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In North Carolina, in a recent year, larger commercial trucks were involved in over 15,000 crashes across the state (what year?) These crashes caused thousands of severe or fatal injuries, nearly all preventable tragedies. One of the best ways for commercial truck drivers to avoid accidents and keep the roads safer for everyone is by following Federal and State Commercial Trucking Laws.

To assist all our neighbors in North Carolina, our attorneys have put together the following list of related laws for commercial truck drivers. Call or contact us online to get your case reviewed free of charge and to learn more about the rules, regulations, and restrictions applicable to commercial drivers in North Carolina. What laws must truck drivers obey in North Carolina? North Carolina is a member of the IRP, an agreement governing the interstate and international transport of goods and passengers across the Continental United States and Canada.

Maintaining operational records of its fleet Maintaining an active interstate U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) identification number or Common Carrier or Contract carrying insurance meeting minimum requirements for commercial liability Provides an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) If employing commercial drivers as employees Registering and reporting total miles driven for renewals of the IRP. Because commercial drivers frequently operate on behalf of other entities, they carry many responsibilities while on the road. Also, because of their considerable size and weight, these big trucks present significant risks to others on the road if not handled correctly. This brings us to hours-of-service regulations.

These regulations keep North Carolinas roads — and those across the country — safer by setting specific limits on how long commercial drivers are allowed behind the wheel without rest. The 14-hour driving “window” — This regulation will enable drivers to work up to 14 hours straight, during which time they may travel up to 11 hours after logging ten or more hours of uninterrupted rest. The 14-hour window is generally considered the day’s limit, although the window is not based on any particular 24-hour period. The 11-hour driving restriction is the restriction on a commercial driver to exceed eleven cumulative hours of driving time in any consecutive 14-hour period.

When 11 hours in the open are cumulatively driven, they are required to log at least 10 hours off-duty before their 14-hour window is restored, at which point they are allowed to resume driving. 30-minute rest breaks — Drivers must take 30-minute rest breaks from driving after driving for over eight hours in a row, following the final period off-duty. Meal breaks, time spent sleeping in the passenger seat, and other time spent off-duty at least 30 minutes long count as qualifying rest breaks.

These 30-minute periods do count toward your total 14-hour work window. 60/70-hour duty limits — These limits are based on seven-day workweeks or eight days, starting with carriers-prescribed 24-hour schedule periods. Under these limits, drivers working seven days a row are limited to 60 hours on duty, while drivers working eight days a row are limited to 70 hours. These limits are based on “rollover” periods, where old days hours are deducted at the end of each working day.

The hours-of-service regulations also provide an optional “34-hour re-start” procedure, in which drivers can re-start their 60-hour or 70-hour week if they have taken 34 consecutive hours of non-work time. In addition, drivers who spend 34 or more consecutive hours off-duty or resting in a sleeping compartment can reset their weekly hours to zero.
These individuals can engage in other job-related duties, such as administration or load-hauling, so long as they do not drive their commercial trucks on public roads. Who Oversees North Carolinas Trucking Operations? Throughout the U.S., FMCSA regulates the retail trucking industry. North Carolina, in particular, has adopted the FMCSAs regulations and a handful of other regulatory bodies handling commercial carriers and promoting public safety on the roads.

NCDOT governs all commercial transportation within the state and applies relevant rules and regulations. In addition, the Public Safety Division conducts inspections of commercial trucking companies to ensure compliance and investigations into trucking accidents to develop crash prevention programs. The NCDMV is also empowered to audit business licenses and set standards for commercial liability insurance. Finally, the State Police and Highway Patrol officers are trained to assist in enforcing the laws regarding commercial trucks on the roads.

What are the licensing requirements for commercial truckers in North Carolina?

Any driver operating a motor vehicle designed or used for transporting passengers or freight within the State of North Carolina must have a Commercial Drivers License (CDL). Drivers of recreational vehicles (R.V.s), military vehicles, emergency vehicles, and farm machinery are not required to have CDLs.
Must be eligible and have held a Commercial Drivers Permit for a minimum period of 14 days, which, in turn, requires the driver to have a valid Class A, B, or C driver’s license and to have passed the relevant Knowledge Test. Vehicles with a gross weight rating greater than 26,000 pounds is acceptable for commercial class A permits, provided that none of the vehicles weigh more than 10,000 pounds. Commercial class B licenses, valid for individual vehicles with a gross weight rating exceeding 26,000 pounds, are reasonable, provided they do not tow any vehicle with a gross weight rating exceeding 10,000 pounds. Finally, commercial Class C licenses are required for commercial trucks not covered by a Class A or a Class B license (these are vehicles built to carry 16 or more passengers or vehicles hauling hazardous materials. For example, suppose a commercial driver transports dangerous materials, carries passengers, operates a school bus, pulls double trailers, or drives tank trucks. In that case, they must also have other specific approvals according to North Carolina Department of Transportation regulations.

What speed limits and routing laws apply to big commercial trucks in N.C.?

Speed limits and routing restrictions across North Carolina vary by county and by route, according to NCDOT.

In many areas, commercial trucks with three-plus axles or weighing more than 26,000 pounds are prohibited from driving on the leftmost lane of an interstate. In addition, trucks over 10,000 pounds are required to stop at trucking message stations in some mountainous regions. These stations provide:
• Commercial drivers with critical information regarding steep grades.
• Steep declines.
• The speed limits for commercial vehicles.
• Any relevant restrictions on lanes.

In some areas, traffic is not allowed at all. In others, trucks with three or more axles, or trailers longer than 48 feet, are banned. In addition, commercial truck drivers must have at least $750,000 of liability insurance on the federal level if driving for commercial purposes, either domestically or overseas, carrying no dangerous materials, and having a truck weighing 10,000 pounds or more.

Coverage of at least $5 million is required of commercial drivers hauling dangerous substances, tanks or portable pails over 3,500 gallons, toxic gases, liquid compressed or compressed gases, or “highway volume controlled materials.” In addition, coverage of $5 million or more for any CDL driver hauling any amount of Class A or Class B explosives, or any amount of radioactive materials, as defined in 49 CFR SS 173.403.
What is the maximum legal blood alcohol level for a trucker? For most drivers in North Carolina, the top legal blood alcohol level is 0.08% ABV. However, because of the increased responsibilities and risks associated with commercial drivers, the legal limit is 0.04 percent for truck drivers. So what regulations must truck drivers obey — In North Carolina.

North Carolina Truck Accident

Who Oversees the Operations of the North Carolinas Trucking Industry?

The North Carolina (DPS) inspects trucking companies to ensure that they are compliant with regulations and laws that regulate the trucking industry. In North Carolina, it is the legal requirement for all trucking companies to comply with both Federal regulations, as well as North Carolinas, own applicable laws while operating trucks. Therefore, any truck driving exclusively within the State of North Carolina is subject to the State of North Carolina regulations. In addition to federal laws, truck drivers or any commercial motor vehicle operator holding a Commercial Drivers License (CDL) issued by the State of North Carolina are subject to other state trucking laws.

Federal and North Carolina trucking regulations regulate everything from driver’s licenses and how much rest drivers should receive before they hit the road to how companies must maintain and inspect their trucks. The FMCSA regulates the trucking industry. It sets specific rules about the condition of trucks, their cargo, inspections, driver’s qualifications, how many hours drivers are allowed on the road, and other issues. FMCSA is the primary Federal Government agency charged with the regulation and security supervision of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs), which includes over 500,000 commercial trucking companies, over 4,000 interstate bus companies, and over four million commercial driver licenses (CDLs). North Carolina has adopted the FMCSA regulations in particular and has several other regulatory bodies regulating commercial carriers and promoting public safety on the roads.

Our attorneys have a deep understanding of U.S. trucking regulations governing the trucking industry, including the trucking companies located in the Carolinas as well as across the U.S. North Carolinas trucking industry at the turn of the twenty-first century represented approximately 80% of the commercial freight transport market for North Carolina. North Carolinas trucking transportation industry has grown from a small operation in the 1920s into an extensive system that moves substantial portions of the state’s freight and other materials–often at the expense of rail and air carriers. In addition, North Carolina plays an outsized role in the global logistics industry due to its location centrally between the Northeast and Florida; ports at Wilmington and Morehead City; large regional airports at Charlotte, Raleigh, and Greensboro; substantial rail infrastructure; and a history of enterprising trucking and other transport companies.

State Highway Patrol officers and the State Police are also trained in laws affecting trucks and commercial vehicles operating on North Carolinas highways — their reports can be critical when personal injury lawyers pursue cases through the legal system when accidents occur in North Carolina involving commercial vehicles.

What Are The Requirements For Licensing For Truckers In The State of NC?

Operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in North Carolina requires a Commercial Drivers License (CDL). North Carolina law requires any commercial motor vehicle operator to assume financial liability for operating a motor vehicle to the extent necessary for a for-hire motor carrier carrying non-dangerous property in interstate or foreign commerce. Therefore, any driver operating a vehicle designed or used for transporting passengers or property within the State of North Carolina must be licensed as a commercial driver (CDL). A commercial driver’s license (CDL) is required for operating a heavy-duty, large-capacity, or dangerous materials-laden, large-capacity, placarded vehicle in the commerce of the United States.

Vehicles with a combined gross weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 pounds or more, provided that another vehicle is heavier than 10,000 pounds, require a Class A commercial driver’s license to operate.Suppose a commercial driver is transporting hazardous materials, carrying passengers, operating a school bus, pulling double trailers, or operating tank trucks. According to the NCDOT, they must also have other specific approvals. Commercial truck drivers are required by state and federal law to complete extensive training, learn and master federal and state trucking regulations, and take rigorous tests to earn their Commercial Drivers License (CDL). Trucking companies must verify that their drivers meet the state and federal requirements for operating large trucks.

The Department of Transportation requires the Carolina Trucking Academy to give a minimum of 160 hours of training to truck-driving students before the student is issued a Certificate of Completion for CDL Training. In addition, employer obligations under the new rules prevent a motor carrier from intentionally permitting, requiring, permitting, or authorizing an instructor-driver on its payroll, or on a contract, to conduct an LCV driving education unless the instructor-driver on its payroll is qualified to do so under the new rules.

What are the maximum legal blood alcohol limits for truck drivers?

Every state in our nation has a.08 percent limit on the blood alcohol content of ordinary motorists; however, penalties can vary significantly between states. The CDLs alcohol limit is halved for commercial truck drivers: Truckers may receive a DUI or DWI only.04 percent of a blood alcohol concentration. In effect, the legal limit of blood alcohol for drivers with commercial driver’s licenses is 0.04 %, as opposed to the 0.08 % limit for the rest of the driving population.

Most states have higher drunk driving (DUI) standards and blood alcohol limit requirements for commercial drivers. However, some states set limits a bit lower. In contrast, others permit lesser charges for driving while impaired, as long as a driver shows signs of impairment, though they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) between 0.06 percent and 0.07 percent. Under the FMCSA rules, commercial drivers are considered impaired by alcohol when their BAC is 0.04% or higher.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA, states commercial drivers are not allowed to operate their vehicles or report for duty within four hours after drinking. Drivers are prohibited from drinking alcohol or even have it on the person in their cabin, and if the driver appears to have consumed alcohol in the last four hours, they must be removed from their duties for 24 hours. While a CDL driver with less than.04 in their blood alcohol content might not exceed the legal limit, any detectable concentration of alcohol in a driver’s blood (i.e.,.01 in their blood) would result in a driver being issued an order to cease operations or operate commercial vehicles for twenty-four hours.

Call our helpline to speak with a knowledgeable truck wreck lawyer in North Carolina after a crash involving an 18-wheeler, please contact us. Our toll-free number is (888) 491-0444.

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Trucking Companies Frequently Operating on North Carolina Highways

AAA Cooper Transportation
Accelerated Freight Group, INC.
Action Resources, INC.
Alabama Food Service, INC.
Alabama Motor Express, INC.
AWC Carriers, INC.
B & G Supply Co., INC.
B.R. Williams Trucking, INC.
Baggett Transportation Company
Baldwin Transfer Company,Inc.
Barnett Transportation, INC.
Bay Lines, INC.
Billy Barnes Enterprises, INC.
Boyd Bros. Transportation, INC.
Brittain Trucking, INC.
Buddy Moore Trucking, INC.
Charles G. Lawson Trucking, INC
Charlie Baucom, INC.
Chordus, INC.
Circle City Transport, INC.
Covan World Wide Moving, INC
Dixie Midwest Express, INC.
Dolphin Line, INC.
Evergreen Forest Products, INC.
Evergreen Transportation, INC
Fleetwood Trucking Co., INC.
Floyd & Beasley Transfer Co., INC.
Francis Powell
Enterprises, INC.
Garrison Hauling Co., INC.
Glasgow Trucking, INC.
Great Southern Wood Preserving
Hornady Transportation, LLC
James R. Smith Poultry & Produce
L & A Trucking Co., INC.
M & M Trucking Company, INC.
Magnatran Corporation
Massey Hauling Co., INC.
Mcclendon Trucking Co., INC.
Mcelroy Truck Lines, INC.
Mcgriff Transportation, INC.
MSJ Trucking, INC.
Nuss Lumber Co., INC.
Osborn Transportation, INC.
Parrett Trucking, INC.
Peppers Transport, INC.
Perdido Trucking Service, LLC
R.E. Garrsion Trucking, INC.
Rhett Butler Trucking, INC.
Robbie D. Wood, INC.
Ross Neely Systems, INC.
Rowe Machinery, INC.
Royster Enterprises, INC.
Single Source Logistics, INC.
Southern Cal Transport
Storey Trucking Co., INC.
Sunshine Trucking, INC.
Suttles Truck Leasing, INC.
Taylor-Made Transportation, INC.
Towns Transportation, INC.
USA Motor Express, INC.
Vernon Milling Co., INC.
Watkins Trucking Company, INC.
Westpoint Stevens, INC.
Whatley Contract Carriers, INC.
Wiley Sanders Truck Lines, INC.
Wise Trucking, INC.
WTI Transport, INC.

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