State Rules and Regulations for Intrastate Trucking

Commercial motor vehicles, including tractor-trailers are subject to special rules and regulations at both the state and federal level. Under the Commercial Vehicle Laws and Regulations of the State of Maine, a commercial vehicle is classified as a vehicle that is self-propelled or towed and is used in commerce, whether transporting passengers or property, which meets the following criteria:

  • Possesses a total gross vehicle weight or gross combination weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds; or
  • Was designed or utilized to carry 15 or more people; or
  • Transports hazardous materials in a volume or quantity that requires the use of warning placards.

Vehicles that meet one of these criteria fall under the oversight of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to the extent adopted by Maine and must comply with its regulations as enacted by the State of Maine.

In addition to vehicles over 10,000 pounds, any vehicle that weighs more than 6,000 pounds must be registered by weight, whether or not the vehicle is engaged in commerce. The commercial plate is merely a state designation and does not connote that the truck is used for business.

If a vehicle weighs more than 10,000 pounds, is used to carry 15 or more people, or carries hazardous materials and is engaged in commerce, it must comply with gross vehicle weight restrictions and must check-in at truck stops.

A truck that operates only within Maine (intrastate) and is registered as weighing more than 10,000 pounds or has three or more axles on the motorized part of the vehicle must register for a number from the Department of Transportation. This number must be displayed if the vehicle is engaged in intrastate or interstate commerce. These provisions also apply to buses for hire for which the Bureau of Motor Vehicles has issued a Permit for Operation of Motorcoach Intrastate Carrier.

There are restrictions even for those truck drivers and owners who operate completely within the state. A commercial truck driver in Maine must be at least 18 years of age and must be 21 years old in order to transport materials that are considered hazardous in an amount that requires placarding.

Hauling Loads

Maine does require trucks only involved in intrastate commerce to comply with regulations based upon FMCSA rules regarding the distance that part of the load can project beyond the end of the motorized vehicle or trailer and how a load has to be secured to prevent shifting and falling. Moreover, logging trucks are subject to the restriction that if the truck is traveling during darkness and the logs that it is hauling project more than four feet beyond the end of the vehicle then it must have red reflectors or apply reflective paint to the ends of the logs that extend out of the vehicle.

Although there are different regulations that apply to trucks that operate solely within the State of Maine versus those that engage in interstate commerce, when a driver of a commercial vehicle negligently causes an accident, the driver and the company for which he was driving may be held accountable for the harm that the operator caused.

Peter Thompson & Associates Advocates on Behalf of Truck Accident Victims

Although there are differences in the regulations that apply to trucks that operate entirely within the State of Maine versus those that conduct business in states throughout the region or country, the fact is that the experienced truck accident attorneys at Peter Thompson & Associates have the knowledge and commitment to getting justice for all victims. The type of claim that is brought against an intrastate truck driver may vary slightly from an interstate operator, but the basic tenets of investigating what happened to you, building a strong case, and getting the compensation that you deserve remains the same. We are ready to evaluate your case during an initial consultation as soon as you call 800.804.2004.

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