Virginia truck drivers are bound by numerous state and federal laws dictating how trucks must be operated. These regulations seek to ensure the safety of truck drivers and others on the road.
Virginia Trucking Regulations
Truck drivers and trucking companies that operate within Virginia must comply with the following regulations under state law.
Truck drivers must have a commercial driver’s license (CDL). There are three classes:
- Class A: To operate vehicles with a gross combined weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more.
- Class B: To operate a single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 pounds or more or a single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more towing another vehicle with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less.
- Class C: To operate any vehicle not included in Class A or B that carries hazardous materials requiring a placard or that carries 16 or more passengers.
A certified mechanic at an official Virginia inspection station must inspect trucks, trailers, or semi-trucks. However, trucks that operate in interstate commerce have met the state inspection requirement if they follow federal inspection requirements.
Many regulations dictate what a driver can and cannot do on the road, regarding the legal limit of continuous driving hours, keeping an up-to-date log in the vehicle at all times, and tighter drug and alcohol limits. For example, Virginia law stipulates the following for truck drivers who operate in intrastate commerce:
- They cannot drive more than 12 total hours after spending at least 10 consecutive hours off-duty.
- They cannot drive after spending more than 16 hours on duty, following at least 10 consecutive hours off duty.
- Drivers may not drive after spending 70 hours on duty over seven consecutive days or 80 hours over eight straight days.
Driving time is considered any time spent behind the wheel.
Federal Trucking Laws
The following are some of the FMCA’s most critical regulations:
- A driver may only operate a truck for 11 hours after a 10-hour break.
- After taking a 10-hour break, a truck driver may not drive more than 14 consecutive hours.
- A truck driver can only work 60 in 7 consecutive days or 70 hours in an 8-day period.
- A driver can restart the seven to nine-day work week after having a minimum of 34 hours off.