What do I do if I get a warning letter from the FMCSA?

Here's what to do if you get an FMCSA warning letter.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is responsible for making sure that commercial trucks and drivers are safe enough to be on America’s highways. To protect the public, the FMCSA completes regular inspections of equipment, driver log books, records of violations, and more. If your business is found to have a violation, the FMCSA will then notify the motor carrier of violations by mail in the form of a warning letter.

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What does the Vehicle Maintenance BASIC cover?

It's important to review your insurance coverages as you grow your fleet.

Regular maintenance for your trucks and fleet vehicles does more than just prevent you from experiencing emergency repair work costs and downtime; it enhances your safety on the roadways, too. As a trucker or an organization that owns trucks, if you perform deliveries or shipping services, you are also required to comply with key maintenance and safety regulations from the FMCSA. One way to track how well you are doing is the Vehicle Maintenance BASIC program; learning more about this safety program will help keep your drivers and others safe on the roads and ensure you remain in compliance.

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What does the Unsafe Driving BASIC cover?

unsafe driving basic

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) maintains records on seven levels of unsafe driving behavior that it uses to rank motor carriers.  The name of the system is BASIC, which stands for Behavioral Analysis and Safety Improvement Category. The Unsafe Driving BASIC specifically addresses FMCSA 49 CFR Parts 397 to evaluate motor carriers in several safety categories. Failure to comply with these requirements can result in monetary fines or even the FMCSA shutting down a trucking business. So, it’s important to know how your business stacks up and how to improve if needed.

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What hazardous materials require a Hazardous Materials Safety Permit?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enforces a program known as Hazardous Materials Safety Permit (HMSP). The purpose is to increase safety for the driving public and commercial truck drivers. The FMCSA maintains a database outlining the types of materials that require truckers to obtain a permit before they can transport them. We include this information below.

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What is a trucking company’s CSP (Company Safety Profile)?

A CSP contains crash information about a motor carrier.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a division of the federal Department of Transportation (DOT), retains safety information for every commercial carrier that drives on public roads. It also keeps a safety record for every trucking company or independent owner-operator. Although it stores several types of documents, the Company Safety Profile (CSP) is by far the most comprehensive.

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What is the difference between interstate and intrastate commerce?

There's a difference between interstate and intrastate commerce.

Interstate commerce and intrastate commerce refer to two different ways of transporting cargo or people. The term interstate means that the commercial truck driver moves cargo or people across state lines. Specifically, it includes the following definitions:

  • Between a place inside of a state and a place outside of a state, including outside of the country
  • Between two destinations inside of a state going through another state or outside of the country
  • Between two places within a state as part of transportation, traffic, or trade that originates or terminates outside of the state or outside of the United States

Read moreWhat is the difference between interstate and intrastate commerce?

What is the ELD rule and who is exempt from it?

Find out about the ELD rule and the few exemptions.

Congress passed a bill in 2012 that increased qualifications to receive federal highway funding. Known as MAP-21, or Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st century, the bill required the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) to make it mandatory for commercial truckers to maintain an electronic logging device (ELD) – in other words, the ELD rule.

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How can a motor carrier be sure an ELD is compliant?

Make sure that your ELD device complies with the law.

Most motor carriers are required to utilize an electronic logging device (ELD) in their vehicles. However, understanding all of the associated rules can be difficult. Below is some information to help you make sure you are fully compliant with this law.

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What are hours of service regulations for trucking?

You need to heed the Hours of Service regulations.

Hours of service regulations are designed to keep the roadways safe for all parties, from motorcycles to big rigs, and to help drivers stay healthy and alert. Hours of service rules are defined by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and must be adhered to in all 50 states. Learning more about these important regulations helps protect your business (new fleet owners and drivers in particular need to fully review hours of service rules) and keeps the roads safe for all.

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What is the minimum insurance I need to get my truck operating authority?

If you're getting your operating authority, you need to have certain levels of insurance.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), commercial trucking companies must obtain an interstate operating authority number if they meet certain criteria. The interstate operating authority number, also known as an MC number, is in addition to the requirement of obtaining a Department of Transportation (DOT) number.

These criteria include businesses that:

  • Transport people paying a monetary fee or another form of compensation while engaged in interstate commerce. This fee can either be a direct or indirect form of payment.
  • Transport commodities regulated by the federal government and owned by another party in exchange for a direct or implied payment while completing the act of interstate commerce.

Read moreWhat is the minimum insurance I need to get my truck operating authority?