Operate Your Tree Truck In Accordance with the Law!

Autos & TrucksTrucks

  • Author Christopher Hunter
  • Published August 25, 2011
  • Word count 660

It is vital to know and understand the laws and regulations that exist to ensure the safe transportation of logs on the road. Every logging truck operator must be familiar with the laws by which every heavy-duty truck driver must abide that cover the hauling of heavy loads. Driving commercial vehicles that carry loads weighing thousands of pounds is a powerful force that can put the operator and others at risk.

This is the reason why heavy-duty hauling rules and regulations were created: to maintain safety and a proper flow of traffic on crowded streets and busy highways. Those people who own and operate any tree truck must be familiar with and abide by pertinent local, state and federal rules and regulations regarding the hauling and the transportation of logs on public highways.

Right-of-Way

By most traffic rules and regulations, those operating a tree truck are entitled to the right-of-way depending on the rules governing each individual highway; however, this is not an absolute right. Therefore, it should be exercised in a rational manner giving full consideration to the safety of other drivers who could be directly involved. Failure to yield the right-of-way to other vehicles may result in an accident due to the actions of the truck driver which could involve liability issues relating to property damage and injury which could ultimately result in fines.

Truck Maximum Length

The U.S. Department of Transportation regulation states that the logging industry must use crib tree trucks to transport lumber; the maximum allowable length of the cut trees can be 70 to 75 feet if there are additional safety devices added to both ends. Additionally, the regulation stipulates that trailer combination should not exceed 65 feet, except when the transporting device is designed to transport lumber.

In addition, tree truck operators are not allowed to drive transport trucks unless the logs they are transporting are secured with chains, sideboards, stakes, front and rear head boards, front gates and end gates that are powerful enough to hold the load in place and prevent it from shifting or falling from the truck. The side of the hauling truck should have a minimum of two stakes on both sides.

Weight Limit

There are certain weight limits when lumber is being transported on federal highways. Check with the Department of Transportation for the allowable weight limits regarding the transportation of logs on public roads. If necessary, hauling permits should be obtained before transporting logs to the processing plant.

The government regulates heavy hauling on public roads to decrease the damage to the entire roadway system. The House of Representatives boosted the trucking industry by passing the United States Code called Safe and Efficient Transport Act of 2011 (HR-763) which allows the weight of the truck on public roads to be from 80,000 pounds to 97,000 pounds.

Speed Limit

The U.S. Department of Transportation states that truck drivers are expected to abide by the speed limits posted by the local, state or federal government. Drivers are encouraged to remain within the stated highway speed limits to maintain safety at all times and to be in compliance with the speed limit.

Equipment Inspection

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) 392.7.a.b states that all drivers must inspect the truck before operation and ensure that the vehicle is in good working condition. The driver must not operate the vehicle unless the service and parking brakes, steering wheel, lighting devices, tires, horn, windshield wipers and mirrors are in good working condition. Failure to conform to these provisions may result in punishment by law.

Employers and employees of trucking services must abide by certain laws and regulations for the safe transportation of logs on the road. Tree truck operators must be aware of the heavy hauling regulations in the area where their trucks will be driven since laws may vary from state to state. Above all, to avoid unwanted fines and criminal charges, drivers must operate their tree trucks in accordance with the law!

Christopher M. Hunter is an expert in commercial specialty trucks. To find out more about Tree Truck, go to the main website at: http://www.firstfleettrucksales.com/home.

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