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We are a company that only uses trucks to carry equipment to work sights. Are we considered a commercial motor carrier and required to comply to the FMCSR?
Yes, if the equipment you are transporting and the vehicle being driven is in the furtherance of a business and meets the definition of a commercial motor vehicle. (§390.5)
If an owner-operator is working for us under his own authority, are we required to qualify him under the FMCSR?
No. The motor carrier under whose authority the driver and vehicle is operating under is responsible for qualifying the driver. (§390)
We are a private motor carrier that does not transport hazardous materials. Do we need to comply with any of the FMCSR insurance requirements?
No. Private non-hazmat motor carriers are not required to comply with the insurance rules. Only for-hire carriers and any carrier who transports most types of hazardous materials must comply with the FMCSRs Minimum Levels of Financial Responsibility. (387.3)
The FMCSR says that trailer tires cannot have tread less than 2/32 of an inch. Is that in one spot or across the entire tire?
A tire is not fit for highway use when it has less than 2/32 inches tread when measured at any point on a major tread groove. (Appendix G Tires)
When do trailers, not already meeting the reflective tape rule, have to be in compliance?
Older trailers must have the reflective tape or array of reflectors retrofitted by June 1, 2001.
What does the 10 on the 10 BC or 10 ABC fire extinguisher mean?
The 10 is part of the rating system for identifying fire fighting capabilities of the fire extinguisher. It has nothing to do with the size or pressure of the extinguisher.
Should the MC Number and the DOT Number both be on the side of the vehicle?
All CMV's after July 5, 2005 must display the carrier ID Number preceded by the letters USDOT. All other identifying information may be displayed. (390.21(b)(2)(4))
What is the difference between a ticket for careless driving and reckless driving?
For CDL purposes the difference is very important. Careless driving is not a serious traffic violation. Reckless driving may be a serious traffic violation if it is defined by the State or local law as one. If a driver has two serious violations within three years, his CDL will be suspended for 60 days. Other serious violations for CDL purposes are: speeding 15 mph over the posted speed limit, improper or erratic lane changes, following too closely, or a traffic control violation relating to a fatal accident.
We are a private carrier of fruit. Do we need Minimum Levels Of Financial Responsibility?
No, because you are a private carrier. Only for hire carriers and carriers of hazardous material are required to have Minimum Levels of Financial Responsibility.
We are changing our company from an individual to a limited liability corporation. Do we need to file any forms for DOT?
You should add the Limited Liability Corporation to the paperwork for your DOT number (Form MSC150).
What are the FMCSRs?
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. These regulations apply to interstate motor carriers with vehicles having a gross vehicle weight rating (gvwr) or combination gvwr of 10,001 pounds or more, and passenger vehicles transporting 16 or more passengers (including the driver), or any size vehicle carrying placarded hazardous materials. There are two exceptions: drug and alcohol testing and commercial driver's license rules apply to interstate or intrastate motor carriers with vehicles having a gvwr of 26,001 pounds or more, transporting 16 or more passengers (including the driver), or operate any size vehicle transporting placarded hazardous materials.
What happens if I don't comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations?
All motor carriers who must follow the FMCSRs are subject to a U.S. DOT compliance audit. Based on evidence of compliance, or lack thereof, you will be issued a safety rating of either satisfactory, conditional, or unsatisfactory. If you do not comply with the regulations, you may be issued a poor rating, which may cause you to lose operating authority, cause your insurance rates to increase, or cause shippers to cease using your services. Poor results from an audit can cause more than a bad safety rating. The criminal penalties for knowingly and willfully violating any part of the FMCSRs are: employers are subject to a fine of $27,500.00 and/or imprisonment not to exceed one year, and employees are subject to a fine of $2,750.00.
How do I know if I must comply with the drug and alcohol testing regulations?
You must comply with the drug and alcohol testing regulations if you have a commercial driver's license, and operate one or more of this type of vehicle: a vehicle having a gvwr of 26,001 pounds or more, a vehicle transporting 16 or more passengers (including the driver), or any size vehicle transporting placarded hazardous materials.
We are a new carrier and have been told we need
a U.S. DOT number. Is this correct?
Can we use our truck before we have the company information and the U.S. DOT number on the side of the vehicle?
You need a U.S. DOT number if you are a motor carrier as described above. Before you operate on the highway in interstate commerce, you must properly display your U.S. DOT number. To obtain a U.S. DOT number, contact your Regional Office of Motor Carriers and request form number MCS-150, or go click here (MCS-150) to go to the OMC's site to download the form. For a complete description on how to properly display your numbers, see FMCSR part 390.21 for U.S. DOT numbers.
Other FAQs: General | CDL | Driver Qualifications | Drug and Alcohol Testing | Logs (hours of service) | Vehicle Inspections | Accidents
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This page was last update: 06/17/2009
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