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Old 08-25-2017, 06:08 PM   #1
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GVWR rating - manufacturers tag or vehicle title ?

I have a 1993 Ford B600 bus that I would like to register and insure, but one question is the GVWR. I know that for 26,000 lb and up you need a CDL. My bus states a 28,800 lb GVWR on the metal tag that the coach builder put in the bus.

However, on the paper vehicle title, it shows "Empty Weight - 16,100" and "MFG capacity in tons - 2" So by what the title is saying, the GVWR is 20,100 lb.

The plot thickens further though with the previous year registration receipt that was in the file folder that came with the bus. That paper shows "Empty weight - 16,100", "Carrying capacity - 1000", "Gross Weight - 17,100"

It seems really weird that the state let it be registered like a half ton truck. I'm hoping that if I go back to register it myself, those numbers will stay.

So in this case, which rating takes precedence when it comes to registration? Obviously I would like to have either the paper title or registration receipt count. I would think that the paper title or registration would take precedence, just because that's what the DMV has on record and it is what they will use during registration.

Does anyone know if for any reason the metal tag in the bus would take precedence in the case of registration and insurance?
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Old 08-25-2017, 06:15 PM   #2
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I know more than one person who have lower numbers on their title than their tag, and they all use the number on the title. Maybe one of them will chime in.
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Old 08-25-2017, 06:48 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scubasteve231 View Post
I have a 1993 Ford B600 bus that I would like to register and insure, but one question is the GVWR. I know that for 26,000 lb and up you need a CDL. My bus states a 28,800 lb GVWR on the metal tag that the coach builder put in the bus.

However, on the paper vehicle title, it shows "Empty Weight - 16,100" and "MFG capacity in tons - 2" So by what the title is saying, the GVWR is 20,100 lb.

The plot thickens further though with the previous year registration receipt that was in the file folder that came with the bus. That paper shows "Empty weight - 16,100", "Carrying capacity - 1000", "Gross Weight - 17,100"

It seems really weird that the state let it be registered like a half ton truck. I'm hoping that if I go back to register it myself, those numbers will stay.

So in this case, which rating takes precedence when it comes to registration? Obviously I would like to have either the paper title or registration receipt count. I would think that the paper title or registration would take precedence, just because that's what the DMV has on record and it is what they will use during registration.

Does anyone know if for any reason the metal tag in the bus would take precedence in the case of registration and insurance?
I don't know what state you are in, but I live in GA. Here, they go by whatever the original builder's certificate says the maximum GVWR states. It *CANNOT* be altered except by a licensed manufacturer (this can be a 3rd party, such as a body-builder) and a new certificate of origin (with the updated info). Now, you *CAN* register such a vehicle for a lower GVWR, typically for business use and putting it into a lower tax bracket.

Since you're on this forum, I'm going on the assumption you might be using yours for RV conversion. Since this is usually *NOT* a business use, you'll exempt the CDL (in most states) but some places, such as Canada, will require an Air Brake endorsement as appropriate.

Now, regarding the previous registrations. It may be that the previous use was much like GA allows, registering for a lower GVWR than the builder's plate shows, typically for lower taxes. If this will be an RV conversion, it may or may not be to your advantage to drop the registered GVWR. All factors being equal, I'd go with the higher GVWR registration, just in case you go over the lower weight.

As for the "MFG Capacity - 2 tons", this goes back a pretty good ways. Way-Back-When, vehicle builders built trucks with rated capacities, typically close to their nominal ratings. Thus, a Ford F100 might have had a payload rating of about 1000 pounds, an F200 might have been around 1500, and the F300 being around 2000. (Later these were known as the F150, F250, and F350). The designations 1/2-ton, 3/4-ton, and 1-ton following the models. Following this scheme, the F400, 500, 600 and up would be known as the 1-1/2-ton, 1-3/4-ton, and 2-ton. As time went by, tires and suspensions improved, brakes and engines and transmissions were able to haul more weight, but the designations never really changed. Today, we have F150's that can easily, safely, and legally haul well over 2,000 pounds, the F350's can haul well over 2-tons, and the bigger Fords can haul significantly more than their original designations. However, the designations still stand because, as your paperwork indicates, some states still use them, regardless of accuracy.
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Old 08-25-2017, 07:57 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Brad_SwiftFur View Post
I don't know what state you are in, but I live in GA. Here, they go by whatever the original builder's certificate says the maximum GVWR states. It *CANNOT* be altered except by a licensed manufacturer (this can be a 3rd party, such as a body-builder) and a new certificate of origin (with the updated info). Now, you *CAN* register such a vehicle for a lower GVWR, typically for business use and putting it into a lower tax bracket.

Since you're on this forum, I'm going on the assumption you might be using yours for RV conversion. Since this is usually *NOT* a business use, you'll exempt the CDL (in most states) but some places, such as Canada, will require an Air Brake endorsement as appropriate.
Ahh, one of our favorite recurring topics.. Answers vary widely depending on whom you ask, even within the same state (motor vehicle department clerk will tell you one thing, next clerk will say something else, driver license clerk has a different opinion, and law enforcement have their own as well).

Here in Utah it works the same as described by Brad for Georgia. The vehicle's GVWR is what it is. In RV use you probably won't run it as heavy as the GVWR allows, so you can save money by registering it for less weight than the GVWR. The registered weight can be changed at any time. If you ever get caught with it loaded heavier than it's registered there'll be a big fee to pay. I believe the fee-by-weight system only applies if it's titled as a heavy truck (ie bus) -- if you can re-title as some kind of RV/motorhome/house-car it'll probably be a cheaper flat rate rather than weight-based.

Somewhat counter-intuitively, driver licensing is usually concerned with the GVWR of the vehicle -- not the registered weight. But many states have the personal use exemption which allows a non-CDL person to operate a CDL-weight vehicle when it's for private, personal, non-commercial use. Several forum members report that their state doesn't have this exemption, so you'll have to check carefully for your own state. Probably re-titling as RV/motorhome/house-car eliminates the question too.
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Old 08-25-2017, 08:04 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by brokedown View Post
I know more than one person who have lower numbers on their title than their tag, and they all use the number on the title. Maybe one of them will chime in.
At my tag office they ask me what to put in for the GVWR on the title.
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Old 08-25-2017, 09:24 PM   #6
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What you all have posted so far has got me thinking further:

As for the "MFG capacity in tons - 2" thing, it makes sense because it's a B600 which is the same chassis as an F600. A 60 or 600 medium duty truck is 2 tons. You would think they would have used the coach builders to capacity to override that.

As far as the registration for a low GVWR, after some thinking I think I know why. The bus was owned by a public school district in Texas. In Texas, any state owned vehicle operates on an "Exempt" registration and license plate. The vehicle is exempt from typical taxes and fees. With that in mind, all the weight ratings are probably arbitrary numbers at that point since...the vehicle doesn't have to follow any laws because it's owned by the law...at least that's my speculation anyway.

I had given up hope on ever driving/insuring this because of that 28,800lb number and CDL requirements, but now I think it may be a possibility.
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Old 08-25-2017, 09:31 PM   #7
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LOL. Years ago I installed a paint spray booth in a shop. The inspector asked me how many gallons of paint I was going to use in a year. I asked what the maximum allowed was and went with that. Moral of the story--take all you can get!
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Old 08-26-2017, 11:20 AM   #8
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Here in WA we deal with the same thing that Family Wagon mentioned.

Ask the clerk. If you don't like the answer find another clerk and ask again. The answer will likely be different.....

It took me a couple of tries to find the right licensing office to register my buses.

I registered them as RV's so they are exempt from the CDL requirements and when registering the clerk asked me what they weighed and that is what went on the title.

If you tell us what State you are in you may get some "local" responses.
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