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Discussion Starter #1
I've been shopping around for a older John Deere, (especially a LA), Ford 3000 or a Farmall Cub tractor. I have reason for wanting each and have found several in Tennessee. Thinking ahead, I called the Tennessee Highway Patrol office and told them: I'm looking at buying a tractor in Tennessee and wanted to find out the requirements for hauling a tractor on a flat bed trailer back to Alabama.

Here's what the state trooper office said: Just secure it to the trailer so there no forward or backward motion while being towed.

I asked: There's no requirement that I need one tie down per corner?

He said: No, just make sure it's secured to the trailer.

I asked: can I used the appropriate size ratchet type web straps, one on each end?

He replied: Yes, if that secures it to the trailer. As long as you have the trailer registered in Alabama, you'll be all right in Tennessee.

Well almost all of that contradicted what I thought was right so I called the Tennessee DOT and told them the same: I'm looking at buying a tractor in Tennessee and wanted to find out the requirements for hauling a tractor on a flat bed trailer back to Alabama.

DOT reply: You're required to use a chain on each corner, that will be 4 per tractor. Any piece of equipment laying on the trailer, plows, etc will require two chains.

I asked: can I use the ratchet type web straps in place of chains?

DOT reply: No, only chains rated for the load are permitted. And each tie down point requires a separate chain. A long continuous chain tying down one side and extending across to the other side is not permitted.

I said: That's completely different than what the State Trooper office told me.

DOT reply: (Laughing) yeah, you're not the first one to tell me that. They don't know anything about transportation requirements and would not inspect your trailer unless you were involved in an accident or a moving violation. Our department will be notified if a trailer is involved and we'll make the appropriate decisions once they contact us.


I'm glad I called because I had intended to use my ratchet straps. I will now have to buy chains and binders / booms instead.
 

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I have always heard the same info:

DOT reply: You're required to use a chain on each corner, that will be 4 per tractor. Any piece of equipment laying on the trailer, plows, etc will require two chains.

I asked: can I use the ratchet type web straps in place of chains?

DOT reply: No, only chains rated for the load are permitted. And each tie down point requires a separate chain. A long continuous chain tying down one side and extending across to the other side is not permitted.
But...There are web straps used on flatbeds all the time.

Now all this is for commercial towing, where the truck has DOT numbers on the side and the driver usually has a CDL. I don't think either departments mess with private haulers to much unless there is a incedent. Around here it's VERY common to see "landscapers" with 3 or 4 ZTR's on a trailer not secured at all and bouncing around, plus no lights on the trailer and not even a wired connection to the truck for lights or brakes...drives me crazy to see that.

Tha sad fact is if you call again, you may get a third and different answer to confuse you even more.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Update 7-25-2011

I asked several guys in the local tractor club about the DOT requirements as they were told to me and all of them agreed that was commercial haulers over 10K lbs. This past Saturday I made the trip to White Bluff, TN and purchased a 1953 Cub Farmall.

I secured it to the trailer on 4 corners with a 3" ratchet web strap and piled most of the implements in the back of my Tacoma. The middle buster plow and breaking plow were on the trailer. I used two of the 3" straps securing the tractor to pass through the plows before connecting it to the tractor. I counted 6 state troopers who came up behind me and passed me and several local police and sheriff cars who did the same. None of them offered to stop or paid me more than a passing glance. I didn't have any problems getting back to Alabama with the tractor and equipment.

So, as one of my friends said, "make it look right and you'll be all right."

On a side note: My Tacoma usually gets about 21 mpgs. This load cut it back to just over 12.
 

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What a timely"Thread"...............

I just took my 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee (V-8-4X4) over to the shop an hour ago to get a 'Brake-Controller" installed tomorrow! I've been hauling (lighter-stuff) with it, but lately, been getting into logs, and I got a John Deere "M", that I gotta get down to the farm, a 50-mile run, on a 16' Triton Aluminum tandem axel Flatbed! I haven't even thought of the DOT requirements!!!!! I always have towed with a secured load that I thought was safe! We have a Harbor Freight in the area, and when in doubt, I go with chain, and screw-type binders. I admit, I've used Nylon-Web rachet straps, on siding and wood, but for Equipment, tractors, etc. I want the steel chain security, reguardless of what the laws are. Especially for a long haul that your doing. ~Scotty
 
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