The trucking industry is highly regulated, and it comes with helpful guidelines and strict laws provided by the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) and the DOT. Anyone working in the trucking industry needs to be fully aware of these regulations and understand them.
Failure to adhere to these regulations can result in liability in case a trucking company or driver is involved in an accident. Here are some of the trucking industry regulations you should know.
- House of Service
The House of Service regulations reduce fatigue in drivers, which can lead to road accidents. Initially, the FMCA enacted the 34-hour restart rule that required truck drivers to be off duty for two periods between 1 and 5 am, before resetting their hour of service. However, it was discovered that this rule wasn’t safe, and the following changes were made:
- Hours act: This act features four requirements, including the elimination of the advanced notice for the sleeper berth, an ag exemption, a short-haul alignment, and a reduction in supporting documents.
- Rest act: This features a 30-minute break requirement, a three-hour rest break, and a 14-hour clock phase.
Other regulations under the House of Service rule include:
- Once a driver hits the 70 hours of driving mark in a week, they must rest for 34 hours straight before resuming driving
- After clocking in, truck drivers can’t drive beyond the fourteenth hour in a row
- Drivers can’t drive after 60 hours in a seven day period
- Drug and alcohol testing
Although the drug and alcohol testing rule has prevented many people from becoming truck drivers, it has taken full effect. This new clearinghouse rule is vital for safety-sensitive jobs and requires truck drivers to take a urine test to identify the use of alcohol and other controlled substances.
To comply with this regulation, truck drivers should not carry alcohol when driving, unless its cargo. Also, truck drivers must not have drugs in their system eight hours leading up to a shift, and their BAC must not surpass 0.02 when reporting for work.
- The Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate
This regulation requires all truck drivers to keep track of their hours of service using an ELD registered to the FMCSA. The ELD synchronizes with your truck’s engine to record your hours-of-service logs. While there have been some claims that the ELD reduces productivity in drivers, companies have no option but to adhere to the rule to remain compliant.
The ELD has been effective in forcing trucking companies that violate HOS rules off the road, ensuring everyone’s safety. With time, the ELD is expected to increase productivity as it helps companies manage truck drivers better.
- Minimum wage
Since different states have different minimum wages, TCA (Truckload Carriers Association) has asked truck drivers and companies to stay up to date with the new requirements as it may affect them. Understanding the minimum law wage in your state is vital in preventing wage lawsuits filed by your truck drivers.
- Physical requirements and training
For a truck driver to maintain their Commercial Drivers License (CDL), every two years, they need to pass a physical exam and undergo special training. According to the FMCSA, the minimum standard for truck drivers is at the commercial entry-level.
If any driver fails to adhere to this training or doesn’t complete their physical exam and education, they could potentially lose their Commercial Driving License.
The trucking industry always makes changes and updates to its regulations to increase safety measures and improve driving conditions. Therefore, trucking companies and truck drivers must keep an eye out for new rules that may affect how they operate.
This way, you can stay compliant and avoid hefty fines that may ruin your growth as a truck driver. You can also consult with a lawyer if you’re having a hard time understanding trucking regulations.