Hauling? Yes, DOT number is needed
Question: My husband recently got a ticket for not having a DOT number. He was hauling a load of sheep in our stock trailer from West Fargo to our farm near XXX, MN. The statute violation was 168.165. Our question is are we required to have a DOT number since we only haul livestock two or three times a year (for ourselves)? The stock trailer was being pulled by our two-wheel drive old Ford pickup.
Answer: I want everyone to understand this area has many stipulations to go with it and I will only touch on the subject a little bit. For a much clearer or more precise explanation, contact www.dps.state.mn.us/patrol and then click on the commercial vehicle tab.
According to federal regulation 49CFR390.5, a commercial motor vehicle is defined in part as any self-propelled or towed motor vehicle used on a highway in interstate commerce to transport passengers or property when the vehicle (1) has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating, or gross vehicle weight or gross combination weight of 10,001 lbs or more.
Now, there are other stipulations listed but I felt they didn't apply here so I omitted them.
Under 49CFR390.21(a) commercial motor vehicles are required to have a DOT number and your pickup and stock trailer will be considered a commercial motor vehicle if the combined gross weight or combined gross vehicle weight rating is 10,001 lbs or more and are used to haul property.
I believe that the combined weight rating is above that mark and the sheep would be considered property.
Now, you mentioned the farm and I must point out that farming is a business. Like my daughter's in-laws on their farm with sheep, they make a little income off the sheep. (Or at least they try to.) Hauling those sheep across state lines (MN-ND) make that interstate commerce and therefore the required DOT number and such.
Bottom line, it appears that yes, you did need the number. I found nothing in the statute that mentioned anything about the number of trips made in a year. So one, two or 52 trips doesn't seem to matter.