War on the Roads: Part 3
by, 08.30.2008 at 12.07 PM (1212 Views)
The industry, along with the government, have worked together to create the Hours of Service rules and drug testing requirements, which is required before a company can send a newly hired driver out in a truck, in the event of an accident, and random throughout the year. Vehicle inspections preformed by the DOT and state troopers are another way to locate and correct improper behavior and vehicle maintenance. Scale Houses, also known as weigh stations and chicken coops, are one of the main methods for the DOT and state patrol to monitor vehicle safety and driver behavior. The officials can pull any truck driver into the parking/inspection area, and have them provide their log book, freight bills, etc, and can also inspect the trucks, trailers, and loads at the weigh stations. These weigh stations are located along interstate highways in each state.
There are many requirements and laws governing truck drivers. One of the most important includes medical examinations that are required before a person can obtain a CDL (commercial driver’s license) permit and license, and must be repeated every two years. Certain medical conditions, including epilepsy, certain diabetic conditions requiring insulin, and certain high-blood pressure conditions, prevent a candidate from obtaining a CDL. A person under the age of twenty-one years old is not allowed to operate a tractor-trailer outside of their state of residence. A driver must fully inspect their truck and trailer on a daily basis, and inspect specific items throughout the day. (“Wisconsin Commercial”, 2005)
The amount of time a truck driver is allowed to operate the vehicle is regulated through the Hours of Service rules. A driver is allowed no more than eleven hours of driving time during the day, with an additional three hours allowed for duties such as fueling the truck, vehicle inspections, and various other tasks. The remaining ten hours of the day are reserved for resting, sleeping, and eating. The only split of the ten hour time period allowed is an eight hour-two hour split. (“Hours of Service”)
To obtain a CDL, a driver must pass a written knowledge test and a road skills test. There are additional written tests for vehicles with air brakes, tanker trucks, double and triple trailers, and hazardous materials. The hazardous materials endorsement also requires a finger-print based background check (“Wisconsin Commercial”, 2005). This went into effect with the inception of the Patriot Act.
Wisconsin Commercial Driver’s Manual: Volume 1. (2005). Wisconsin Department of
Transportation. Division of Motor Vehicles.
Hours of Service Regulations. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. Part 395.
There will be one more part of this next week, and that is the last of it.