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Discussion Starter #1
I have a "plain white" PM 1500, middle wheelbase that I do not use for commercial purposes - it is not a rental or "delivery vehicle" but it does have commercial plates (have to have them because it is not a RV.)
Anybody driving a similar PM have experience with not going through the weigh stations? I don't see many other small vans using them, but I don't want to be getting a ticket. I don't want to waste time for myself or the station operators, but the guidelines from Caltrans are not very clear on this point.
http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/traffops/trucks/weigh-stations/stopping.ham

I also drive in Oregon and Washington, they have a 20,000 / 10,000 pound GVW cutoff so not an issue.
 

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Can't answer your question, but when I get my PM in Oregon, gonna try to register as a passenger vehicle. The Oregon limit is 10,000lb gvwr (excl trailer).

They changed it to allow Supercab pickups to be resistered as passenger, so why not PM's?!?
 

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I rented a Budget Rental Truck in 2002 to move materials to AZ to build. Weighed everything I put in and found I was way overloaded for the registration. This was the biggest van bodied truck you could rent without a CDL. IIRC the truck weighed 13,900 lbs and it was registered for 23,000 lbs. so I was about 8,000 overloaded I guess. I just drove by all the scales thinking I was not a commercial hauler, and not required to stop. You mean to tell me they wanted me to stop? No one ever came to get me and many scales had 4 or 5 police cars and DOT vehicles.
 

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This is off the cal trans web site.....CARGO VAN -- It depends on the load and the use. Technically, they are a motor truck according to CVC Section 410 and, therefore, required to stop at the weigh stations.

Discussion: Yes, technically a cargo van is a motor truck according to CVC Section 410 and, therefore, required to stop at the scales.

My truck for the last 13 years was a single axel 1 ton utility body that also falls under the requirement to stop. The dealer I bought the truck from said I didn't. I was working on a fire station at the time and the CHP stopped there to use the bathroom a lot so and I asked him. He said yes you are required to stop. Will an officer ever get up and run you down for it. No. But if I get a ticket I will deserve it.

I did the math. I have been passing the same two weigh stations not stoping for 13+ years so I deserve over 5000 tickets. I figured 40 weeks 5 days 13 years times 2. So if I get a ticket some day I'll smile and say thank you.
 

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When I lived in California I drove a 12 foot flatbed that was 8 feet wide by the scales every day for 5 years. One day I get pulled over and informed that I am required to stop at the scales because it was over 80" wide. I found a different route to work and moved out of California about a year later. California is a rediculous state and I voted with my feet and left.
 

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While I don't believe I'm required to stop in any of the eastern states, any state with Easypass makes me pay double tolls all 'cause my van is one foot higher than typical. A friend of mine with a "normal" height van, but weighing more than mine with cargo pays the regular passenger car rate. When I pulled a trailer they "only" charged me 50% more, why double for the extra foot in height? This sucks!
 

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I think it also depends on the state. In NH I get a 30% discount on all my tolls and in MA it's just the regular passenger toll rate. I try to avoid tolls generally, especially in NY so I can't comment about other states but I do know your toll is based on the type of vehicle you have registered with EasyPass. I would suggest anyone that is getting double tolls with a high roof promaster and EasyPass check the class they registered their vehicle under. EasyPass has several different classes you can use and you can change it yourself on line very easily. It wouldn't hurt to check with an EasyPass center either and ask them.
 

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Back to the question at hand, if you do not use the van for commercial purposes, then you don't have to stop. Here is the site (google is amazing)
http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/traffops/trucks/weigh-stations/stopping.htm

Every driver of a commercial vehicle shall stop and submit the vehicle to an inspection of the size, weight, equipment, and smoke emissions of the vehicle at any location where members of the California Highway Patrol are conducting tests and inspections of commercial vehicles and when signs are displayed requiring the stop.


What is a commercial vehicle is found here (boldface my emphasis):
http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=veh&group=00001-01000&file=100-680

260. (a) A "commercial vehicle" is a motor vehicle of a type
required to be registered under this code used or maintained for the
transportation of persons for hire, compensation, or profit or
designed, used, or maintained primarily for the transportation of
property
.
(b) Passenger vehicles and house cars that are not used for the
transportation of persons for hire, compensation, or profit are not
commercial vehicles. This subdivision shall not apply to Chapter 4
(commencing with Section 6700) of Division 3.
(c) Any vanpool vehicle is not a commercial vehicle.
(d) The definition of a commercial vehicle in this section does
not apply to Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 15200) of Division 6.


All the more reason to register your van as a passenger vehicle if you are not using it for business!
 

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This explains why I could travel with the rental truck with my own property inside and not be subject to the commercial vehicle inspections. I expect most states have similar rules.
 

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Basically, it's use and weight as others have said. Non-com under 26,000 wouldnt have to weigh. Noncom motor home plates over 26,000 also wouldnt have to weigh. Commercial under 10,000 dont have to weigh or follow the HOS rules (hours of service). In short, fuggetabouit.

Ez-pass is accepted everywhere except florida turnpike (parts of I75) and this weird road between Little Rock and Dallas...at least those are the only two ive found. The class (price) is mostly based on the number of axles and the weight. PM is classed as a van and charged the same as a regular car IIRC.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
OK - I stopped at the first California Weigh Station on my way back south today to ask about all of this - the CHP Desk Sergeant talked with me for a while and I think I got a good answer. As long as I am only carrying my personal items in my van, not for sale or transporting for some other person, I do not need to stop at any of the CA weigh stations. Even if what I am carrying is a small car, registered in my name (and not being transported for a sale.) If I was transporting a load of vegetables to a farmer's market or even taking junk to a junk store, then I should be checked. Anything commercial.

He did not say why the website page was so vague about all of this, even though I asked. He did seem a bit amused that I could actually fit a car inside my PM!
 
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