Rules and Regulations for Race Vehicles
Part 1 – Requirements for all Race Vehicles
All private carriers are required to have a DOT number which can be acquired from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Registration online is immediate while mail or fax service takes up to four weeks. A private carrier is a not-for-hire motor carrier which transports their own property exclusively. In other words, a private carrier is a vehicle that is owned by a team or company to haul their equipment, bikes and/or wheels to races or events.
Once you have registered, the dot number must be placed on both sides of the self propelled vehicle with “USDOT” listed in front of the number. This means you do not have to list this information on trailers. The dot number on your vehicle should be in a color that sharply contrasts with the vehicle’s color and must be legible, during daylight hours, from a distance of 50 feet (15.24 meters) while the vehicle is stationary. It is suggested that the phrase “Not for Hire” is placed just below the DOT number.
All private carrier vehicles are also required to have the legal name or registered trade name of the business entity that owns or controls the operation of the vehicle placed on the vehicle.
This regulation is not required of personal vehicles however a vehicle owed by a club or team director and used to haul equipment for a team may fall under the “private carrier” description in some regions or states.
All self propelled vehicles are divided into various groups depending upon their size and the knowledge or experience necessary to operate them. These groups range in size from M for motorcycles and the like to the larger size A vehicles. This packet will focus on multi-passenger or cargo vehicles thus will not include regulations on motorcycles.
The A group includes any combination of vehicles with a GCWR 26,001 pounds or more where the towed vehicle’s GVWR is over 10,000 pounds.
The B group includes any vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more and can tow a vehicle under 10,000 pounds GVWR.
The C group includes any single vehicle under 26,000 GVWR and can tow any vehicle under 10,000 GVWR.
Representations of the vehicles in these groups are shown in the chart at right.
Additional information on license levels is included in the Requirements for Drivers section.
Many states have a maximum height of 13 feet 6 inches and a maximum width of 96 inches. Generally the maximum length for a single vehicle is 45 feet while a couple states list it as 40 feet. Combined vehicles (truck and trailer) have max limits of 65 to 75 feet. The recommendation is to meet the smaller dimension to limit possible legal problems on the road.
- Sleeper Berth Dimension
Special driving conditions are listed in the Driving Times section later in this packet for drivers with sleeper births. The minimum size of a sleeper berth is 75 inches high, 24 inches wide and 24 inches long and cannot exist on a trailer unless it is a house trailer. A sleeper berth located within the cargo space of a motor vehicle must be securely compartmentalized from the remainder of the cargo space. In other wards, it cannot be part of a box used to hold equipment and other cargo. Plus, they must be located in the cab or immediately adjacent to the cab and must be securely fixed with relation to the cab, must have a mattress and communication device or clear space to chat with the driver. A bed unit in a trailer such as a fifth wheel does not count as a sleeper birth as it does not abide with these rules and dimensions.
The gross weight imposed upon the highway by the wheels on any one axle shall not exceed 20,000 pounds and the gross weight upon any one wheel, or wheels, supporting one end of an axle, and resting upon the highway, shall not exceed 10,500 pounds. The maximum wheel load is the lesser of the following:
a)the load limit established by the tire manufacturer, as molded on at least one sidewall of the tire.
b)a load of 620 pounds per lateral inch of tire width, as determined by the manufacturer’s rated tire width as molded on at least one sidewall of the tire for all axles except the steering axle, in which case paragraph (a) applies.
These are weight limitations. Information on vehicle weights and how they are classified are listed above in the Vehicle Groups section. Additional weight limitations set by the manufacture of the vehicle can be found in the owners manual of the vehicle.
All trailers over 1500 pounds GVWR are required to have a separate braking system and some states require a breakaway switch. The breakaway switch helps stop the trailer if it detaches from the pulling vehicle. This means that the surge brakes available on many older light-weight trailers will not pass.
Most states require proof of insurance and the vehicle must be registered. Trucks must be equipped with a fully charged fire extinguisher securely mounted in a conspicuous place or in a marked compartment. An additional extinguisher must be placed in the trailer. Trucks must carry three properly maintained red emergency reflectors. Most stores sell large road reflectors that fit the requirement.