Regulations In the Trucking Industry: What You Need to Know

We see them all the time on the roads, traveling long distances to deliver goods from one destination to another. Large commercial trucks are a common presence in the world and most of the time, they get where they are going safely.

However, there are other times when the regulations concerning the trucking industry are not properly adhered to and it can lead to serious problems. These regulations are designed to help keep truck drivers and others on the road safe.

These regulations are not always followed, especially when trucking companies want to meet demanding deadlines. Understanding these regulations may be helpful if an accident and subsequent injury occurs. Here’s what you need to know about what the trucking industry is allowed to do and what they must avoid.

Hours of Service Regulations

Because of the large size of these commercial trucks and the potential for serious accidents, truck drivers must ensure that they are well rested and are able to operate their vehicles correctly and safely. The Hours of Service regulations work to ensure this.

These regulations limit the total number of hours an individual is allowed to drive their truck before they must take a break for a specific amount of time. These regulations are also dependent on whether the driver is operating a property-carrying or passenger-carrying commercial motor vehicle.

For instance, a property-carrying commercial driver must have 10 consecutive hours off duty or in the sleeper-berth before operating their vehicle. Typically, the driver may be able to operate their vehicle between 10 and 14 hours, depending on the amount of time they were off duty.

Weight Restrictions

There are various size restrictions nationally that must be followed when it comes to the weight of the truck, as well as the width and length. Here are some of the things that you should know about size restrictions.

  • There are no federal length limits imposed on a national level regarding most truck operations, unless it is a combination vehicle designed to carry automobiles or boats. In this case, the length limits would be either 65 or 75 feet depending on the connection type.
  • According to federal law, no state may impose length limitations of less than 48 feet in terms of trailer length.
  • Vehicle width may not have a limitation of more or less than 102 inches.
  • Vehicle height does not have a federal limit, but some states will determine between 13.6 and 14.6 feet for total vehicle height.

As far as weight, single axle vehicles may not exceed 20,000 pounds, tandem axle vehicles may not exceed 34,000 pounds, and the gross vehicle weight may not exceed 80,000 pounds.

Trailer Loading

Employees responsible for loading the cargo in trailers must ensure that everything is properly loaded. This means the items do not cause uneven weight or that the trailer is not overloaded. If this is done incorrectly, it can lead to a potential accident.

There are times when trucking companies try to encourage overloading cargo or driving longer than the allotted time if it means ensuring deliveries are made within a deadline. However, this could lead to a fatigued driver or a dangerous situation where accidents are near certain.

What the Injured Parties Can Do

When someone sustains a serious injury as a result of a truck accident, they have specific rights, but they should start with hiring legal counsel to help them along the way. A lawyer can help utilize necessary evidence to determine if a regulation violation was the cause of the accident.

At Ervin & Ervin, our Oklahoma truck accident attorneys are dedicated to helping you if you’ve been injured as a result of a negligent truck driver, trucking company, or any other party in the trucking industry.

We know what causes accidents and we know how to utilize our experience to seek justice on your behalf. You can count on our team to go the extra mile when you need us most.

Call our firm today at (918) 994-0880. We offer free consultations and work on a contingency fee basis, so if we don’t help you get compensation, you owe us nothing.