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

Lots of the main points dealing with the trucking trade this 12 months all boil down to at least one main trigger: the economic system.[1]

In 2022, working prices within the trucking trade reached a 15-year excessive, with working prices per truck reaching $2.251 per mile, or a median of $90.78 per hour.[2] Though the motive force scarcity has declined for the second 12 months in a row, reaching round 60,000 within the second half of 2023, the basic points driving this market stay.[3] Lengthy working hours, aggressive pay, and driver {qualifications} stay high considerations, and with fewer employment alternatives for drivers post-pandemic, funding to enhance these areas is missing.

These traits are a compelling cause for fleet homeowners to hunt modern methods to scale back prices. Nonetheless, considerations are raised when the unsuitable nook is reduce off.

To beat this burden and ease the hiring course of, an increasing number of fleets are buying or utilizing vans that fall under the burden requirements that require operators to carry a industrial driver’s license (CDL). This expands the pool of drivers, sometimes out there beneath the next circumstances: Wage is low. Some automobiles can also achieve this to keep away from many regulatory necessities for CDL-qualified drivers and their employers, together with however not restricted to drug and alcohol testing.

Some firms go as far as to change their vans to repurpose them and circumvent CDL compliance necessities.

Issues come up when the precise gross weight of the truck will not be taken under consideration. Gross Car Weight Score (GVWR) is a vital security metric that describes the utmost payload weight of a car or trailer, as decided by the producer, and consists of the burden of passengers and cargo in addition to the car itself.

In keeping with federal laws, an operator will not be required to have a CDL if the car’s GVWR is 26,000 kilos or much less, however this exemption permits drivers who load their vans in extra of the desired GVWR and would not have a CDL to Driving will not be allowed. He wants a CDL to drive a truck that weighs greater than 26,000 kilos.[4] It does not matter if the truck is designed for it or the burden it is registered for.

The 26,000 pound rule creates a regulatory grey space, particularly for transferring and storage automobiles the place it’s tough to precisely decide the burden of the products being transported. Within the occasion of an accident, even when it isn’t the car’s fault, the car could also be held liable if the motive force doesn’t have the right license.

5 Greatest Practices to Guarantee Compliance with CDL Laws

Navigating the laws surrounding CDLs in powerful financial occasions requires a steadiness between cost-cutting measures and accountable fleet administration. Violations of CDL laws can have severe long-term monetary and reputational penalties. Observe her 5 greatest practices for prioritizing compliance to guard your fleet’s success.

  1. Watch out to not overload. Practice your driver to pay attention to the car’s most payload inside the limits of her GVW and CDL {qualifications}, and search for alternatives to acquire correct weight readings from licensed scales earlier than setting off on a visit. Each the motive force and the estimator liable for estimating prices and mileage should take care through the preliminary evaluation of the load. When estimating transferring necessities, estimators should think about the variety of vans wanted to securely transport items with out overloading.
  2. Weigh the truck early within the journey. Drivers are inspired to weigh their vans early of their journey, ideally on an authorized scale on the truck cease earlier than arriving at a DOT weigh station. By being proactive, you possibly can determine potential overloads earlier than they attain the inspection level. Drivers can take the required steps to remove extra weight, akin to redistributing the load or eradicating extra weight.
  3. If doubtful, ship a second truck. Use warning if you’re uncertain whether or not the load is nearing its restrict. If a roadside inspection happens, authorities could request the dispatch of one other truck to lighten the load. Though the price of doing so is small, the potential penalties of non-compliance far outweigh the preliminary funding, together with reputational injury, fines, and insurance coverage points.
  4. Put money into a truck that requires a CDL and rent a professional driver. Though the preliminary value is greater, authorized points and legal responsibility within the occasion of an accident are significantly decreased. The price of buying a truck that requires a CDL is a smart funding to make sure compliance, security, and safety from potential monetary and reputational injury.
  5. Prioritize persevering with training for drivers. Present drivers with data of authorized restrictions, security protocols, and the potential affect of violations on their data and car repute. Even when your truck is empty, know its precise weight with a full tank of gas. Knowledgeable drivers usually tend to make accountable selections on the highway, contributing to a tradition of compliance, security and professionalism inside the car.

Contact a Loss Management Specialist

Have questions on the best way to cut back your danger? Electronic mail losscontroldirect@iatinsurance.com to have your questions answered in a future weblog.


Written by Jaden Tarreta and Christopher Parker


[1] American Transportation Analysis Institute”Critical Issues in the Trucking Industry – 2023October 2023.

[2] American Transportation Analysis Institute”Trucking Operating Cost Analysis: 2023 UpdateJune 2023.

[3] Trucking Dive”ATA reports that the shortage of reliable drivers has significantly reduced to 60,000 people,” October 16, 2023.

[4] U.S. Division of Transportationcommercial motor vehicle driver” March 30, 2021.

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