Wyoming Trucking Rules and Regulations
Our Gillette Law Firm Talks Trucking Industry Regulations
When it comes to trucking in and across the state of Wyoming, there are rules in place that protect both truck drivers and the general public. For drivers of massive vehicles like semi-trucks, ignorance or disregard for these rules can have deadly consequences. Many accidents occur when these rules and regulations are neglected by trucking companies and truckers.
If you or a loved one has been in an accident with a semi-truck, you need an experienced Gillette tuck accident attorney on your side. Steven Titus & Associates, P.C., has taken on negligent truck companies and held them responsible for damage they’ve caused. Call us at (307) 257-7800 and see how we can get you and your family justice.
Truck Driver Fatigue Leading to Accidents
For truckers manning big rigs across the nation, a good night’s sleep is critical to pilot their vehicles in a safe manner. When drivers are fatigued, it leads to slower reaction times, which can lead to an accident. Truck drivers sometimes cannot assess their own fatigue levels accurately. Because of this, many laws and regulations are in place to try to keep drivers alert and attentive. These Hours of Service regulations include:
- Truck drivers can only drive a maximum of 11 hours, and work a total of 14 hours after 10 consecutive hours of not driving or working.
- Drivers must only drive for 60 total hours within 7 consecutive days, or 70 total hours within 8 consecutive days.
- Drivers must take a 30-minute rest break within the first 8 hours of their work cycle.
- Drivers are required keep a logbook showing their on-duty and off-duty time.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) survey of truck drivers indicates that many drivers violate federal limits and drive for longer than permitted in single stretches. Researchers with the IIHS found that truck drivers who reported violations in drive time were more likely to report having fallen asleep behind the wheel. It is not unheard of for truckers to take medications or drugs in an attempt to stay awake and alert longer.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has implemented stringent regulations when it comes to loading a semi-truck’s cargo. There are a few steps that truck companies need to take before sending their drivers onto the road.
- Cargo Distribution: The truck’s cargo must be evenly distributed throughout the trailer, so no area of the truck is too heavy, making the rig unbalanced.
- Cargo Must Be Sufficiently Secured: The cargo needs to stay in place during the drive because the moving cargo could cause the truck to fall over on a turn. Even if it doesn’t, the noise of the cargo hitting the sides of the truck would be a distraction to the driver.
- Cargo Is Within the Allowable Weight: Each truck has a maximum weight that it is built to haul safely. The cargo should not exceed this amount.
These regulations are put in place for safety. When a truck company decides to ignore regulations, they’re also deciding to risk the truck driver’s life and the lives of everyone on the road.
Failure to Maintain a Truck
When trucking companies skip maintenance and/or cut corners, there can be deadly consequences. Since commercial vehicles can spend thousands of hours on the road each year, the resulting wear-and-tear can greatly increase the risk of malfunction. Truckers and trucking companies must routinely inspect, repair, and replace the following parts:
- Windshield wipers
- Air breakers
- Trailer hitches
- Hydraulic brakes
Travel Times and Restrictions
It is permitted for trucks to travel in the evening hours if their shipment is under 10' wide and under 90' in length, but only on interstate roads. Shipments are required to display amber lights and appropriate banners in the event of night travel. Oversize and overweight shipments are permitted to travel one half hour before sunrise to one half hour after sunset.
No holiday travel is permitted if the truck requires an escort on any of the following holidays:
- New Year’s Day
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day
- Labor Day
If the holiday creates a three-day weekend, trucks are not allowed to travel on the day before or after the three-day period. If the holiday falls on a Saturday and the shipment requires an escort, the truck may not travel on Friday morning and travel cannot resume until Monday morning. If the holiday is on a Sunday and requires an escort, the driver must cease travel on Friday evening and cannot not resume until Tuesday morning.
Trailer Load Maximums
Length: Trailers up to 60' long.
Width: 8’ 6" wide.
Height: 14’ tall.
Weight: 80,000 lbs. GVW (total weight), 20,000 for a single, 34,000 for a tandem.
Overhang: Overhang for specific trucks are looked at on an individual basis at Wyoming ports of entry.
Instances Where Oversized Trucking Permits Are Required
Length: Up to 90' long on a single unit and 110' on a combined unit.
Width: Up to 18' wide depending the truck’s routing.
Height: 17' tall.
Weight: Single axle 25,000 lbs., tandem axle 55,000 lbs., tridem axle 65,000 lbs., 74,000 lbs. with a gross weight determined by specific axle configurations. For loads exceeding 150,000 lbs. expect permit issuance time delays.
Overhang: The state of Wyoming has no specified overhang regulations trucks in this instance. Overhang for specific trucks are looked at on an individual basis at Wyoming ports of entry.
When Escort Cars Are Required in Wyoming
Length: If shipment is over 110' long, trucks will require one front and one rear escort car.
Width: If shipment is over 14' in width, trucks will require one front and one rear escort car.
Height: All height regulations are dependent on the proposed routing. If height of load exceeds 15', trucks will most likely be required to have a front high pole escort. If height is 17', trucks will often be required to have a high pole escort in the front of the load.
Weight: Entering trucks are required to stop at a Wyoming port of entry to see if their weight class will require escort cars.
Overhang: No specified limits. Overhang on specific trucks is looked at on an individual basis at Wyoming ports of entry. If a truck’s load is secure and safe-looking, but not long overall and has adequate flags and/or amber lights, then the truck may not be required to have an escort car.
Escort Vehicle Regulations
Regulations and requirements of all escort vehicles in Wyoming are as follows:
- Vehicles must be equipped with a horizontally mounted rotating (or strobe) amber-colored flashing light no less than 4" in diameter that must be visible from a 360-degree angle, from a minimum of 500 feet.
- All pilot cars/escort vehicles must display a bumper or roof mounted "OVERSIZE LOAD" sign visible from both the front and rear of the vehicle. The sign must be at least 5' long and 10" in height, yellow in color with black letters no less than 8" tall and 1" in width.
- Vehicle must have two safety flags red or orange in color and be a minimum of 12" of length and/or height mounted at a 40 to 70 degree angle on top middle section of the vehicle.
- Vehicles must be equipped with a CB radio or two-way communication device.
- A 1 – 5 pound fire extinguisher type A, B, or C must be in the vehicle.
- Three reflective emergency road triangles must be in the vehicle.
- The vehicle must have extra safety flags on hand.
Motorcycles are never allowed to serve as an escort vehicle for a truck.
Hurt in a Truck Accident? Call Steven Titus & Associates, P.C.
It can be extremely difficult to deal with the aftermath of a truck accident, which is why our Campbell County truck accident lawyers are here to answer your questions. If you were involved in an accident with a truck that skirted safety regulations, you are entitled to compensation. When you reach out to our trial attorneys, you can rest easy knowing that we will take our time to discuss your concerns and provide you with the guidance you need to take the next step.
Call Steven Titus & Associates, P.C., at (307) 257-7800 and let us fight to help get you and your family justice.
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