Fleet Management

DOT Regulations and What They Mean for Truck Drivers

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If you’re a fleet manager or fleet driver, you should be familiar with the Department of Transportation’s regulations on commercial vehicle operation. If you’re starting out in the field, it’s a great time to familiarize yourself with these regulations so you know how they affect you. These regulations are meant to increase the overall safety of drivers by targeting high-risk carriers, improving safety systems and technology, and strengthening the operating standards of fleets. Let’s learn more about DOT rules and regulations for truck drivers. 

Which Vehicles Require a CDL?

First, you must determine which vehicles in your fleet require a CDL. 

  • Vehicles with a Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) of 26,001 pounds or more with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of the towed vehicle that is 10,000 pounds or higher
  • If the vehicle is designed to transport 16 or more people, including the driver
  • Any vehicle required to have a placard while it has hazardous materials inside

What Are The Requirements For CDL Truck Drivers?

The regulations regarding CDL truck drivers change frequently, so it is essential to check for updated information regularly. Right now, the CDL truck driving requirements include the following: 

  • A valid, non-commercial driver’s license
  • At least 18 years of age, 21 if driving across state lines or carrying hazardous materials
  • One to two years of driving experience
  • No active suspensions
  • A valid medical examiner’s certificate. 

How Are Drivers Disqualified for CDL?

There are several ways that a driver can be disqualified for CDL.

  • Being involved in an accident while driving their commercial vehicle if it results in DOT violations
  • Gaining DOT safety violation fines or penalties that exceed $2,000 within 120 days 
  • Having excessive speeding violations (usually 15 mph over the speed limit)
  • Having convictions for driving under the influence within three years 
  • Receiving a DOT citation when operating a non-commercial vehicle– drivers must pay all fines and complete a DOT-approved defensive driving program 

DOT Regulations for Fleets

DOT regulations don’t only apply to CDLs, but other aspects of fleet operations as well. Regulations you need to be aware of include: 

  • Hours of Service: Drivers may not work more than 60 hours on duty over seven consecutive days. A 30-minute break is required by the eighth hour of duty. Drivers must keep an active log of their hours. 
  • Safety Fitness: The FMCSA uses a rating system called SFD to rate driver safety. They weigh your fleet’s safety-management controls and the frequency and severity of violations.
  • Maintenance: Drivers should be familiar with the standardized inspection format and complete inspections regularly. 
  • Insurance: Naturally, a fleet must carry insurance. The FMCSA details what type of insurance you should have. 

Easily Meet Regulations with Azuga

Azuga helps you manage all aspects of fleet management, including maintenance, tracking safety, and more. Explore more of what we can do by scheduling a demo with one of our experts.