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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So I've read a bunch of old post on crew cab sleepers. Basically, they are all a bunch of BS in one way or another, they don't meet DOT Regulations. I own a Dodge Mega Cab. Starting in December, there will be 2 of us driving around the clock. We want to sleep in the back, but are afraid of DOT Ticketing us. What are your thoughts of GMC/Chevy C4500. If the seat is folded down, will it pass DOT Regulations. It does have a seatbelt restraint built in while the bed is down. What do you think?
DOT Regulation Website 393.76


 

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(c) Exit from the berth. (1) Except (for trucks more than 50 years old), there must be a direct and ready means of exit from a sleeper berth into the driver's seat or compartment.
Does having to crawl over the center console to get into the passenger’s seat meet that requirement? I wouldn’t think so, but maybe if the center console was removed?
Length measured on centerline of longitudinal axis (inches) = at least 75”.
That’s probably the “gotcha”. The sleepers on class 8 trucks are that wide, but the back seat is probably not that wide on class 4 or 5 trucks.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Does having to crawl over the center console to get into the passenger’s seat meet that requirement? I wouldn’t think so, but maybe if the center console was removed?


That’s probably the “gotcha”. The sleepers on class 8 trucks are that wide, but the back seat is probably not that wide on class 4 or 5 trucks.
Going to check on dimensions today. I know that was one thing in my mind. I know these trucks are wider than my megacab in the inside, but how much I do not know. But if these guys are adding just a window insert to meet the 75", I think this truck is wide enough.

Does the 75" have to be the actual mattress or just around the mattress?

Well I'm going to get rid of the center console. Plus I'm going to upgrade to the front passenger RV seat that slides completely forward, swivels 360, and can fold forward and move out of the way.
 

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crew cab sleepers have been deemed not legal by a few dot's, but others may not know the difference. Depends on if you like to gamble or not. technically it does not meet the requirements. The medium duty 4500 should meet the requirements as I have seen several drivers use those for that reason, if you just put a mattress back there that meets the size requirement you should be ok, plus i believe you will need curtains up. Best thing to do is check with dot. The ones who really know what is going on can tell you by whatever truck you pick if it is legal or not over the phone.
 

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FMCSA Regs on Sleeping Berths

I am an RV Transporter and I own a Crew Cab Sleeper.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Part 393.76 controls sleeper berths. here's a link so you can read it yourself:

393.76

Each state is required to mnake their state statues conform to the FMCSA regs and they do. The problem comes in with the enforcement of the statues because every state, and in many cases, every officer, makes his own interpretation of the reg or statue. The State of Indiana Commercial Vehicle Enforcement section of the State Police has determined that the crew cab sleeper does not match the reg in that the window insert does not provide the necessary height. That is their only objection (and possible violation) to the CCS.When you use the window insert to assure that you reach the required 75" length of the bunk, then you fail.

But that's Indiana. Iowa has two primary enforcement units for commercial vehicles the first being the State Police and the second is the Iowa DOT commercial vehicle enforcement folks. The State Police say the CCS matches the statue and is acceptable and the Iowa DOT says it does not,
In my state, Illinois, the State Police and the Illinois Commerce Commisiion (they run the scales and enforce the FMCSA portion of the state statue) both say that the CCS is acceptable.

The bottom line is you spin the wheel and take your chances because the human angle is too unperdictable.

So what I do is not log sleeper berth time. I log off duty. If a cop asks me what I was doing during my off duty time I just tell him that I wasn't in, around or on my truck. I don't have to prove myself innocent, he has to prove me guilty. If he doesn't have any evidence that I slept in my truck (and I am not going to him any by admitting that I did) he cannot prove his case.
That isn't going to stop him from taking me out of service and issuing me a ticket but I will make him look like a fool in court and then sue him for false arrest.

This all comes down to money. Just about every state is in desperate need of revenue and any citations that they issue keep the bucks coming in. There is also the problem with cop egos and their need to appear to be productive.

Before anyone fires on me for bad mouthing cops, please note thatI have retired three times. One of those jobs was as a police chief after 20 years service.

BudMan
 

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Discussion Starter #7
But that's Indiana. Iowa has two primary enforcement units for commercial vehicles the first being the State Police and the second is the Iowa DOT commercial vehicle enforcement folks. The State Police say the CCS matches the statue and is acceptable and the Iowa DOT says it does not,
In my state, Illinois, the State Police and the Illinois Commerce Commisiion (they run the scales and enforce the FMCSA portion of the state statue) both say that the CCS is acceptable.
Are you saying that as you go through the scales, traveling through different states, you are getting different answers. Or its just what state you are having your truck licensed, like I read from a guy on another post, he went down to his DOT inspection office is his own state and carries an inspection paper that says it passed. But would all states accept that paper from his own state?


So what I do is not log sleeper berth time. I log off duty. If a cop asks me what I was doing during my off duty time I just tell him that I wasn't in, around or on my truck. I don't have to prove myself innocent, he has to prove me guilty. If he doesn't have any evidence that I slept in my truck (and I am not going to him any by admitting that I did) he cannot prove his case.
That can't work for use in our case because there is 2 drivers. One driving 12 hours, then the other driving for 12 hours, then the first driver finishes the route. Most trips are done in about 34 hours. But when they look at your log book and see that you logged off, but somehow you traveled 500 miles. They are going to know that you were in the "non approved sleeper".

I just dont want a huge sleeper on the back of these trucks. First they stick out a bunch and grab the wind. Second, they're ugly. Third, even more weight I have to carry, because I now will have a longer wheelbase.

So, instead of paying these manufacturing companies a fortune. Can I draw one out that I think will work, and have one welded up by a local welder. Do I need to have it DOT inspected. Will I have trouble going across all 48 states?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I honestly wouldn't go with the GM twins, I prefer the Freightliner Sportchassis.
Without putting a sleeper on it, is the backseat 75" wide and big enough to pass DOT. I found this picture on the internet but doesn't show dimensions.

2008 Freightliner RHA114 Sport Chassis
 

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well, if no one has the dimensions with a right away answer, im sure i can get you one today, i have a dealer right down the road. i would agree they are much much much nicer than the chevy's. if you are going to change trucks go with the freighshaker , and then make mods to it if needed (you might not need to) rather than getting the chevy and making the mods.
 

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SportChassis - RHA114 - Overview
The SportChassis RHA114 is a finished truck with a tow body, and it lists for about $130,000 to $140,000 for the typical options.

It begins with the Freightliner M2 chassis with CrewCab body, with Mercedes, Cummins, and Cat engines available, along with almost every transmission you ever heard of. Even the autoshift manual trannies are available.
M2 106 Medium Duty Truck Features and Benefits ? Freightliner Trucks

Front axles are available with anywhere from 6,000 to 20,000 pounds rating. And drive axles are available with anywhere from 10,000 to 30,000 pounds rating. So depending on which axles and powertrain you choose, you can build an M2 106 that's anything from a class 4 to a class 7 truck = equivalent to the F-450 through the F-750.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
well, if no one has the dimensions with a right away answer, im sure i can get you one today, i have a dealer right down the road. i would agree they are much much much nicer than the chevy's. if you are going to change trucks go with the freighshaker , and then make mods to it if needed (you might not need to) rather than getting the chevy and making the mods.
I appreciate that. The closest dealer is about 120 miles away.

The SportChassis RHA114 is a finished truck with a tow body, and it lists for about $130,000 to $140,000 for the typical options.
I've looked them up. You can get them used from these people that bought them to just pull their RV. Right around 60K to 120K miles on them, from prices ranging from $50k to upwards $90k. I will be calling a dealer today to find out about warranty for new.

The only thing that I like about the GM twins or the Fords, was the warranty. Straight from the website it states that, 2 year unlimited basic warranty. But if you choose the right engine and transmission, they too will have the unlimited mileage warranty. So the goal was to have good unlimited warranty and trade it in every 2 years. It would be a complete tax write off. I might loose 30 to $40k in trade but, consider what repairs cost and what I'm getting in tax incentives.

Freightliner doesn't show their warranty, so I will find out by the dealer today.
 

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Every state is different

They all interpret the rules differently
Arizona is currently writing tickets if you have a lap top mounted on a stand visable to the fdriver as a violation.

Doesn't matter if the lap top is turned on, just that it could maybe possible be used to watch a movie while you're driving so you get a ticket.

I hope you're not planning on driving 12 hours because the limit is 11.

BudMab
 

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I think you might also consider an FL 50:

This one is sold but there are a lot out there. I wish I had bought one to pull trailers with instaed of my Ford:

Toters and Trucks : 1999 Freightliner Fl50

BudMan
 

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Discussion Starter #15
They all interpret the rules differently
Arizona is currently writing tickets if you have a lap top mounted on a stand visable to the fdriver as a violation.

Doesn't matter if the lap top is turned on, just that it could maybe possible be used to watch a movie while you're driving so you get a ticket.

I hope you're not planning on driving 12 hours because the limit is 11.

BudMab
Ya thats why I'm trying to do as much research as possible before I jump into things. I just don't want to buy a vehicle and then think everything will be ok..then boom, I'm harassed at every scale about sleeping arrangements. 11 hours is what I meant, It was just easy splitting a day. Since you probably wont even get that by the time you fill up, food, bathroom stops, etc. Plus I have a dog that has to use the restroom every 3 hours.
 

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About Your Hours

You've actually got 14 hours to work, only 11 are driving.

I normally drive right up to 11 hours and plan my overnights that way. Pre Trip Inspection and fueling, hooking up and off and in my case delivery are all "on duty not driving"

Eating is off duty time. Anything else is on the driving clock, but: "If you ain't moving you ain't making any money".

Time is money. I eat sandwiches that I make and anything else has to be carried in a cooler in the back because spending money oin the road comes right out of the profit. Rest stops are fast but they are always a good place for DOT to ambush you.

What are you planning on pulling?

Really rough times right now, Nine trucking compoanies are going under every day. These are mostly one or two truck operations. This was mostly caused by fuel prices but with those easing off, things may look up.

Getting financing for a truck purchase may be hard. A lot of car/truck/dealers are going out of business because they can't get financing for themselves or for their customers.


Bud
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I have a relative that works for a broker that got us a contract with some freight services and auto transports. Were hauling 40' lowboy gooseneck. Driving Dodge megacab that weighs at 9500lb and the trailer weighs in at 6500lbs. Which only leaves us about 10000lbs for cargo. On a easy day it will be 2 cars which will put us at our 26000lb limit. We'll usually loading tractors, farm equipment, and big trucks, which can easily put 15000 to 20000 on the trailer. Thats why I'm have to go commercial. Probably be right about 35000lbs.

We negotiated at 1.10 per mile. It was a fair price. But that means having 2 drivers, we have to split the pay. I put all the numbers into the computer, we'll make out good if we can keep driving. Thats why I don't want to have to worry about DOT putting us out for 10 hours or worrying about tickets. I don't even eat out at my house right now, I cook everything. I try to keep food intake to about $6 a day.

Financing for a truck is no problem. I paid cash for the megacab and probably will trade it in and pay cash for the next truck.

I photoshop a F650 and this is what I want. Like I said earlier, I just haven't decided on what make of truck. I really need to see the value of a freightliner for all that extra cash it will cost.

 

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1.10 a mile will not pay the bills long term. If you have no overhead for the truck it looks good numbers wise until you have to replace the truck or fix the truck.

What are you paying the driver?
 

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j corey, where are you located? im in sarasota fl, and there is one right around the corner. with my fulltime job, and my transport business, i didnt make it to the dealer for you yesterday, but i did put a call in this am, and am hoping to hear back from them soon. i can ask them about the size, and the warranty, the dealer by me is actually just a sportchassis dealer, not a full frieghtliner dealer. the service guy seemed VERY EAGER to have the sales men call me back with the info, i suppose they arent selling quite as well as honda civics right now....lol. i sat in all their trucks at daytona a few weeks ago, they had them all on display there. really a beautiful truck. ill let you know as soon as i hear back from them!
 

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JUST HEARD BACK!!! great news, yes they are over the 75" dot regulation. the warranty is as follows: Engine-2year/250,000 and can be extended to 4year/250,000. Trans-4 year/unlimited miles. The truck itself- 2year/unlimited. Chuck at Southpointe Sport Chassis in Sarasota, FL said to give him a call, and he can give you any info you may need, and would be more than happy to set you up in one. since you need to do no mods to have the 75" this seems like your best route to me....... Chuck is the SportChassis Specialist for the area and his # is (941) 308-5141. Keep us updated on what you find out, and what you decide... good luck, and i hope this helps.:thumbsup:
 
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