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What Every New Truck Driver Needs to Know About DOT Regulations

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Starting, you’ll oversee steering a massive truck across the country. If you want to do your work safely and lawfully, you need to familiarize yourself with the DOT rules and regulations that apply to it. 

Maintaining a vehicle in excellent working order is essential for both your and other drivers’ safety and is a legal necessity. Inspecting regularly might help you spot issues before they cause major disruptions, such as accidents or delays. What you must know is as follows. Continue reading before you look for trucking permits services.

Hours of Service Regulations

The Department of Transportation (DOT) enforces strict rules on how long an individual may operate a commercial vehicle. These rules aim to keep drivers alert and prevent them from endangering themselves or others on the road due to weariness. You are only allowed 11 hours of driving time in 24 hours before you are required to take a 10-hour rest. Furthermore, you can accumulate up to 60 hours of driving time in seven days or 70 hours in eight days. The hours-of-service rules refer to these policies.


Planning your routes and break times can help you comply with these rules. Failure to maintain proper driving and rest time logs might result in penalties or potentially the suspension or revocation of your commercial driver’s license (CDL). You should also know if the HOS laws allow any exceptions due to the kind of goods you’re transporting or the distance, you’ll be driving.

Drug and Alcohol Testing

The DOT mandates that all commercial drivers undergo random drug and alcohol testing. Pre-trip, in-flight, and post-trip checks are all fair game for testing. Refusing a test is the same as getting a positive result and may get you in trouble with the law and the loss of your CDL.

The DOT has a strict no-tolerance stance regarding commercial drivers abusing drugs or alcohol. Even legal, over-the-counter drugs may impair driving and cause a false positive. Starting the truck driving industry, you must know the dangers and stay sober.

Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)

A valid CDL is required to operate a commercial vehicle. To get a CDL, one must pass a written examination, a skills test, and a medical exam. You may also need endorsements on your CDL, such as a Hazmat endorsement, if you want to transport hazardous goods, depending on the truck you intend to drive.

Keeping your CDL valid requires continual commitments, including attending regular medical checkups and taking additional training classes. You must meet these standards to maintain your commercial driver’s license and be allowed to drive for hire.

Vehicle Inspection Requirements

You must do a thorough pre-trip examination of your vehicle before setting out on the road. Brakes, tires, lighting, and other safety features are just some of the things that will be checked during this inspection. Also, every 24 hours or 150 miles, whichever comes first, you must stop and check the vehicle.

Maintaining a vehicle in excellent working order is essential for both your and other drivers’ safety and is a legal necessity. Inspecting regularly might help you spot issues before they cause major disruptions, such as accidents or delays. Understanding the inspection standards and taking the time to do comprehensive inspections are two of the most important things a new truck driver can do.

Cargo Securement

If you’re hauling anything, it’s your obligation as a truck driver and trucking permits services. To ensure everything stays there. The DOT has strict rules regarding securing goods to ensure no one gets hurt. These rules change based on elements, including the weight of the goods you’re transporting and your vehicle’s dimensions.

Knowing the precise requirements for your load and securing it accordingly will help you comply with cargo securement rules. During shipment, you should inspect your goods regularly to ensure everything has stayed the same.

Conclusion

For rookie truck drivers, familiarity with DOT rules is crucial. The penalties for breaking these rules range from monetary fines and license suspensions to possible criminal prosecution. Maintaining a vehicle in excellent working order is essential for both your and other drivers’ safety and is a legal necessity. 

Inspecting regularly might help you spot issues before they cause major disruptions, such as accidents or delays. Maintaining your knowledge and following the rules is essential to your success as a commercial truck driver.

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