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PLNA e-News: Protecting Values In Pennsylvania

Police Crackdown on Non-Compliant Vehicles

Monday, October 14, 2013   (1 Comments)
Posted by: Gregg Robertson
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HARRISBURG - State and local police are stepping up their enforcement efforts on unregistered or improperly registered trucks and trailers, according to reports from several PLNA members who have been pulled over recently and cited. Truck and trailer violations can carry fines into the thousands of dollars.

PLNA is urging it members to review the regulations regarding their trucks and trailers and make sure that they are in compliance with state and federal commercial motor vehicle rules.

What is a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV)?

The U.S. Department of Transportation defines a commercial motor vehicle as a truck or a truck and trailer in combination with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 10,001 pounds or more and is engaged in interstate commerce or is transporting goods that ultimately will cross a state line. Such vehicles must be registered with the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) and display the USDOT number and other identifying information. In Pennsylvania, if a vehicle is engaged strictly in intrastate commerce (it does not cross state borders) then a CMV is a vehicle or vehicle and trailer in combination that has a GVWR of 17,001 pounds or greater.

If you have a vehicle or combination that has a GVWR of more that 10,000 but less than 17,001 pounds that is not registered with the U.S. Department of Transportation for interstate commerce be careful that the truck doesn't cross a state border. Fines can be heavy and police like to watch the main border.

Who needs a Commercial Driver's License (CDL)?

There are a variety of requirements to have a valid license to operate a commercial motor vehicle that depend on the size and type of vehicle and the cargo that is being carried. Below is a synopsis of who needs a CDL to drive what in Pennsylvania.

You are required to have a CDL if you operate or plan to operate any of the following commercial motor vehicles (CMVs):

a) A combination of vehicles with a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 pounds or more, provided the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
b) A single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 or more pounds.
c) A vehicle designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
d) A school bus designed to carry 11 passengers or more, including the driver.
e) Any size vehicle, which transports hazardous materials and is required to be placarded in accordance with federal regulations.
f) Any size vehicle used in the transportation of any material that requires hazardous materials placards or any quantity of a material listed as a select agent or toxin in 42 CFR 73. Federal regulations through the department of Homeland Security require a background check and fingerprinting for the Hazardous Materials Endorsement.

For More Information

There is more information and links to even more information on the PLNA website on truck and trailer requirements at The cost of being out of compliance and on the road can be substantial.


James A. Jenkins says...
Posted Tuesday, October 15, 2013
You also need a medical card to drive any vehicle over 17,000 GVW , F - 550 trucks for example. That fine is $100.00 plus costs and you will need someone to come drive the vehicle legally from where you are stopped.

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