California’s Trucking Laws

California, with its bustling ports, expansive farmland, and sprawling urban centers, is a hub for the trucking industry. Navigating the roads of this golden state requires not just a skilled driver and a sturdy rig, but also a firm grasp of the laws and regulations that govern commercial vehicles. Driving a truck can be an arduous responsibility to abide by both state and federal laws and regulations. So, let’s dive into what some of California’s trucking laws are. 

License of the Commercial Driver  

Those wishing to enter the field of truck driving should be well aware that they must have a truck driver’s license. To become a truck driver, an individual must obtain their commercial driver’s license (CDL). Applying for a CDL has its own set of conditions such as a medical exam, vision test, and written test to figure out how much knowledge the candidate has regarding truck driving. The U.S. Department of Transportation requires truck drivers to get their CDL if driving across state lines with a vehicle whose gross weight is more than 26,000 pounds.

Logs Of Truck Drivers 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) states that all commercial truck drivers must maintain a log of their activities. The log should consist of information regarding what stops they take, how frequently they take rest breaks, and the number of inspections that occur along the route. Fortunately, the recent advancements in technology have made logging this trucking information much more streamlined and efficient.

Routine Truck Inspection 

Commercial truck drivers must follow a routine truck inspection and maintain the truck accordingly. Before you begin your journey, remember to check the entire commercial truck to avoid any possibility for disaster on the road. Trucking carriers are generally responsible for the necessary inspection, and it must be recorded in the log. 

Number of Hours of Service

The FMCSA monitors the number of hours the truck driver operates the vehicle daily and weekly. Why? This law is essential to ensuring that large commercial trucks are being driven safely, as truck accidents pose a serious threat to all other motor vehicles on the road. These regulations also help to limit driver’s fatigue, which is a prominent issue within the trucking industry.

How Much Weight and Size Can The Truck Carry?

There are multiple laws that state the maximum weight and the size of a commercial truck. It largely depends on how the vehicle is configured and the axles are laid out. In California, trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded and reach a maximum height of 65 feet. 

Drive Safely

Truck drivers have a great responsibility to obey both state and federal traffic laws when operating a commercial truck vehicle. Failure to do so will result in severe penalties, and license suspension, and will increase the potential of a severe truck accident occurring. If you are involved in a truck accident, it is vital to speak with a truck accident attorney about the legal actions you should take. Furthermore, it is of utmost importance that truck drivers oblige to both the rules of the road and trucking regulations.

Author: Brandon Park