Trucking companies operate in a highly regulated industry, with state and federal regulations in place to ensure the safety of drivers, other motorists, and the public. While there is some overlap between state and federal regulations, there are also significant differences that trucking companies must be aware of to comply with the law and avoid penalties.
Trucking companies and associated drivers must be aware of the differences in such cases. One must contact a truck accident lawyer if one needs legal assistance and guidance to understand the differences.
Critical differences between state and federal regulations for trucking companies:
- Scope of regulations
One of the key differences between state and federal regulations for trucking companies is the rules’ scope. Federal regulations, which are set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), apply to all commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) that operate in interstate commerce.
It means that if a trucking company is transporting goods or materials across state lines, they are subject to federal regulations. On the other hand, state regulations apply to all CMVs that operate within the state, regardless of whether they are involved in interstate commerce.
- Requirements and mandates
Another critical difference between state and federal regulations is their specific requirements for trucking companies. Federal regulations cover various issues, including driver qualifications, vehicle maintenance, and service hours.
For example, the FMCSA requires that trucking companies conduct regular safety inspections on their vehicles and that drivers keep detailed logs of their hours on the road. Meanwhile, state regulations may focus more on specific issues relevant to that particular state.
For example, a state may have regulations to address issues such as emissions from diesel engines or using certain types of equipment on state roads.
Why should trucking companies be aware of such differences?
Trucking companies must also be aware of how state and federal regulations interact. Generally, if a trucking company complies with federal regulations, it will also comply with state regulations.
However, if a state has more stringent regulations than the federal government, the trucking company must comply with the state regulations to operate legally within that state. For example, a state may have stricter rules regarding the use of electronic logging devices (ELDs) than the FMCSA, in which case trucking companies operating within that state would be required to comply with the state regulations.
Another essential aspect of state and federal regulations is the enforcement of these regulations. The FMCSA is responsible for enforcing federal regulations, while state agencies enforce state regulations. It means that if a trucking company is found to violate federal rules, it may face penalties from the FMCSA, such as fines or suspension of its operating authority.