- Trucking is an essential industry for transporting goods and materials throughout the US.
- Companies must comply with driver qualification, hours of service, DOT drug testing, and cargo claims regulations.
- To be prepared for legal challenges, trucking companies should consult a legal professional and provide regular training sessions to their drivers.
- Technology solutions like GPS tracking and ELDs can also help maintain records and reduce potential legal issues.
- Consulting with labor unions and other organizations can provide valuable advice on handling legal challenges.
Trucking is an essential industry in the U.S. It is responsible for transporting goods and materials nationwide. Over 70% of all freight tonnage in the U.S. is estimated to be transported by trucks. Truck drivers are responsible for providing safe, reliable transportation as they travel along America’s highways and byways. However, many trucking companies are burdened by legal challenges every day. Here’s what you need to know about it.
Legal Challenges in Trucking
Trucking companies have an immense responsibility on their shoulders. Not only do they have to ensure that the cargo is moved safely and securely, but they also have to abide by a set of rules and regulations enforced by the government. This includes staying up-to-date with changing regulations and ensuring compliance with applicable laws. Here are some common legal challenges that trucking companies face daily.
Driver Qualification Regulations
Trucking companies must ensure that their drivers are qualified, experienced, and competent enough to handle the job. To comply with federal laws, a trucking company must maintain detailed records of each driver’s qualifications, certifications, and training history. The company must also provide proof of these qualifications whenever requested by government authorities or other parties.
Hours of Service Regulations
Truck drivers must follow specific hours of service (HOS) regulations to reduce fatigue and minimize accidents caused by overworked drivers. Truck drivers are not allowed to drive for more than 11 hours in 14 hours or more than 70 hours in 8 days. A trucking company must keep accurate records of its drivers’ HOS logs to comply with these regulations and avoid hefty fines or penalties from government authorities.
DOT Drug Testing Requirements
The Department of Transportation (DOT) requires all commercial vehicle drivers to pass a drug test before beginning work and random drug tests throughout their careers. For example, any driver involved in an accident must submit for drug testing within 32 hours of the incident. It is up to the trucking company to ensure its drivers are following these regulations to avoid potential legal issues stemming from noncompliance with DOT standards.
Cargo Claims Laws
When transporting goods across state lines, trucking companies are held liable for any damage done during shipping processes due to their negligence or errors made by their employees. When cargo claims arise due to damage caused during transport, it is up to the trucking company—not the shipper or receiver—to fulfill them according to federal law if they want to avoid costly legal battles down the line.
How to Prepare For These Challenges
Legal challenges can be problematic for your trucking company. Thankfully, you can prepare for it in various ways. Here’s how you can do that:
First, knowing a legal professional is important, especially regarding truck labor. An experienced truck labor lawyer can provide valuable advice on dealing with legal challenges and help you understand the laws and regulations that apply to your operations. They can also help you settle with unions if you ever encounter that problem.
Education & Training
It’s also important to provide your drivers with regular training sessions to maintain compliance with government regulations. Educating yourself and your staff about all relevant laws, regulations, and procedures can save you time and money in the long run.
Using GPS tracking and electronic logging devices to monitor driver hours and ensure compliance with HOS regulations can help reduce legal issues related to DOT drug testing requirements. Technology can also help you keep accurate records of a driver’s qualifications, certifications, and training history and provide data to help you settle cargo claims quickly and efficiently.
Lastly, you can consult with labor unions and other organizations for advice on handling legal challenges. Many organizations specialize in trucking, so find the best one to help you.
Knowing the most common legal challenges in trucking can help your company avoid potential problems. Taking the steps necessary to prepare and protect yourself from legal issues can save you time and money in the long run. The right precautions will help ensure your business runs smoothly and efficiently and stays ahead of the competition.