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Answer: The regulations that address this question are found in FMCSA CFR 383.3

§383.3 Applicability. (a) The rules in this part apply to every person who operates a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in interstate, foreign, or intrastate commerce, to all employers of such persons, and to all States.  The definition of a commercial motor vehicle for this regulation is as follows:

A commercial motor vehicle (CMV) is a motor vehicle or combination of motor vehicles used in commerce to transport passengers or property if the motor vehicle:

  1. Has a gross combination weight rating of 11,794 kilograms or more (26,001 pounds or more) inclusive of a towed unit(s) with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds); or
  2. Has a gross vehicle weight rating of 11,794 or more kilograms (26,001 pounds or more); or
  3. Is designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver; or
  4. Is of any size and is used in transporting hazardous materials as defined in this section.


The following are questions that frequently are asked about the CDL and have been addressed by the FMCSA:

  • May a person operate a CMV wholly on private property, not open to public travel, without a CDL?  Answer: YES
  • Do technicians, salesman, shop help, and occasional drivers need a CDL if they are only test-driving a CMV?  Answer: YES, if the CMV is operated on a public street, road or highway.
  • I have moved; how long do I have to get my CDL license reissued by my new state of residence?  Answer: 30 Days.

Do the regulations require a person driving an empty school bus for a test drive or transport to have a CDL?  Answer: Yes, a CDL would be required if the bus is designed to transport 16 or more passengers and the bus has an MGVWR exceeding 26,000 lbs.  However, a passenger endorsement would not be required since the unit is empty.

A driver operates a tractor of exactly 26,000 pounds GVWR, towing a trailer of exactly 10,000 pounds GVWR for a GCWR of 36,000 pounds. HM and passengers are not involved. Is it a CMV, and does the driver need a CDL?   Answer: No to both questions. Although the vehicle has a GCWR of 36,000 pounds, it is not a CMV under any part of the definition of that term in §383.5, and a CDL is not federally required.

Daylight Savings Time Begins this Sunday, March 12th!

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    Start now to ensure all your drivers know about the daylight savings time change in two weeks.  Caution route drivers, especially that the amount of daylight will change according to their stops with the change. 
  • Also, remember to change the batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors as well.

 Most sleep experts recommend a minimum of 7 hours of sleep a night. Many people sleep an average of 40 minutes less Sunday night, March 14th after Daylight Saving Time returns. Plan to avoid being sleepy. Sleep in Sunday morning and nap Sunday afternoon.

CSA Prioritization Preview Website Now Available

As the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has announced proposed changes to its Safety Measurement System, used to identify and prioritize at risk motor carriers for enforcement and compliance interventions, the agency has also noted that a new website, the Compliance Safety Accountability (CSA) Prioritization Preview, is now live.

Motor carriers can visit the website to preview their data's appearance under the proposed changes. The agency encourages companies to preview these results and submit feedback on the proposed changes to FMCSA at the Federal Register website on rulemaking. Other users will be able to view sample pages.

Saint Patrick's Day Drunk Driving Prevention - March 17

st pattys day

St Patrick’s Day is one of the deadliest holidays on our nation’s roads. During the 2013-2017 St Patrick’s Day holiday period (6 pm March 16 to 5:59 am March 18), 234 lives were lost due to drunk-driving crashes.

Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving

In 2017, drunk driving killed more than 10,000 people in our country, and every single one of those deaths was preventable. These marketing tools can be used to fit your needs and objectives while, at the same time, partnering with other States, communities, and traffic safety organizations on this drunk driving prevention initiative.

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance has announced this year’s International Roadcheck dates as May 16-18

Roadcheck is a 72-hour high-visibility, high-volume commercial motor vehicle inspection and enforcement initiative. Commercial motor vehicle inspectors in Canada, Mexico and the U.S. will conduct North American Standard Inspections of commercial motor vehicles and drivers at weigh and inspection stations, roving patrols, and temporary inspection sites.

Each year, CVSA focuses on a specific aspect of a roadside inspection. This year the focus will be on anti-lock braking systems (ABS) and cargo securement.  ABS violations are not out-of-service violations; however, the anti-lock braking system is critical in reducing collisions. A properly functioning ABS will prevent wheels from locking up or skidding, allowing a driver to maintain vehicle control while braking.  Improper or inadequate cargo securement accounted for 10.6% of all vehicle out-of-service violations discovered during last year’s International Roadcheck. Past International Roadcheck data routinely found cargo securement violations in the top five of vehicle out-of-service violations.