The trucking industry is highly regulated and comes with strict laws and helpful guidelines provided by the Department of Transportation, and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The aim of the regulations are to keep truck drivers and other road users safe. There will always be updates and changes in the trucking industry to improve the driving conditions and safety measures. This is why all drivers need to stay up to date with these laws and guidelines.
Here are important regulations that you, as a truck driver or player in this industry, need to understand:
The ELD Mandate (Electronic Logging Device)
This mandate requires all truck drivers to keep track of the hours of service using an FMCSA registered Electronic Logging Device. The ELD synchronizes with the engine you are driving to make sure that all the driving time is recorded. The main aim of the mandate is to ensure that truck drivers have a safer working environment and give them the ability to share and manage the records of their working hours. The device also ensures that the driver is not overworked.
The Driver Training Rule
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration enforced a rule that sets the minimum standards for truck drivers in the commercial entry level. This is different from the ELD because is affected by the regulatory freeze by the Trump administration. The compliance deadline which stands on February 7, 2020, is still effective.
The Contentious Truck Speed Limiter Mandate
The FMCSA and the National Traffic Safety Administration proposed a change that would require heavy trucks exceeding 26,000 lbs to have speed limiters. This speed limiter mandate was demoted and currently, there are no plans to move forward. The rule was still in its early stages of development and FMCSA had not given the top speed limiters. There were very many stakeholders in the trucking industry against this specific mandate.
Keep an Eye on the Trucking Industry Minimum Wage
The minimum wage has generally gone up and the trucking industry has not been left behind. The Truckload Carriers Association is encouraging truck drivers to keep an eye on the new requirements that have already been enforced in different states. As a trucker driver, you should be aware of state law enforcement and know when there are changes that will affect you. This is because there are many conflicts that involve truck drivers and employers.
The Dreaded Drug and Alcohol Testing
The DOT drug and alcohol testing is in effect and has already eliminated a good number of people from becoming trucker drivers. There are two drug testing guidelines that are expected to further eliminate more people. By January 2020, it is expected that all trucking industries will be in compliance with the Drug and Alcohol testing rule. There is a new clearinghouse rule that has been approved but is waiting for guidelines from the Department of Health and Human Services.
Sleep Apnea Screening is Not An Issue Anymore
Sleep apnea has been identified as a serious concern for truck drivers. People suffering from sleep apnea are more likely to cause an accident. The FMCSA and the Federal Railroad Administration proposed a sleep apnea rule back in 2016. This rule was discontinued in 2017.
Apart from the regulations mentioned above, it is important that you take the initiative to stay updated when it comes to trucking regulations. Stay safe while driving and be prepared for changes in the industry. Interested in this article? Make sure to email us and ask for our newsletter.