FMCSA Trucking Regulations: Federal Rules for Truckers & Commercial Motor Carriers

Federal trucking rules and regulations1 are enforced by authorities at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). These regulations pertain to everything from commercial truckers and their vehicles to the companies that employ truckers. While some of these rules are very detailed, they all share some common goals, including to:

  • Reduce the risk of truck accidents
  • Prevent injuries
  • Save lives.

When any commercial driver or motor carrier violates FMCSA trucking regulations, there’s a far greater risk that truck accidents will happen.

At Dormer Harpring, our attorneys are skilled at determining when violations of any trucking regulations have led to the truck accidents. Dedicated to putting injured people’s needs first, we are ready to provide you with personal attention and compassionate support as we help you:

  • Stand up to negligent truck drivers and/or trucking companies
  • Recover so you can get your life back to normal.

FMCSA Trucking Regulations for Commercial Drivers

Some of the federal trucking regulations the FMCSA enforces2 include rules regarding:

  • Driver qualifications – These pertain to the commercial licensing requirements for truckers, the standards for “medical fitness for duty,” required driver training, etc.
  • Driver drug and alcohol testing – This testing is conducted during the hiring process, as well as after a crash, randomly, and/or whenever there may be reason to suspect trucker impairment.
  • Drivers’ time behind the wheel – These rules are known as hours-of-service (HOS) rules, and they are aimed at preventing driver fatigue from causing crashes. As part of these trucking regulations, truckers are required to record their driving and on-duty time to prove compliance.
  • Drivers’ other responsibilities – These can involve inspecting and maintaining trucks, complying with any other state or federal trucking regulations, and abiding by general traffic laws (which apply to all motorists on the roads).

FMCSA Trucking Regulations for Commercial Vehicles

In terms of trucking regulations for vehicles, FMCSA regulations establish requirements for issues including (but not limited to):

  • Maximum weight levels & required safety equipment for commercial trucks – These rules are intended to promote stability and reduce the risk (or impacts) of crashes. These federal regulations set the maximize weight levels for trucks at 80,000 pounds (fully loaded). They also require that trucks are equipped with various safety features, including (but not limited to) heavy-duty brakes, mirrors, and lighting systems.
  • Securing truck loads – These FMCSA rules are also aimed at enhancing stability. They detail how trailers should be secured to cabins, how loads should be balanced and secured within trailers, etc.
  • Maintaining commercial vehicles – These regulations are meant to reduce the risk of equipment failures. They require vehicle inspections before longer hauls and between shifts, as well as the replacement of any systems that are broken, worn down, etc.

FMCSA Trucking Regulations for Commercial Carriers

This set of FMCSA regulations explains the rules that trucking companies have to follow, and they cover various complex issues, such as (and not limited to):

  • Hiring and training drivers
  • Maintaining trucks
  • Maintaining records
  • Transporting toxic, hazardous, and/or flammable substances.

Contact a Denver Truck Accident Attorney at Dormer Harpring

If you have been hurt in a truck accident – or if you have lost a loved one to a fatal truck crash, contact a Denver truck accident attorney at Dormer Harpring to find out more about your recovery options.

At Dormer Harpring, we care about more than just winning settlements – we care about your overall recovery, and we care about your future.

Call us at (303) 747-4404 or email us via the contact form on this page for honest advice about your potential case. Our commitment to representing people from all walks of life means that we never charge for a consultation and that our legal fees are “contingent,” meaning they’re based only on the amount we recover.

From offices based in Denver, our attorneys provide exceptional representation to people throughout Denver County, Adams County, Boulder County, Arapahoe County, Jefferson County, and the state of Colorado.


1: A complete electronic guide to FMCSA regulations for commercial drivers and motor carriers

2: FMCSA regulations & resources for drivers