Home Insurance How you can Keep Your Truck’s Gross Weight Compliance

How you can Keep Your Truck’s Gross Weight Compliance

How you can Keep Your Truck’s Gross Weight Compliance


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

Lots of the high points going through the trucking trade this yr all roll up into one prime supply: the financial 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 mean $90.78 per hour.[2] Whereas the motive force scarcity is down for the second straight yr, 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 for the reason that 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 house owners to discover progressive 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 under 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 accomplish that to keep away from the various regulatory necessities for CDL certified drivers and their employers, together with however not restricted to drug and alcohol testing.

Some corporations 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 shouldn’t be considered. Gross Automobile Weight Score (GVWR) is a vital security metric representing the utmost loaded weight of a car or trailer as decided by the producer, encompassing not solely the burden of passengers and cargo but additionally the car itself.

In line with federal laws, if a car has a GVWR of 26,000 kilos or much less, the operator shouldn’t be 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 transferring and storage fleets, the place the burden of the products being transported is troublesome to precisely decide. Within the occasion of a crash, even when it’s not the fleet’s fault, legal responsibility might fall on the fleet if the motive force lacks the right licensing.

5 greatest practices for guaranteeing compliance with CDL laws

Navigating the laws surrounding CDLs in a difficult financial system requires a steadiness 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, observe these 5 greatest practices for prioritizing compliance.

  1. Concentrate on not overloading. Practice drivers to acknowledge what constitutes a full load inside the limits of their car’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 answerable 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 take into account the variety of vans wanted to securely 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 essential actions to treatment any chubby, reminiscent of redistributing the load or eradicating extra weight.
  3. When doubtful, ship a second truck. Err on the aspect of warning when there’s uncertainty concerning the load approaching its restrict. Within the occasion of a roadside inspection, authorities might require sending one other truck to alleviate the load. Whereas this incurs minor prices, the potential penalties of not complying, together with reputational injury, fines and insurance coverage problems, far outweigh the preliminary funding.
  4. Spend money on CDL-required vans and rent certified drivers. Whereas this will incur greater 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 guaranteeing compliance, security and safety in opposition to potential monetary and reputational losses.
  5. Prioritize ongoing schooling for drivers. Equip drivers with data on authorized limits, security protocols and the potential results of non-compliance on their information and the fleet’s status. Know the precise weight of your truck empty however absolutely fueled. An knowledgeable driver is extra prone to make accountable selections on the highway, contributing to a tradition of compliance, security and professionalism inside the fleet.


Have a query on find out 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 Automobile Driver,” March 30, 2021.


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