Regulations for Trucking
The Most Common Violations in the Trucking Industry
Truckers deliver commodities across the United States, which is critical to the supply chain. Truckers do play an important part in the economy, but they are not without dangers. Large trucks are involved in 10% of all fatal collisions, according to the National Safety Council. Weather and road conditions are only two of the many elements that might play a role in accidents like this. However, it is regrettable that many are the result of truck driver offenses. These five most common trucking offenses must be avoided at all costs by truck drivers.
Exceeding 14 Hours of Service
According to the Hours of Service rule, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration controls truckers’ hours. This rule was last updated in June 2020, and it states that a driver transporting property may not drive for more than 14 hours in a row without taking a ten-hour rest. In addition, after eight hours of driving, a 30-minute break is required. The limit increases to 15 cumulative hours for drivers who are transporting people. The rule has a few exceptions, such as a two-hour extension in bad weather. When it comes to trucking offenses, the average penalties is $7,322. Truckers should keep track of their hours and take a break once they reach eight or fourteen hours behind the wheel to avoid fines and be safe on the road.
In 7/8 days, you will have driven more than 60/70 hours
The Hours of Service regulation isn’t the only one that governs how much time a trucker can spend on the road. Truck drivers must also adhere to specific restrictions imposed by the Code of Federal Regulations. These restrictions are found in Title 49, Section 395.3, and state that a driver cannot work more than 60 hours in a seven-day period or 70 hours in an eight-day period. If a driver spends at least 34 hours off work, the countdown for this limit restarts. Any truck driver who breaks this rule could face harsh consequences. The most typical penalty is a fine, which can range from $4,787 to $21,780 depending on the severity of the offense. It goes without saying that you should keep track of your hours and make sure you don’t work more than 60 or 70 hours in a seven- or eight-day period.
Failure to Maintain a Record of Duty Status
Every day, truck drivers must notify carriers of their duty status. 395.8 of the FMCSA regulations explains this. Failure to report is a recordkeeping infraction that can result in fines of up to $12,695 per day. Drivers who achieve the 100-air-mile minimum are eligible for certain exemptions, but they must retain thorough and precise time records for at least six months. The following details should be included in time sheets:
- The end of each duty shift
- The total amount of time spent on duty over the last seven days
- In a given day, the total number of hours spent on duty is calculated.
- The start of each duty shift
Failure to preserve these documents or to report duty to your carrier immediately can result in harsh repercussions. To record their duty status quickly and efficiently while on the road, drivers should use an electronic logging device that has been registered with the FMCSA.
Falsifying Logs Intentionally
Unfortunately, some drivers may purposefully falsify their duty logs in order to work longer hours or avoid rules. This may appear to be a minor offense, but faked logs have been linked to deadly collisions, making this one of the most dangerous mistakes a motorist can make. Many liabilities are covered by truck insurance, however falsifying logs may void coverage. The list of penalties for this infraction was recently revised to include more serious penalties, such as fines of up to $12,695. The offense has a severity weight of seven, which indicates it can result in a driver’s suspension. According to the 2019 International Roadcheck, as many as 14.7 percent of drivers faked logs, and as a result, they were thrown out of duty. This figure undoubtedly only represents a small percentage of the drivers who falsify logs, but it’s evident that it’s a significant issue in the transportation business. If their carrier advises faking logs, drivers must act as whistleblowers.
Invalid Class Licence
Carrying the wrong class license is likely one of the least serious offenses a truck driver can commit — and it may even be inadvertent. However, according to the 2018 International Roadcheck, as many as 21.4 percent of drivers were found to be in breach of this rule and had their licenses revoked as a result. Commercial licenses come in a variety of forms, with the following three being the most common:
- CDL Class A is required for any combination of CMVs with a GVWR of at least 26,001 pounds.
- CDL Class B is required to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) with a GVWR of at least 26,001 pounds.
- CDL Class C is required to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) that can transport at least 16 persons.
A violation of a class license can result in a fine of up to $5,732. It’s critical that drivers double-check their licenses to make sure they’re valid for the sort of vehicle they’re driving.
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