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Commercial logos vs. Commercial regs

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by RouteVanJoe, Nov 3, 2011.

  1. RouteVanJoe
    Joined: Oct 28, 2011
    Posts: 22


    Anyone ever know of (or hear of) any issues with putting a commercial logo on your vehicle?

    I have a commercial logo on my classic right now but it's from a defunct business thousands of miles away. But I'm getting it repainted now and I want to put our family business logo (not defunct) on it instead. It's just for nostalgia/advertising and family pride, the truck is not used for business, ever. Strictly pleasure use, under 100 miles per year.

    I'd have my uncle's permission to use the logo, but I want to be sure that I don't get caught up in any commercial vehicle regulations or have it conflict with my collector plates. I've seen classics that say "not for hire" but I think they were always cabs or tow trucks, so that might not make sense for an HVAC company logo...

    Anyone know of any issues or horror stories with commercial vehicle regulations or insurance that I should worry about?
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2011
  2. I had a situation arise awhile back where my insurance agent told me that unless I removed the telephone number from my Safari I would have to have it insured under commercial rates rather than the policy I had at the time.That was for a stated replacement value and minimal driving time(under 5,000 miles a year IIRC) using YOM plates.
    I told him that I guess I would have to take my business elsewhere(I had 5 cars and my homeowners insurance with them) if that were to happen. That was the last I heard of that.
    I would imagine that the regulations vary from state to state and possibly even within the state.I would check with your agent to be sure.
  3. Ohio Rodder
    Joined: Dec 28, 2010
    Posts: 80

    Ohio Rodder

    I wouldn't worry about it... just like the old saying goes; "Sometimes it's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission".
  4. krooser
    Joined: Jul 25, 2004
    Posts: 4,584


    Don't worry about it.... no regs against that from what I can tell. I've been in the transportation biz since '72.

  5. Saxon
    Joined: Aug 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,157

    from MN

    Maybe if it was the fedex logo and you started delivering and picking up packages.
  6. chaddilac
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 13,977


    I think it'd be cool to take your family business logo and have a artist design a old version as it might have been 60+ years ago...and run that.
  7. I think I just threw up a little
  8. 94hoghead
    Joined: Jun 1, 2007
    Posts: 1,290


    Thats just nasty......
  9. Clik
    Joined: Jul 1, 2009
    Posts: 1,942


    The "NOT FOR HIRE" thing is usually for vehicles (26,001 Pounds GVW and up) that would normally require a Commercial Drivers License if used in commerce or tow trucks that if used to tow anything but junkers would require extra insurance, other than Hook Insurance. Guys using big rigs for motor homes may be requirred to post "NOT FOR HIRE". Take some pics of the truck before lettering in case the insurance company ever asks for pics.

    CAUTION: I wanted to insure and tag one of my historic company trucks. The Insurance company asked my wife if it would be used commercially. My wife responded with "We just want to be able to drive it in parades , it's just for advertising. We don't haul anything with it". WRONG ANSWER! They consider "ADVERTISING" a commercial use and wanted to charge full commercial rates.
  10. RouteVanJoe
    Joined: Oct 28, 2011
    Posts: 22


    Good info so far, keep 'em coming.

    This truck is 9600 lbs GVW.

    I actually do have a photo of what the company logo looked like 50 years ago, and I would do it exactly the same as that, complete with the alphabetic phone number exchange and definitely no area code...
  11. dixiedog
    Joined: Mar 20, 2002
    Posts: 1,204


    The phone number maybe a problem - kids have no idea what it is. :)

    I wouldn't worry about it, it's just decoration, no different than putting a Holley sticker on the bumper.
  12. lets see the logo!
  13. jetnow1
    Joined: Jan 30, 2008
    Posts: 1,969

    from CT
    1. A-D Truckers

    Like so many things it depends on where you are and the local law enforcement's
    understanding of the law. I know of an idiot who was doing stupid things with his
    off topic car- police gave him a ticket for having experimental in 6 inch letters across
    the car as well as for his driving infractions. Said the law in CT was that signs were
    only allowed on commercial or combination plates. Never saw it enforced otherwise
    and it was mostly due to his idiot driving.

    That said check with your local law enforcement or DMV, laws vary from state to state
    and what is legal here may not be where you are or more likely is legal where you are but not in CT. Jim
  14. BIG-BRO
    Joined: Jun 5, 2011
    Posts: 27


    Another distinction is if it's registered just in your name. (versus in business name). I had friend who had his pickup truck registered in the business name (write-off $) and had a small company logo on it.
    Company was totally unrelated to automobiles, but he got pulled over while towing a personal car on a trailer.
    Vermont state trooper told him he was "commercilal" because of the registration and logo, and was subject to all the DOT requirements, including logbooks, etc. State trooper made him sit in a rest area for hours (based on number of hours driving, etc) While he and his kids sat there.... they peeled off the vinyl truck lettering/logo....

    Turns out that a few states were cracking down around car venues, race tracks, etc targetting people towing with business logos on trucks/trailers.
  15. Probably not going to be an issue unless you attempt to use the vehicle for something other than its true intended usage. Don't try to get a better price on commercial plates for a non-existant business. don't park it in a "Loading Zone" designated for commercial deliveries, don't claim it is a tax deduction for advertising. ;)
  16. RouteVanJoe
    Joined: Oct 28, 2011
    Posts: 22


    I really don't see myself ever towing anything with it, and since I don't work for the business nor own it, it definitely is registered only in my name. Good tips though, all of them. I asked this because I had a neighbor pulled over for a situation that's been described in some of these responses - He got towed over while pulling a trailer with a trade show display in it, and the trooper decreed his vehicle "commercial" and wrote him about a dozen commercial violations.
    That was kind of the reverse of my issue - He had an unmarked vehicle but was using it for a marginally commercial purpose. I intend to make mine LOOK like a commercial vehicle but never actually use it for that.
    I like the comparison of putting the Holley sticker on...
  17. Clik
    Joined: Jul 1, 2009
    Posts: 1,942


    The stickers (logo) may have tipped them off but it's the registration that got 'em.

    I have a Dodge dually pickup with a GVWR of 11,000 Lbs. It's registered in my company name. I don't letter it because if my wife ever got pulled over driving it she would technically need a D.O.T. Card because anything over 10,000 GVWR that is commercial requires a physical, drug testing, etc.

  18. krooser
    Joined: Jul 25, 2004
    Posts: 4,584


    Once you hit 10,000lb. GVW every truck becomes a commercial vehicle.

    I'd just get collector or antique plates and put "not for hire' on the door. Many guys at the American Truck Historical Society also use "antique truck...not for hire" or something similar. Some states are revenue hungry... they will write up their mother for any perceived infraction...

    I put up with this everyday as I run cross country... it can be a PITA. Stay away from the state scales and don't speed... you'll be better off.
  19. Uh.... Can't question your statement in your the state you live in. But in several other states that may not be true.

    RouteVJ- I would think that the best person to answer your question is a commercial vehicle officer. They are conveniently located at every open scale house. They'd love to give you their opinion:rolleyes:
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2011
  20. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,710


    You really need to worry more about your insurance company. It could be grounds for denying a claim that could, financially, clean you out...

  21. RouteVanJoe
    Joined: Oct 28, 2011
    Posts: 22


    No worries about speeding in this thing. Top speed is about 55 mph, and it normally feels like you're driving about twice your actual speed regardless of where you are.

    I haven't tested my level of clout with my insurance agent - I guess this is a good way to find out.

    I also work with (but not in) law enforcement sometimes so getting those answers might be pretty easy too. And I don't live too far from one of the state scales.

  22. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,613

    Rusty O'Toole

    Years ago Jumbo Goddard got a hip replacement. He was quite thrilled when he found out the artificial hip was made by Rolls Royce because he was a big Rolls Royce fan.

    He wanted to get a Rolls Royce logo tattooed on his ass so he asked his lawyer if it would be legal. The lawyer told him it was as long as he did not drop trou in public.

    I agree this does not have much to do with your case, I just thought it was a funny story.
  23. Henrietta the '38 Ford pickup is lettered as a shop truck for Drake Motor Co., our local Ford dealer from 1928-1956. Complete with the phone number from back in the '30s-'40s, Phone 13. Don't own a business, truck is registered in my name. If anybody tries to claim I'm using it for commercial purposes, I'll tell them to try the phone number and see if they get an answer.
  24. RouteVanJoe
    Joined: Oct 28, 2011
    Posts: 22


    As a fortunate side benefit of the business that I'm in, I was able to ask, casually and directly, one of the head honchos of the Minnesota State Patrol commercial vehicle unit. Based on the fact that it's under 10,000 lbs, his response assured me that it'd be no issue with them.
    I'll still need to check with the insurance company though.
  25. ems customer service
    Joined: Nov 15, 2006
    Posts: 2,598

    ems customer service

    most tickets written are not based on a infraction of the law, but need for money to cover the excess expense's of the local goverment.

    so if they want to write you a ticket they will find something, so do what you want and just pay the road tax

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