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?

Important things to know about drug and alcohol testing for truck drivers

As a truck driver, it's important to be aware of drug and alcohol testing requirements.

There are many protocols and procedures in place that can help to assure the safety of commercial drivers and all other people on the road. One of those categories of procedures involves drug and alcohol testing. Here is what you need to know about that type of testing for commercial drivers.

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FMCSA to allow trucks to replace rear-view mirrors with cameras

Find out how cameras could replace traditional rear-view mirrors.

Rear-view mirrors on trucks are a standard safety measure, but one that has limitations. In some cases, a camera system has a wider range of view and can enhance safety. In a recent ruling, the Federal Motor Safety Association (FMCSA) agreed to allow large trucks and carriers to use high tech camera systems in place of the traditional dual mirror setup.

Read moreFMCSA to allow trucks to replace rear-view mirrors with cameras

What is a truck inspection like?

It's important to know how a truck inspection works.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) requires all commercial vehicles that weigh more than 10,000 pounds to undergo an annual truck inspection. This is to ensure that all equipment on the commercial vehicle works as it should to help improve public safety. The DOT conducts inspections at six different levels. An inspection can take place anywhere a qualified DOT official or a police officer from the same state are present. While the inspections might feel nerve-wracking, the good news is that you can do several things to prepare and increase the likelihood of passing.

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Three reasons to keep an eye on your CSA Score

It's important to keep an eye on your CSA score.

Your CSA score is a measure of how well your business is complying with safety requirements mandated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This program is designed to review a carrier’s safety events and records and compare how well they align with industry standards and best practices. Each event or type is given a different numeric score based on the potential risk and impact to roadway safety; the resulting figure is a CSA score that provides a snapshot of how well a business is doing.

Careful attention to the details and events that impact your CSA and tracking how well your drivers are doing individually and your business is doing as a team is essential since this figure can impact your ability to retain top talent, your big rig insurance rates, and even customer perception of your brand.

Read moreThree reasons to keep an eye on your CSA Score

4 common reasons for truck accidents

These are four common reasons for truck accidents.

Truck drivers go through extensive training in order to do their jobs. Getting a CDL and operating a big rig isn’t easy. Of course, truck drivers get paid to, well, drive, so they put a lot of time and effort into getting trained to drive such a large vehicle. But even the most experienced, well-trained truck driver can be involved in an accident. When truck accidents happen, it’s important to look at the cause. According to the FMCSA, the major pre-crash event that led to 73% of fatal large truck accidents was another vehicle, person, object, or animal either in the truck driver’s lane or drifting into it.

So, clearly, not all accidents involving trucks are the fault of the truck driver, and accidents are caused by many more factors than just those listed below. And some accidents can be caused by factors completely out of the control of the truck driver, such as the actions of the driver of the other vehicle. However, understanding these four causes of truck accidents can help you train your team and ensure you take steps to protect the public, your organization, and your financial standing.

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What is the FMCSA’s Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP)?

The FMCSA has a Pre-Employment Screening Program.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) keeps driver safety records contained within a program it calls the Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS). The data contains the safety record of each individual commercial driver, industry service provider, and carrier. Anyone with the proper credentials can access the MCMIS website 24 hours a day. This federal program is separate from driver data kept by individual states. Most state governments refer to driver data as a motor vehicle record (MVR). We’re going to explain a bit about the FMCSA’s Pre-Employment Screening Program.

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What is a DOT Number and Who Needs One?

Do you need a DOT Number to operate your truck?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires a Department of Transportation (DOT) number for trucks and other carrier vehicles that meet certain criteria. These typically pertain to weight, whether the vehicle carries paying customers, and whether the carrier vehicle routinely crosses state lines. In addition to the federal regulations, 37 of the 50 states require a DOT number. (The FMCSA has a list of the states that require a DOT Number.)

It can be confusing, especially as a new operator, to understand if the regulation pertains to you and whether you need to obtain a DOT number. We hope that the FMCSA regulations below will bring more clarity to this issue for you.

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5 Safety Tips for Lowboy Trailers

It's important to keep safety in mind when you're driving a lowboy trailer.

If you’re hauling on lowboys, you know that no type of equipment, machinery, or industrial vehicle you haul is ever quite the same. You’re naturally a problem solver. Every day, you have to put your knowledge of synthetic webbing, winches, ratchets, friction mats and more to work so that you can make sure every load safely reaches its destination. You recognize that it’s not only the cargo at stake – it’s also the safety of everyone on the road and your business’s reputation.

So, here are 5 safety lowboy trailer safety tips that can be vital to protecting your cargo loads and your business.

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