PUCO Rules and Regulations

Don’t let this happen to you! PUCO rules and regulations are real and are being enforced. Recently the Cincinnati Police pulled over two trucks right in front of Fuller Ford because they did not adhere to PUCO regulations. This particular company had two dump trucks pulled over by local law enforcement because their total vehicle weight far exceeded the GVWR of the vehicles. If law enforcement suspects your vehicle is overloaded or does not have the proper license plates, they will not hesitate to pull you over. On this particular day, the police pulled over and weighed both vehicles on the spot. The individuals were then ticketed for the offense.

Many commercial truck owners are confused by the rules and regulations regarding operation of a commercial truck. This is compounded by the 500 plus pages of information in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation Pocketbook or the 300 plus pages of information printed by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.  Here is our attempt to simplify the information overload.

First of all there are some key terms that need to be explained:

Inter or Intrastate transport:  Interstate is defined as crossing state lines. Intrastate is transport within a particular state’s boundaries.

Private or for Hire: If you transport your own property, equipment or personnel, you are a private carrier.  If you transport property, equipment, or passengers and receive compensation you are a for-hire carrier or common motor carrier.

GVW or GVWR: Stands for Gross Vehicle Weight or Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. This is the total combined weight of the truck, passengers, cargo, fuel, and towed units if the GVWR of the towed unit is 10,001 lbs. or more.  The GVWR is located on the left front door or door jamb of the truck on the vehicle identification decal or plate.

If you transport hazardous materials and placards are required on your trucks, the PUCO regulations apply to you. Therefore, you definitely need to get an annual DOT inspection.  In Ohio, call 614-466-3392 to get your DOT number and register with The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.

A brief overview of whether PUCO regulations apply for non-hazardous motor carriers:



*GVWR includes towed unit with a GVWR of 10,001 lbs. or more. For example, on the second line above, if the customer is towing a 10,001 lbs. trailer, the GVWR of the towing vehicle cannot exceed 16,000 lbs. or PUCO regulations would apply.

More specific information about the above and guidelines for Motor Carriers of passengers can be viewed/downloaded here:

PUCO handbook pdf

Fuller Ford performs annual DOT inspections for $89.95. This includes pulling the wheels and performing a complete brake inspection.  The customer will be notified of any violations of PUCO regulations and advised on any brake repairs or other maintenance.  If it is the first DOT inspection, including new vehicles the DOT inspection plus the required fire extinguisher, triangle kit costs $229.95. Fuller Ford will also put the necessary inspection decal on the truck, keep the required files, and notify you every year when your inspection is due.  Not only are you complying with state law, but you are getting a very important and proper vehicle inspection as well.  Please contact Fuller Ford’s service department for an appointment: http://www.fullerisford.com/schedule-service.aspx.


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