I know where to send them.

  3. I am looking into geting a 3500 for hauling RV’s from Indiana to Alberta. Would I be better of getting a dually? I understand that I would have to have the truck registered commercially and have my medical done and daily log book. What has to be done yo travel across the states? Lookingto get questions answered Brock.

  4. We have a Ford F 450 Cube van set up as a training facility/school room to educate our customers on the uses of our product.This vehicle travels extensively throughout Canada and the drivers are technicians not professional drivers,Do you know of any exemptions that would release us from the burden of log book records?

    • Dress sharp ,keep a clean truck, unfortunately you are the subject of this commentary. Don’t speed, or overload, and pass through the scale when it’s open. You are commercial vehicle operator, and driving is one of the required tools of your employ. I would say if you are not creating violations, incidents and collisions, it is likely you ARE a professional driver. oh, and weigh often just to verify your vehicle is not overweight. Job well done.

  5. I have a F350 which weighs under 4500 kgs. But without me in it. If i get in and it is over weight am I in violation? I need to find documentation to prove either am or not and can’t seem to find anything. It seems to me it would be discriminatory to say it is overweight with me in it and not someone “lighter”.
    Pls help

    • if you are operating something commercially that weighs over 4500 kgs, some trucking rules need to be considered. If no vehicle in your commercial fleet is registered over 11,794 kg, you probably don’t have too many issues except keeping your cargo secure. if you exit the province in any direction, you create more issues, like having to maintain Log books and hours of service records. If you are carrying third party freight, you will probably have to have a bill of lading, and cargo insurance. As a commercial operation, you may be requested to have proper general liability insurance, or give a statement of financial responsibility to the jurisdiction you are entering.

      the short answer is if you and your f350 are just running around privately, you don’t have a lot to worry about. Just make sure any cargo is secure, and your documents (registration, insurance and license ) are up to date.

    • If it is just you and your truck, don’t worry. not much happens until your gvw is 11,795 kg, read my other comment about commercial operation, but as for “what is Actual Weight?” the truck, the driver, and any thing or person the truck is carrying.

  6. Thank you.

    I do run logs right now. but wish to get under the 4500kg mark so i do not have to. My goal is to be “legal” and not just ok. I am interested in making sure it’s legitimate as we have an extensive fleet of heavier trucks,and are checked out upon occasion. The main problem I’ve had is finding concrete rules regarding the weight of my truck. What i do not want is to have any issues because I have now put my truck over the limit and now need to go on a diet. Any possibility you know where this legislation is and could forward me a copy of it?
    Thank you for your time and effort.

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  8. I noticed the part about Saskatchewan requiring a Class 1 license for 1 tons with trailers. Is this to mean that an Albertan Hot Shot driver with a Class 5 is illegal there? Or does that only pertain to residents and businesses in Saskatchewan?

    • No No problem for the hot shot driver. He qualifies with the rules of the jurisdiction in which he resides. So if you live in Alberta you can operate the gooseneck and one ton base on an alberta license class five as long as the truck only has two axles, and the trailer has brakes other than air brakes

  9. Thanks for this article! We have a 3500 pick-up truck and a gooseneck flatdeck tandem axle trailer that we use to haul our own equipment and materials for our company. We are currently registered for 11,790kg, which is just enough for our purposes. At this point we only haul in Alberta. But as soon as we’d go into BC we’d have to have all the same requirements as being over 11,794kg within Alberta, correct?
    I.e. As soon as we are over 4,500kg and go into BC we need to have National safety certificate, safety fitness certificate and the CVIP, right?

    Do I still need to report and go to scales if I use the truck for a persoanl trip?

    • Absolutely , you will need a pre trip form and log book.
      If you don’t already have a safety fitness certificate, and you don’t weigh more than 11,794kg, you get 90 events (each event is s day) to play below the line. Once you go their more often, you will need to sign up for a federal safety fitness certificate, and get all the commercial transport ducks in a row. I.E. Prorate and IFTA.

  10. We have a couple of F350’s and a couple of F-150’s in our fleet. If we register our F350’s over the 4500kg, we have to stop at the weigh scales (when flashing) and can’t leave Alberta with them? They would be under 11,794kg.

  11. Hi, Dale,
    Are surveyors running a 1 ton with a deck, a couple quads (or sleds), all their gear, being over 4500kg required to stop in at the scales?
    Does it matter if they are driving a company truck or their own?
    And if they cross to Sask or BC, what then? Logbooks? Carrier profile?

    Hi Eric
    Yes, yes and yes and prorate , IFTA or permits. This should all start with 4 questions, business plates, or passenger plates? How heavy loaded? How heavy empty(all rigged up to start loading)? What’s the sum of the capacity of the axles? Then you can move on to another of my blogs that runs through setting up a trucking concern. Start by reading the one about a lawn mower, a truck, and some ambitious young guy out trolling for mowing work. Driving for work has many implications.

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