Trucking is an essential sub-sector of the logistics industry. Many people depend so much on truckers, especially during the pandemic. However, disobeying the law, malpractice, and accident can easily damage your reputation as a company. Sadly, these laws aren’t talked about all that much. This is why we’re going to talk about them in this article.
The trucking industry has made almost $800 billion in revenues last 2019. It’s expected to grow throughout the pandemic as there is a dire need for logistics more than ever. The industry is growing faster than anyone expected. However, laws are implemented to regulate trucking as a profession while keeping the roads safe from such accidents.
Hours of Service
The hours of service of a truck driver depend primarily on the company. However, for long drives, they are subjected to the maximum amount of hours subjected by law. This is what many in the industry call “hours of service.”
As we all know, exhaustion plays a significant role in how we function as individuals. This is doubly important when we’re out on the road. There’s an average of 91,000 vehicular accidents every year due to drowsy and exhausted drivers. The thing is that the size of trucks in the US is much larger, meaning that an accident from such a vehicle can lead to catastrophic consequences.
This is why a law is implemented on the maximum hours a truck driver can be on the road during a long haul. In general, truck drivers cannot drive for more than 11 hours on the road. They also cannot do that shift without having breaks in between. This protects both the driver and the motorists on the road. Companies that overwork their drivers are liable to million-dollar fines.
COVID-19 Sick Leaves
Because of the pandemic, sick leaves for truckers have changed. There is now a statewide paid COVID-19 sick leave law implemented by the government. This is especially important for truckers who work long hours on the road, entering quarantined districts daily. Such sick leaves can protect both an infected driver and their family when it comes to their financials.
Quality of Trucks
As a company, you can’t just choose any truck to be out on the road. There are federal laws that require your trucks in the best condition possible when operating on the road.
For example, there is a federal law regarding air brakes on trucks. Air brakes need to be tested for each vehicle before any drive can use the truck. It also has to reach the desired level for it to be road operational. Such trucks with malfunctioning air brakes must have the necessary repairs before going back into the street.
Another example is laws regarding using quality tires. Tires play a significant role in a truck’s performance, which is why they must be changed depending on a truck’s usage. If a vehicle is inspected on the road using depreciated tires, this can lead to serious legal consequences.
Maximum Weight Carried
There is a maximum weight that can be carried by each truck. This is regulated by law and not the maximum amount of weight indicated by the manufacturer. This can widely vary depending on the trucks you have at your disposal.
For example, single axel trucks can carry only up to 20,000 pounds, regardless of what the manufacturer says about its carrying limit. Two axel trucks can only carry 34,000 pounds, and so on.
The maximum weight carried must be strictly adhered to by the company. If it’s discovered that a truck is over its carrying limit, this can lead to a thousand-dollar fine. This can even remove the license of the trucking driver for reckless driving.
Who Is Responsible for Accidents?
Lastly, we should discuss who is responsible for accidents. Is it the driver or the company? Well, in most instances, the answer to this question is not limited to these two subjects.
Various people can be held liable for accidents. If the company has insurance, the insurance company will handle it. If the truck had faulty parts, the company could hold the truck manufacturer liable. However, regardless of who is held accountable, it’s essential to have a reliable truck accident attorney handle the case. They are the ones who get a say as to who is responsible for the accident. They can also save you time in court if you need to keep your business operations going.
Trucking laws are essential to keep the roads clear from trucking accidents. It’s vital for your company, trucking drivers, and other motorists on the road. By following these laws, you should keep away from thousand-dollar fines and keep your business operating in the future.