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Welders on trailers

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  • Welders on trailers

    Just a quick question for those of you guys who tow equipment and welders.
    How come every Air compressor, welder or log splitter I have ever seen never has a license plate, lights, or turn signals?

    Would I be able to build a small frame under my bobcat, and tow it legally without lights, signals or a plate?

    It's a dumb question but honestly one I have never understood.

    Thanks in advance,
    Voigt Precision Welding, Inc.

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  • #2
    This is good question. I just bought a Miller legend on a trailer that has no lights or place to put a plate. I just moved to Kentucky and see trailers every day with no plates and some no lights. I guess it depends on if you can see the tow vehicle lights the trailer doesnt need them?
    MM175, Lincoln Ideal arc 250, Miller Legend


    • #3
      In South Carolina trailers less then 2500 # do not have to be licensed or registered. Over this weight and they must be liscensed and registered. Trailers over 3000 # must have breakes. I have read where all boat trailers are required to have lights, so I assume this goes for all of them. Safety chains are also required on all trailers.
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      If I had know I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.


      • #4
        I think depends on where you live. Some states consider a welder or air compressor to be portable equipment. Others, like South Dakota think if it has wheels, it needs lights and license......Unless it is a FARM trailer, like the gravity boxes that farmers pull behind trucks in place of a pup


        • #5
          I agree it all depends on where you live. I can't seem to find the page that lists PennDOT specs for trailers. If I remember correctly air compressors and mixers did not require tags or lights, but trailers do. I think this is due to the fact you can see the tow vehicle lights. Trailers under a certain wt say 2500 lb do not require inspection except when assembled for the first time. Trailers over 3000 lb require brakes. Trailers over 10,000 lb require a class A licence. All trailers require safety chains.

          Backhoes/ equipment require a special use tag to be driven on the road. However I have seldom seen this enforced, not that they don't just most cops don't bother yet. All state and local municipalities generally have theirs tagged.


          • #6
            The welder is a piece of equipment and not to carry cargo, also a boat is registered and that makes it state owned like your car, needs a plate.


            • #7
              Here is what Maryland says about trailers (copied directly from their website):
              Notice it's a money thing and IMHO the only thing.

              Trailers - Office Trailers and Mobile Homes

              Office trailers and mobile homes in excess of 35 feet are not subject to the inspection, titling, or registration laws of Maryland, however, they may be titled. This Administration does not collect excise tax when issuing a title, however, before the vehicle can be titled, the State Retail Sales Tax must be paid, a receipt obtained and submitted with the Application for Title and other required documents. The State Sales Tax Division is located in the State Office Building, 301 West Preston Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21201.

              Boat, Camping, Tent or Travel Trailers

              All trailers are subject to the same Motor Vehicle Laws as passenger vehicles (class A). They must be titled and if registration is desired, they must be safety inspected (if used vehicle).

              Homemade Trailers

              Homemade trailers may be titled and registered by submitting an Application for Title to the Administration with two photographs of the vehicle taken from side and rear angles. If the application is approved, an assigned VIN (serial plate) is issued. It must be affixed to the vehicle and becomes the identification number used in all future transactions.

              Freight & Semi Freight Trailers

              Freight and semi-freight trailers are subject to the same motor vehicle laws as passenger vehicles. They must be titled and if registration is desired, they must be safety inspected (if used vehicle). In addition freight and semi-freight trailers must provide proof of Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance in the minimum amount required by law or as amended. All other trailers are covered by the insurance of the towing vehicle. If a commercial (freight) trailer is converted to an office trailer and the owner wishes to title the vehicle, State Retail Sales Tax must be paid and the sales tax receipt must accompany the Application for Title.

              IMPORTANT - The Certificate of Registration should always be carried in the vehicle or on the person operating the vehicle.
              The definition of courage. "It's when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and you see it through to the end no matter what." From "To Kill a Mockingbird"


              • #8
                In Alabama if it is towed and gets on the road a tag is required, but on small privately owned trailers it is seldomly enforced.


                • #9
                  I think it just depends on the state in which you live in, I'm not sure about the laws here in Oklahoma but I know that I see a lot of welders being towed around on trailers with no lights and the cops don't say too much. Aside from trailer houses and the like, I don't think that trailers even have to be tagged here. I know we sure have a lot of them and none of them have tags. Once again, just check the laws in your home state and see what they require since every state is different.
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                  • #10
                    Here in California, they collect every dime they can dream up - and my welder sits on a tagged trailer. $25 for 5 years, but the plate says PERMANENT REGISTRATION.....


                    • #11
                      I put lights and "farm tags" on my welding trailer a couple of years ago. Years ago, the cops didn't look at small trailers much. Now they look at everything. I figured it was worth the $6 a year to put plates on it and not worry about getting fined. Call it Peace of Mind.


                      • #12
                        In Texas they have Machinery plates that you get for equipment that is permanently mounted to a trailer frame. They are something like $7 a year ( similar price to farm tags). I have three: log splitter, air compressor and welder.

                        It's more complicated to get a machinery tag than a farm tag. You have to take a picture, send it in with a form to get it approved and then you can go get the tag.
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                        • #13
                          heh i have no idea what the law is in NH, but i guarantee that if i didn't have plates, blinkers, brake lights, etc. on my trailer then a cop would pull me over and start harassing me. it would probably turn out legal to not have all those trailer goodies, but i can do without the aggravation.
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