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Pennsylvania Laws for Truck Drivers to Know and Follow

On behalf of Soloff & Zervanos, P.C.

Large commercial trucks are the lifeblood of the economy in Philadelphia and throughout the United States. However, these large trucks can pose significant dangers for those inside traditional passenger vehicles in the event a collision occurs. At Soloff & Zervanos, P.C., our Philadelphia truck accident attorneys want to discuss the laws and regulations that truck drivers in and around this area must follow. If they fail to do so, they could be held liable if an accident occurs.

What are commercial truck laws for Pennsylvania?

It is important to understand that most commercial truck companies and drivers in Pennsylvania are required to adhere to regulations set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). While there are certainly Pennsylvania laws that regulate the commercial truck driving activity, they very closely mirror FMCSA rules and regulations. The only drivers that do not have to adhere to FMCSA regulations are those who do not travel out of state at all, which is rare.

Commercial driver’s license

A commercial driver’s license (CDL) is required to operate any vehicle that weighs more than 26,001 pounds, is a school bus, is designated to carry 16 or more passengers, or is designated to carry hazardous materials. There are varying classes of CDLs in Pennsylvania, all dependent on weight requirements (including trailer weight).

Hours of service (HOS) requirements

One of the most important requirements for drivers to follow is the hours of service (HOS) requirements set forth by the FMCSA to prevent drivers from operating while fatigued. These requirements include:

  • A driver is allowed to operate 11 hours of actual driving time in a 14-hour driving window. This 14-hour period begins after a driver has 10 consecutive non-driving hours.
  • Drivers must take a 30-minute break if they have been driving for eight consecutive hours.
  • Drivers can operate for 60 hours in a seven-day workweek or 70 hours in an eight-day work week. The workweek gets reset after a driver takes 34 or more hours off.

Weight limit requirement

In Pennsylvania, the maximum gross weight allowed for any vehicle is 80,000 pounds of any combination of weight (truck plus trailer). The weight limitations are subject to the registered gross weight of the vehicle, requirements regarding axle weight, and requirements regarding wheel load. In addition to these general weight restrictions, drivers must also be mindful of the weight limitations in place on particular bridges and roads in Pennsylvania.

Let our Philadelphia truck accident lawyers help

If you or a loved one have been injured in a truck accident in Philadelphia that was caused by the negligent actions of the truck driver or company involved, seek legal assistance as soon as possible. At Soloff & Zervanos, P.C., we have the resources and experience necessary to stand up to large trucking companies in their insurance carriers to ensure you receive maximum compensation for your claim. This includes coverage of all medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering damages, and more. When you need a Philadelphia truck accident attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling us at 866-597-8572.