New Laws and Regulations in Trucking You Need to Know About

• Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) record driver’s hours of service (HOS) and are required for all commercial trucks.

• Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse is an online database with drivers’ testing records accessible by employers & enforcement officials.

• Hours of Service regulations were modified to provide increased flexibility for drivers.

• California’s Assembly Bill 5 (AB5) makes classifying drivers as independent contractors challenging.

• Greenhouse Gas regulations require truck manufacturers to increase fuel efficiency by 15% by 2027.

The trucking industry is one of the most important industries in the world. It plays a critical role in delivering goods and services to consumers and businesses across the globe. However, like all industries, trucking is subject to laws and regulations that govern its operations. In recent years, there have been several changes to these laws and regulations that impact trucking companies and their owners. Here are some of the most important new rules and regulations in trucking that you need to know about.

Electronic Logging Devices

In December 2017, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) mandated that all commercial trucks have installed electronic logging devices (ELDs). These ELDs are designed to replace traditional paper logbooks, which were often subject to falsification. ELDs record a driver’s hours of service (HOS) electronically and are designed to ensure compliance with HOS regulations. The mandate has been in effect since December 2019, leading to increased efficiency, accountability, and safety in the trucking industry.

Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse

In January 2020, the FMCSA implemented a new drug and alcohol clearinghouse for commercial drivers. The Clearinghouse is a secure online database that gives employers and enforcement officials real-time access to a driver’s drug and alcohol testing records. The clearinghouse is designed to improve road safety by identifying drivers who have violated drug and alcohol prohibitions and preventing them from operating commercial vehicles until they complete the necessary steps to regain compliance.

Happy trucker on the road

Changes to Hours of Service (HOS) Regulations

In May 2020, the FMCSA announced changes to the HOS regulations that govern the amount of time drivers can spend behind the wheel. The changes included provisions for increased flexibility for drivers, allowing them to take breaks and split duty time to manage their schedules better. The changes also provided increased flexibility for short-haul drivers, allowing them to operate within a 150-air-mile radius of their work location and remain exempt from HOS regulations.

California’s Assembly Bill 5 (AB5)

In September 2019, California passed Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), which makes it more difficult for trucking companies to classify their drivers as independent contractors. AB5 imposes a strict “ABC” test to determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor.

To be classified as an independent contractor, a driver must meet three minimum requirements related to control over work and the driver’s occupation. This law has garnered significant attention within the trucking industry, as it can potentially change how trucking companies operate in California and other states with similar regulations.

Truck in a long road

Greenhouse Gas Regulations

In August 2020, the FMCSA announced updates to the greenhouse gas (GHG) regulations that apply to heavy-duty trucks. The new rules require truck manufacturers to increase the fuel efficiency of their vehicles by 15% by 2027. The regulations are designed to reduce GHG emissions from trucks and improve air quality. The new regulations apply to all heavy-duty trucks manufactured on or after January 1, 2021.

New Labor Laws

In January 2021, the FMCSA announced updates to labor laws that apply to trucking companies. The new rules include provisions for minimum home-time requirements and pay guarantees for drivers. The rules are designed to improve the trucking industry’s working conditions and provide drivers with job security.

How to Ensure That Your Company Don’t Break These Laws

As a business owner, you might be concerned about how to ensure that your trucking company follows all the new laws and regulations. Here are ways to do that:

Hire Legal Services

One of the best ways to do this is by hiring legal services. Experienced truck driver attorneys can help you understand the new laws and regulations and ensure your company complies. They can also provide advice on contracts, insurance requirements, and other matters related to the business.

Educate Drivers

It is also important to educate drivers about the new laws and regulations. Ensure they know any new policies and requirements related to HOS, drug and alcohol testing, and other matters.

Online Help

Many online resources help you navigate the new laws and regulations. The FMCSA’s website has an extensive list of legal documents related to trucking that can be consulted for more information. Additionally, many websites and blogs written by experienced truck driver attorneys provide valuable insight into complying with industry rules and regulations.

Stay Up-to-Date

Finally, it is essential to stay up-to-date on all the changes in trucking regulations. Ensure you know any new laws or regulations that could affect your business operations. You can do this by regularly checking the FMCSA’s website or subscribing to newsletters and other industry publications.

By taking these steps, you can ensure that your trucking business complies with all the new laws and regulations in the industry. This will help you protect your drivers, customers, and bottom line. Eventually, it will also help improve safety and efficiency on the roads.

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