PUCO Rules and Regulations

July 26, 2011

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.


New Regulations For Vehicles With GVWR of 10,001 to 26,000 lbs.

August 11, 2010

The Public Utilities Commsission (PUCO) has recently revised its rules for motor carrier transportation safety. The newly revised rules extend PUCO’s jurisdiction to regulate vehicle safety to vehicles that are operating on a not-for-hire basis within the state with a GVWR of 10,001 to 26,000 pounds.

Active enforcement of the revised rules will not begin until January 1, 2011. No forfeitures or monetary penalties will be issued until this date unless violations are egregious. PUCO and the Ohio State Patrol have been instructed to use these inspections as opportunities to educate the driver/carrier.

The following is a summary of the requirements if the GVWR is 10,001 or more:

  • Drivers must have a medical certificate (NO CDL IS REQUIRED)
  • The truck or van must have company marking on each door
  • Fire extinguisher must be accessible and secured
  • Annual vehicle inspection
  • Vehicle equipment must be in proper working order
  • Maintenance records must be maintained
  • Must maintain $1 million of insurance when hauling vehicles
  • When motor vehicles are hauled there are special requirements for securing the load that must be followed
  • A driver qualification file must be maintained – including the application for hire and the medical certificate
  • Log books must be maintained, unless:
    • If the vehicle(s) is within 150 miles of the business no log book needs to be maintained IF
      • The driver returns to the work reporting location and is released from work within 12 consecutive hours;
      • The driver does not drive more than 11 hours;
      • The driver must have at least 10 hours off between 12 hour shifts; and
      • The company maintains and retains for a period of 6 months accurate time records.

If my vehicle has a GVWR of 10,001 or more and crosses state lines to make pick ups or deliveries, what else must be done?

  • The vehicle must have a USDOT number if the vehicle crosses state lines
  • The application for a USDOT number will require a safety audit from the PUCO
  • Information on obtaining a USDOT number may be found at www.fmcsa.dot.gov

How can I assure that my company’s vehicles do not fall under these new rules?

  • Ensure your vehicle GVWR is less than 10,001 pounds if possible. HOWEVER, BE SURE THAT ANY LOAD DOES NOT EXCEED THE VEHICLE’S LOAD CAPACITY!
  • If you are using a truck and trailer combination to move cars or motorcycles/APV’s you may not be able to avoid these new rules as the GVWR of the truck and trailer must be less than 10,001 pounds.

Vehicles and drivers that are found to be in noncompliance can be pulled from service on the spot. Additionally, monetary fines may be issued by PUCO. Active enforcement will begin January 1, 2011.

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 and 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 at http://www.fullerisford.com/service.aspx


DOT inspections and PUCO regulations- What You Need to Know

March 5, 2010

 

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 jam of the truck on the vehicle identification decal or plate.

If you run with Hazardous materials and placards are required on your trucks, the PUCO regulations apply to you and you definitely need 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:
Inter or Intra    Private or For-Hire   Vehicle Weight (GVWR)   PUCCO Apply?  
Intrastate          Private                           26000# or less*                    No
Intrastate          Private                           26,001# or more*                Yes
Intrastate           Private                          10,000# or less                     No
Intrastate           For Hire                        10,001# or more                   Yes
Intrastate           For Hire                        Any                                           Yes
(household goods)
Interstate                        Either               10,000# or less                       No
Interstate                        Either               10,001# or more                    Yes

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

More specific information about the above and guidelines for Motor Carriers of passengers  can 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


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