State DOT officials are facing a dilemma with the onset of a new automotive-industry model year. Harvester, traditionally a maker of commercial and farm equipment, is coming out with a big new pickup and regulators aren’t quite sure how to classify it. Mike Koch , general sales manager at Hawkeye International Sales in Davenport, says it’s a big truck, bigger than a Hummer. “It’s a big boys’ toy thing,” according to Koch. The Iowa Department of Transportation isn’t quite sure how to classify the “International CXT 7300.” The DOT’s Dena Grey-Fisher says the determination on a vehicle’s classification comes from the manufacturer’s certification — and this could be classed as a truck or a multipurpose vehicle. She says this one just came out about a week ago, so the state of Iowa hasn’t been informed about the vehicle. It’s causing headaches for Nebraska, where the truck’s 500 pounds over the state standard for pickup trucks. Salesman Mike Koch says a lot of pickups are working trucks and this is likely to be one for many owners. He says you can add different options, including 2- or 4-wheel drive, and he says some people will buy it for things like hauling construction equipment or trailers. The D-O-T’s Grey-Fisher says there’s even a question as to whether operators will need to get the Commercial Driver’s license required to operate the big rigs. If that truck isn’t towing anything you probably won’t need a CDL, but if you’re hauling something like a horse trailer, it’s likely to be heavy enough to require a commercial driver’s license. Koch says dealers have gotten a look at it, but most in Iowa won’t have one on the lot as they don’t expect to sell many here, despite lots of curiosity. Koch says there’s talk that celebrities like Jay Leno and Terry Bradshaw have one already and at the recent Truckers Jamboree at Walcott, Iowa, it was the biggest attraction. Koch says “there’s a lot of consumer interest in it until they hear the price,” which was 102-thousand dollars for the one displayed at the Jamboree. At O’Halloran International in Altoona a saleswoman says the weight and price as well as the requirement for a commercial driver’s license will depend on the individual truck, which could come with hydraulic or air brakes and options that would change how much it weighs. She adds they don’t have one on display either.
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