What are the limits on utilizing long combination vehicles?

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limit on using long combination vehicles

Many commercial transportation companies operate with relatively small profit margins. After providing a competitive wage for their workers, investing in vehicle maintenance and paying for other operating expenses, they may have very little left over to pay out as dividends to shareholders or as profits to a business owner.

Those who own or operate trucking companies are, therefore, always looking for ways to do things more efficiently and more profitably. Staffing expenses and fuel are among the biggest costs for these organizations. One of the possible solutions for minimizing the expenses involved in hauling loads for clients is to use long combination vehicles. Long combination vehicles are commercial trucks that either have abnormally long trailers attached or have multiple trailers hauled by a single cab. For safety reasons, there are limitations placed upon the use of these vehicles.

Every state has a different standard

There are both federal and state rules that govern the utilization of long combination vehicles. There are 20 states, including Nevada, Arizona, Idaho, Ohio and Florida, that allow drivers to operate a long combination vehicle with two trailers that are each 33 feet long. Every state must allow the use of long combination vehicles with two 28-foot trailers attached due to federal law.

The regulations that apply to a particular situation depend on the planned route. Those operating solely in California, for example, may only need to know about federal and state rules. Other businesses that provide regional or national service may need to continually monitor state policies to ensure they know about any significant changes. The route that a driver takes and the loads that the company can accept may depend on the policies in different states. For individual drivers, a vehicle’s size and weight can be a concern. Commercial drivers may need to avoid many surface streets because of their vehicles’ overall size and heaviness.

Provided that a company plans carefully to ensure regulatory compliance, the use of long combination vehicles can cut down on staffing, fuel and equipment costs required to transport a large amount of goods for a client. Making efficiency a priority is one way for commercial transportation companies to increase their profit margins accordingly.

It’s important to have a law firm on your side to help guide you. Larson & Gaston has vast experience in transportation law. Contact us to learn more.