It is a big mistake to try and compare trucking laws to general road rules. In general, truck drivers have to follow the road rules like every other driver. Trucking laws relate to a much wider category that is designed to regulate how trucks are loaded, and how much time drivers spend behind the wheel. Road rules are designed to make our roads safer and easier to use. Trucking laws extend those rules to ensure that large very heavy trucks are also safe on the road.
Trucking laws include:
- How much time a driver can spend behind the wheel
- Minimum times that driver must be off the road
- Maintaining a log of a driver’s time on and off the road
- Load limits on trucks
- Rules that force trucks into weigh stations for weight verification
- Special licensing conditions such as DOT medicals every two years
- Transportation of Hazardous Materials
- Truck safety standards
That is a just a small list of trucking laws that a driver must adhere to. Many are related. For example, the log book and the number of hours that a driver spends in and out of their truck. Hazardous materials require further training, testing, character assessment and an endorsement on their drivers license.
Truck driver training covers all of these trucking laws – in fact, you will need to pass a theoretical test on many of these points just to acquire your truck driving permit. Without that permit, you cannot learn to drive on an open road. People often scorn the theoretical tests that truck drivers are required to pass. However, they are there to ensure new drivers are fully aware of their responsibilities when driving a truck.