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Avoiding A "Hornet's Nest"...LoL


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Got a call the other day for a loaded Propane "Bobtail" truck that broke down on the interstate. They wanted it towed to NJ so we gave a price and took the job. I have to go through a scale/DOT as soon as I cross over the border, and figured they would stop me for sure with a gas truck so I made sure everything was in order. When I got on scene, it seemed they left a crucial fact out of the description... 

 

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Cap came apart and tore up the fender & suspension. Now this changes things...So I explain that I can rear tow it, my truck is capable...I just can't do it legally. Oh,...and wherever it goes, it won't be New Jersey.

 

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I explained that in no way would I rear tow a 1/2 loaded propane truck in to the scales where I could be crucified ...LoL They agreed and I towed it to a location about 30 miles away.

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4 hours ago, Stubborn66 said:

And that scale is almost always open now that they refurbished it

 

Yea and they have busted our chops a few times...as well as other towers I know. The one day I had to have my buddy tow my rollback out of there back to PA because it had Repair Towing tags...

 

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10 hours ago, EdsTowing said:

The one day I had to have my buddy tow my rollback out of there back to PA because it had Repair Towing tags...

 

why is an RT tag no good if you have the dot and mc numbers?  

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The officer told me you can't go out of state with that tag, it's for PA only. I explained that there is a Reciprocity agreement between NJ & PA that they honor each other's specialty plates. I offered to send it to him but he asked did it specifically state RT plates? I said no, it states specialty plates such as Farm, Emergency Vehicle, Municipal ect... He stuck to his guns. After going back & forth for a while, he informed me that "He was trying to help me out...that he should of had the truck impounded and then I would have to pay the fees and get a release from the Barracks to get my truck, then tow it out of there...but he was trying to be nice". I said "I get it, you're done with the debate". Pissed me off that he never wrote the guy for anything so I didn't have anything to fight over...just some aggravation, a tow and a waisted trip. After hours on the phone the next day, I had a woman tell me "Sir you don't have a problem with the NJ Dept of Transportation...you have a problem with the NJ State Police". She agreed with me that my plate was legal, I didn't need to nor could put apportioned plates on a Under CDL truck. I also know a couple of guys that have had problems with the issue at the same facility so it's probably one particular "Super Cop" that has all the answers...

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I didn't think the RT tag made a difference.  I was under the assumption that if you had a DOT number and an MC number with interstate authority you were good.  As I recall, NJ has some sort of use tax similar to NY hut but I thought that only pertained to CDL vehicles.

I am far enough away from the state lines that I don't have to deal with either, I just don't run them, but I can see you running into NJ quite a bit from where you are.

 

They get you anyway they can!

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3 hours ago, Stuart Wagner said:

They want you to spend the money on apportioned tags. I run RT tags, I try to only go out of state at night or on the weekends when the scales are closed.

We have an account with Comdata so I can get a Trip permit in minutes, costs around 75 bucks I believe. But usually I do the same going after hours... But regardless, the Apportioned doesn't come to play with a non CDL truck.

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I'm late to the party but here is some information to consider regarding Pennsylvania RT tags and out of state use. Because they are a class of dealer plate (MMVB) they are not subject to the reciprocity agreement when the truck is laden only empty, meaning they are not legal out of PA even for non-CDL trucks. As worded, the reciprocity agreement allows use of similar tags if both states have similar tags and their laws are compatible, when not the laws of the state you are operating in apply. As such NJ does not allow loads to be transported for-hire on dealer plates so they do not recognize the RT tag when laden and give a hard time even when unladen. I have fought this one in New York and New Jersey and have lost every time. Now, if someone has gone to court over it and won I would love to see the decision as it may help me fight it in the future!

 

You are correct that you do not need apportioned plates for non-CDL trucks to enter New Jersey but you do need a regular PA truck tag so that the truck has a weighted registration that is VIN specific instead of a transferable dealer class tag.

 

Also little known fact about the apportioned program, although unusual, they can be put on any weight class of commercial vehicle not just trucks over 26,000 pounds GVWR or 3 axles, in fact some states such as Arizona require them for anything over 10,000 pounds used in commerce if coming from out of state. This is why U-hauls have apportioned plates even on their littlest of trucks, that and to satisfy the domiciled plate/dual registration rules for trucks that stay in a specific state more than 30 days.

 

Someone else mentioned in this thread about the NJ gross receipts tax, that is a tax on all transportation in or through NJ completed by corporations that are regulated motor carriers. Only applies if you are a true corporation, sole prop and most LLC are not subject to the tax.

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Thanks for the clarification Brian. I'm curious if they will give me a problem with my temp permit for the state? It still doesn't have a weight class on it...but it shows I have paid funds to their state to be there.

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On 9/21/2022 at 11:52 PM, EdsTowing said:

Thanks for the clarification Brian. I'm curious if they will give me a problem with my temp permit for the state? It still doesn't have a weight class on it...but it shows I have paid funds to their state to be there.

 That last sentence is all New Jersey cares about lol, unless they think they can pump you for a few more $$$

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On 9/21/2022 at 11:52 PM, EdsTowing said:

Thanks for the clarification Brian. I'm curious if they will give me a problem with my temp permit for the state? It still doesn't have a weight class on it...but it shows I have paid funds to their state to be there.

That too is a sticky issue. I run a temporary permit service as one of my companies within Fleet Compliance Solutions and most states have disclaimer language that the vehicle must be legally registered in their base state with an appropriate weight class. Many temporary trip permits also have disclaimers that temporary in-transit (like the paper plates when you buy a new vehicle) and dealer tags are usually not covered by the permit.

 

The craziest part about all this is most states do extend reciprocity to metal in-transit tags used by the drive-away companies which, like a dealer plate, are unweighted transferable plates. A few states, like Arizona, however only recognize their own or a handful of others without a trip permit. This type of crap makes my other service, drive-away movement of new tow trucks and car haulers for a few dealers complicated just like your problems with being on the edge of the state and using RT plates.

 

Speaking of RT plates, did you have any trouble with your "re-justification" of how many plates you have and if you should even have RT plates at all? I am getting feedback from other towers that they are getting denied reissuance of their RT plates. I was kinda blindsided about this and only learned of it about 10 days ago, in fact just putting together an eblast to send out from the association asking for feedback on the process and Pennsylvania tower's results.

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2 hours ago, brian991219 said:

Speaking of RT plates, did you have any trouble with your "re-justification" of how many plates you have and if you should even have RT plates at all? I am getting feedback from other towers that they are getting denied reissuance of their RT plates. I was kinda blindsided about this and only learned of it about 10 days ago, in fact just putting together an eblast to send out from the association asking for feedback on the process and Pennsylvania tower's results.

 

We filled out the questionnaire and have not gotten anything back from the state as yet.

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13 hours ago, brian991219 said:

Speaking of RT plates, did you have any trouble with your "re-justification" of how many plates you have and if you should even have RT plates at all?

We renewed our plates in August without any complications. Eddie usually goes right to Harrisburg and does it there.

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We renewed in August as well, then we got a notice in the mail that they were changing the dealer tags to a new style tag.  he questionnaire they sent asked if you were still using all of the tags that were assigned to you, if not, they wanted you to return any unused tags.  Supposedly, we are all getting new tags.  I would have to look, but I think it said in October

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9 hours ago, EdsTowing said:

We renewed our plates in August without any complications. Eddie usually goes right to Harrisburg and does it there.

As did a lot of folks, then earlier this month a rejustification letter was sent to all holders of MMVB plates requiring rejustification of all your plates by Sept. 23rd or they will be cancelled. Also, will need to return every plate on your account when the new ones come in or a copy of the police report for any lost or stolen plates.

 

I'm finding that a lot of Pennsylvania towers either missed the letters or ignored them since they had just renewed. This has the potential of becoming a big issue in the Commonwealth.

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So I spoke with Eddie about this and we did receive the letter from the state. He already filled out the "re-justification" form and submitted it a couple weeks ago. It states they will be sending us replacement plates and have to return our current ones...I guess unless they deny our application? 

 

I can't help but think this is a step in removing the MV Business portion of the Dealer Registration department? The state obviously looses a substantial amount of funding due to the program. And I believe there are a lot of people that abuse the system. I also think it makes it difficult for the state to track sales tax paid on vehicles if they aren't "properly" registered.  I'll keep everyone informed on what transpires. 

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