The Common Laws for Commercial Truck Drivers

Red semi truck

Commercial shipping by truck has been a driving force behind the commerce of nations across the world. In this way, essential goods are sent from one place to another, providing food and clothing, automobiles, raw materials for construction, and more. Because commercial driving differs greatly from the typical driving experience (and even requires an entirely separate driving license), there are many laws and regulations put in place for commercial truck drivers to keep themselves and the people around them safe.


Red semi truck

Drug and Alcohol Testing – Drug and alcohol use while driving is strictly prohibited.

Exemptions, Commercial Zones, and Terminal Areas –There may be exemptions to rules for certain situations, as well as special considerations for different zones and areas entered into by the driver.

Receipts and Bills – The driver of commercial freight is given the responsibility of issuing bills or receipts for each shipment that is transported. Exact information is of the utmost importance.

Transportation of Household Goods in Interstate or Foreign Commerce – When dealing with interstate transportation of household goods, the driver must be very particular about how things are done. Generally, the driver is liable for any loss or damage of goods during transportation, written agreements must be drawn up and honored, truthful freight bills must be issued, and more.

Preservation of Records – It is very important for commercial drivers to obtain the right records for the jobs they engage in. The company must then protect these records from things like floods, fires, or theft.

Special Training Requirements – Successful completion of the LCV driver-training program, approval of the instructor, and maintenance of all previous requirements for driving, such as health and adherence to rules are pre-requisites for different licenses.

Waivers, Exemptions, and Pilot Programs – Drivers may request temporary regulatory relief from one or more FMCSR. These exemptions, if approved may last up to three months, one year, or three years, respectively.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations – All regulations apply to companies that operate commercial motor vehicles to transport either passengers or goods in interstate commerce.

Qualifications of Drivers – Drivers must be at least 21 years old, in good health, hold a valid license, and read and speak the English language.

Hours of Service – Drivers must not drive without taking 10 consecutive hours of rest, and may only drive during a period of 14 consecutive hours. Only 11 of these can actually be spent driving.

Transportation of Hazardous Materials – States may have their own laws regarding hazardous materials. Drivers must be aware of this before they drive or park in any state.

Transportation of Migrant Workers – Driver must not operate the vehicle for more than 10 consecutive hours, and must take an eight hour rest following operation.

Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards – includes regulations for all parts of the motor vehicle, including brake systems, windshield wiping systems, tire selection, and more.


Although the lists of regulations seem extensive, adherence to them simply translates into safer roads and safer drivers—on both ends. The extra training and specific rules are really for the good of all. With regard to the safety of all drivers on the roads, please report any laws that you see are being broken to the local authority. Everyone can collectively help out by making our roads safer to travel on.

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