Easy methods to Preserve Your Truck’s Gross Weight Compliance

This put up is a part of a sequence sponsored by IAT Insurance coverage Group.

Lots of the high points dealing with the trucking trade this 12 months all roll up into one prime supply: the economic system.[1]

In 2022, the price of working within the trucking trade reached a 15-year excessive, with the price of working a single truck reaching $2.251 per mile and a median $90.78 per hour.[2] Whereas the motive force scarcity is down for the second straight 12 months, to about 60,000 within the second half of 2023, the underlying issues driving this market proceed.[3] Lengthy work hours, aggressive pay and driver {qualifications} stay high of thoughts issues, and because the variety of job alternatives for drivers is on the decline post-pandemic, the funding to enhance these areas is scarce.

These developments are compelling causes for fleet homeowners to discover revolutionary methods to chop bills. Nonetheless, issues heighten when the fallacious corners are reduce.

To navigate this pressure and ease the hiring course of, a rising variety of fleets are shopping for or utilizing vans which are beneath the burden threshold that requires the operator to carry a business driver’s license (CDL), thereby increasing the pool of drivers and often out there at decrease pay. Some fleets may additionally achieve this to keep away from the numerous regulatory necessities for CDL certified drivers and their employers, together with however not restricted to drug and alcohol testing.

Some firms are going so far as modifying vans to change their goal and keep away from CDL compliance necessities.

Points come up when the precise gross weight of a truck just isn’t considered. Gross Car Weight Score (GVWR) is an important security metric representing the utmost loaded weight of a automobile or trailer as decided by the producer, encompassing not solely the burden of passengers and cargo but additionally the automobile itself.

In line with federal laws, if a automobile has a GVWR of 26,000 kilos or much less, the operator just isn’t required to own CDL, however this exemption doesn’t authorize loading the truck past the required GVWR and having it operated by a non-CDL driver. Any truck weighing 26,000 kilos and above requires a CDL to function,[4] no matter whether or not the truck is designed for it or at what weight it’s registered.

The 26,000-pound rule creates regulatory grey areas, particularly for shifting and storage fleets, the place the burden of the products being transported is tough to precisely decide. Within the occasion of a crash, even when it’s not the fleet’s fault, legal responsibility could fall on the fleet if the motive force lacks the correct licensing.

5 greatest practices for making certain compliance with CDL laws

Navigating the laws surrounding CDLs in a difficult economic system requires a stability between cost-saving measures and accountable fleet administration. Noncompliance with CDL laws can have extreme long-term monetary and reputational penalties. To safeguard your fleet’s success, comply with these 5 greatest practices for prioritizing compliance.

  1. Deal with not overloading. Practice drivers to acknowledge what constitutes a full load inside the limits of their automobile’s GVW and CDL {qualifications} and search for alternatives to acquire correct weight readings from licensed scales earlier than embarking on a visit. Each the motive force and the estimator chargeable for value and run estimates have to be vigilant in the course of the preliminary evaluation of the load. When estimating necessities for a transfer, the estimator ought to contemplate the variety of vans wanted to soundly transport the products with out overloading.
  2. Weigh vans early in journey. Encourage drivers to have vans weighed early of their journey, ideally at licensed scales out there at truck stops earlier than arriving at DOT weigh stations. Being proactive permits for the identification of potential overloads earlier than reaching the purpose of inspection. Drivers can then take obligatory actions to treatment any chubby, equivalent to redistributing the load or eradicating extra weight.
  3. When unsure, ship a second truck. Err on the aspect of warning when there’s uncertainty in regards to the load approaching its restrict. Within the occasion of a roadside inspection, authorities could require sending one other truck to alleviate the load. Whereas this incurs minor prices, the potential penalties of not complying, together with reputational harm, fines and insurance coverage problems, far outweigh the preliminary funding.
  4. Put money into CDL-required vans and rent certified drivers. Whereas this may increasingly incur larger preliminary prices, it considerably reduces the danger of authorized problems and legal responsibility in case of accidents. The expense of buying CDL-required vans is a prudent funding in making certain compliance, security and safety towards potential monetary and reputational losses.
  5. Prioritize ongoing schooling for drivers. Equip drivers with information on authorized limits, security protocols and the potential results of non-compliance on their information and the fleet’s popularity. Know the precise weight of your truck empty however absolutely fueled. An knowledgeable driver is extra more likely to make accountable choices on the highway, contributing to a tradition of compliance, security and professionalism inside the fleet.


Have a query on learn how to mitigate threat? E mail losscontroldirect@iatinsurance.com for an opportunity to see your query answered in a future weblog.

By Jaden Tareta and Christopher Parker

[1] American Transportation Analysis Institute “Vital points within the Trucking Trade – 2023,” October 2023.

[2] American Transportation Analysis Institute “An Evaluation of the Operational Prices of Trucking: 2023 Replace,” June 2023.

[3] TruckingDive “Trusting driver scarcity falls considerably to 60K, ATA studies,” October 16, 2023.

[4] U.S. Division of Transportation “Business Motor Car Driver,” March 30, 2021.


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