Chase Trucks with Utility Bodies

Mark Newhan

Well-Known Member
I have a Ford 350 Super Duty chase truck with a service (utility) body. Friday morning I was taking my prerunner north on interstate 15 and got pulled over by the commercial CHP just before the Fallbrook exit. I got an education on how illegal I was. As I understand it (based on the CHP lesson) when you have a service body and are towing with PTI trailer registration, you have to pay additional weight fees on the tow vehicle that equal the combined weight of the entire weight of the payload. That is why the PTI fee of $15.00 per year is so low, because the tow vehicle absorbs the extra cost of the payload, which is utter nonsense when you consider the frequency that I , in particular, tow anything with the truck, maybe 10 times per year. I did explain that this truck is used for my hobby, and he replied that it didn't matter. I did some research and their isn't any exclusion for this type of RV.

So as I understand the process, you go to the DMV and declare the weight that is plan on operating the truck at, pay the fees and visit the scales to keep me in check. Also at some weight I'd have to get an endorsement on my driver license. Also this declared and paid for "fee" needs a corresponding decal on both doors so that the scale workers can know what classification you fall in.

I was obviously blind sided by this and am sure that all of us with service body (and flatbed) chase trucks are in violation of this law.

Anybody with experience in this area please enlighten all of us. Also, if there is any loophole that the commercial CHP officer didn't let me know about, let us all know.

The completely assigning deal is that I can tow a 40 foot toy hauler with the same truck with a regular bed on it and I won't fall into the same classification.

Last thing, I swapped my prerunner out for the 27. When I got back to ElCajon I weighed it with the trailer and TT. The truck wasn't loaded with spares and tools and it was 20,020 without me in it.
 

green787

Well-Known Member
I think they're trying to tell you to register your truck as a commercial vehicle like the rest of us... (that tow heavy trailers)....:D
 

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Mark Newhan

Well-Known Member
I think they're trying to tell you to register your truck as a commercial vehicle like the rest of us... (that tow heavy trailers)....:D
Sadly it doesn't matter how big the trailer is. What's considered heavy? I can go buy an f450 and a 43' toy hauler and it doesn't require anything, but put a service body on an f150 and it requires special permit (fee) ?


Looks completely like a money grab. Like I told a buddy that recently took his bed off and put a service body on, there is probably 500,000 service trucks in California and maybe 100 chase trucks with service bodies...

The manufacturers have made loopholes for RV's...
 

Mark Newhan

Well-Known Member
What does the state of California do with service trucks that are registered to a company from out of state? Many states don't have these laws.
 

green787

Well-Known Member
Sadly it doesn't matter how big the trailer is. What's considered heavy? I can go buy an f450 and a 43' toy hauler and it doesn't require anything, but put a service body on an f150 and it requires special permit (fee) ?


Looks completely like a money grab. Like I told a buddy that recently took his bed off and put a service body on, there is probably 500,000 service trucks in California and maybe 100 chase trucks with service bodies...

The manufacturers have made loopholes for RV's...
Right, but aren't you profiting from the recent popularity of off roading??? The service body makes it look like you are in some kind of business... Could be full of plumber's supplies but just towing a TT to avoid DMV fees....:D
All my stuff loaded up in the pic is 23,000lbs....
Once you get the commercial plates, then you just forget to pull into the weigh stations... They see you drive by on camera and talk about you... but they don't go after you...... I drive around Rainbow, eat at the Inn, and act stupid.... try it...:cool::cool::cool:
 

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Mark,
I think you need a Parker strip address on the east side of the Colorado.
 

chicken lips the ocho

Most Annoying RDC Poster
Im a truck driver, when it comes to commercial truck laws all I have to say is good luck. Even the CHP doesn't know the laws. I have lost count on how many problems my co workers and I have had with them. If you get a ticket you can ask the officers in the truck scales, CHP commercial officers and regular CHP officers, and the DMV and you'll get 3 different answers. Stay away from the truck scales on the 15 freeway they are aholes.
 

green787

Well-Known Member
BTW, once you register it commercial, you can tow any trailer you want within the limits of the truck doing the towing.... Also you can no longer park it in your driveway anymore where you live....
 

Mark Newhan

Well-Known Member
Right, but aren't you profiting from the recent popularity of off roading??? The service body makes it look like you are in some kind of business... Could be full of plumber's supplies but just towing a TT to avoid DMV fees....:D
All my stuff loaded up in the pic is 23,000lbs....
Once you get the commercial plates, then you just forget to pull into the weigh stations... They see you drive by on camera and talk about you... but they don't go after you...... I drive around Rainbow, eat at the Inn, and act stupid.... try it...:cool::cool::cool:

Profiting.... that's a hoot. Lol
 

Kyle D

Well-Known Member
I know there's laws in Nevada requiring a special drivers license endorsement to tow over 10K but never heard of that registration before on a private vehicle. That seems over the top ridiculous to me to base that off the style of bed you have.
 

CMA GUMBY

Well-Known Member
That's Cali... Mark, is the truck registered to you personally? Or a business owned by you?
 

chicken lips the ocho

Most Annoying RDC Poster
If I'm not towing, do I still need to go through the scales?
Im not sure but I been in the scales and seen plenty of trucks like yours without trailers going thru the scales but I have never seen one get a red light to be inspected. But the majority of them skip the scales and don't get pull over.

Did you get a ticket ?
 

Baja Dad

Well-Known Member
EVERY Pick up truck with open bed in the state of California is considered a commercial vehicle.
Check your registration fee's
I have fought with the DMV for years over this
 

Mark Newhan

Well-Known Member
Im not sure but I been in the scales and seen plenty of trucks like yours without trailers going thru the scales but I have never seen one get a red light to be inspected. But the majority of them skip the scales and don't get pull over.

Did you get a ticket ?
I did not get a ticket, I'm sure it's because I haven't been pulled over since 1997. I do think that I'm am now entered into a data base as having been warned..
 
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