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DOT Regulations for RV Transport

Written by Nick Webster

Published on Dec. 11, 2023, 3:56 p.m.


DOT Regulations That Impact for RV Transport Recreational Vehicles

Let’s jump right in and go over some of the central DOT Regulations for RV transport:

  • Applicable federal, state, and local laws must operate RVs.
  • RV drivers must always wear a seatbelt while the vehicle is in motion.
  • All drivers of RVs must possess a valid driver's license appropriate for the type of vehicle being driven.
  • RVs should not exceed their manufacturer’s Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR).
  • All load securement requirements, such as tie-downs, straps, or chains, must be followed when transporting an RV.
  • For trips over 150 miles, drivers must take periodic rest breaks of at least 15 minutes every two hours.
  • Drivers must obey all posted speed limits and traffic signals on the roadways.
  • All RVs that are to be used for commercial purposes, as well as any vehicle with a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) over 10,000 lbs, must comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.
  • These regulations include drug and alcohol testing for drivers, regular inspections of vehicles, and adherence to hours-of-service rules.
  • All RV drivers with a GCWR above 10,000 lbs must also obtain a valid Commercial Driver's License (CDL).

DOT Changes to Hours Of Service Rules for RV Drivers

In 2015, the RV Industry Association's effort successfully established a CDL exemption for the transport of newly-produced RVs, allowing dealers and manufacturers to deliver RVs without needing to find drivers with commercial driver’s licenses. Visit BOC-3.

The exemption applies to shipments with actual vehicle weights not exceeding 26,000 pounds or gross combined weights not exceeding 26,000 pounds. This has enabled more efficient delivery of new RVs from manufacturers and dealerships directly to the consumer. It is important to note that this does not apply to previously owned recreational vehicles – any shipment involving used RVs still requires a Class A or B commercial driver’s license. Read here about Starting a Trucking Company Correctly

The new hours of service” rules will allow CDL drivers to operate more efficiently, and transport RVs from the factory to dealerships faster. This should help alleviate some of the pressure on commercial drivers who are already stretched thin due to the driver shortage and increasing demand for RV shipments. Not only does this help reduce costs for transport companies, but it also helps consumers receive their RVs promptly and with minimal delays. What is the DOT SAP Program?

What Are the General Hours Of Service Regulations for RV Transportation?

According to the DOT, drivers must take a minimum 10-hour rest period before beginning another work cycle. Working for more than 60 hours across seven straight days and 70 hours in eight consecutive days is prohibited. The drivers' logbooks must be maintained for 7 and 8 days after the respective periods. How To Request the DOT PIN Number? When considering RV transport services in the United States, the type of RV and the distance covered significantly impact the transport quote. Whether it's travel trailers, 5th wheels, toy haulers, or any other RV trailer, the cost varies based on the pick-up and delivery locations.

Drivers can only remain on duty for a maximum of 14 hours following the ten off-duty hours. Pauses or breaks, such as meals and fuel stops, cannot be used to extend the duty period limit. The driver should also take a mandatory 30-minute break within 8 hours of being on duty—the importance of The FMCSA 30-Minute Break Rule.

What Is the DOT Adverse Driving Conditions Exception?

If it's impossible to pull over at a hotel or rest area for the 10 hours off-duty, driving time may be extended by up to two extra hours. However, this cannot be used as an excuse due to bad weather - if you can safely stop during an 11-hour drive, then you must do so, unless making it back to your home terminal within 14 hours (or under the 16-hour exception) is feasible. What is MC Number? Transportation drivers specializing in RV hauling ensure a seamless process, but preparing your RV for shipping is crucial.

What Is the 16-Hour Exception?

For those who only drive once a week, the 16-hour exception may be applied. Drivers can be on-duty for up to 16 hours if they start and end their day at the same terminal. However, driving time cannot exceed 11 hours. It is not possible to use both the 16-hour exception and the adverse driving conditions exception simultaneously. After using the 16-hour exception, a 34-hour reset must occur before it can be used again. Lastly, when coming on duty, drivers must not begin driving after the 16th hour has passed. Also, take a look at the Drug and Alcohol Program policy.

What Are the Penalties for Failing To Adhere To RV Driving Regulations?

RV drivers may be subject to roadside shutdown until they have had enough time off duty to become compliant again. State and local law enforcement officers can issue fines for violations. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and DOT can impose civil penalties on drivers or carriers, ranging from $1,000 to $11,000, depending on the severity of the offense. Additionally, a carrier's safety rating might drop due to a pattern of violations. In extreme cases where a page knowingly and willfully breaks the rules, federal criminal charges may also be brought forth. What is DOT Clearinghouse Enforcement?

Bill of Lading Information for RV Transport

The FMCSA and DOT require freight carriers or their agents to prepare a written bill of lading for each shipment they transport. This serves as an official record and contract between the shipper and carrier, which outlines the details and value of the goods being shipped. It also gives the freight carrier temporary ownership rights over the items in transit. To ensure compliance with its regulations, the FMCSA has established specific mandatory terms, conditions, and information that must be included on each bill of lading. Read about Texas DOT Numbers and USDOT Numbers. Learn here How to Prepare for a Compliance DOT Audit.

A bill of lading must always accompany the shipment until it is delivered to the consignee. The responsible driver should keep the document in their possession throughout the journey. After delivery, carriers are required to hold onto bills of lading for a period of at least one year from when they were created. Keeping this record ensures smooth shipping operations and compliance with regulations. Check out The Basics of Farm Exemptions. You will then be able to maintain complete motor carrier authority or broker.

Regulations for Proof of Insurance & Payments

The bill of lading should contain the payment form and any associated terms or conditions. Suppose the carrier is providing service on a collect basis. In that case, they must include the maximum amount they will charge for delivery and provide contact information that can be used to discuss charges if necessary. This information must be included in the bill of lading to ensure smooth processing and payment upon delivery. What are the Top 3 DOT paper-appointed Violations? Providing accurate details about the type of RV and the desired delivery location when requesting an RV transport quote helps ensure a smooth and tailored shipping experience.

When shipping goods, bills of lading must include the actual date of pickup and a statement of the declared value. Additionally, details about insurance coverage should be included. The FMCSA sets out alternate provisions regarding dates for guaranteed and non-guaranteed service. It is essential to consider these regulations when making transportation arrangements. This will help ensure that shipments reach their destination on time and with all appropriate documentation in place. You will need driver qualification files filed out by all employees who drive for you working. Also, take a look at what IRP or Apportioned Registration is.

Summary: Key DOT & FMCSA Regulations for RV Transporters

Here are some of the most important DOT and FMCSA regulations for RV transporters:

  • RV transporters must adhere to both U.S. DOT and FMCSA regulations.
  • All drivers of commercial vehicles, including RVs, over 10,001 pounds must possess a valid Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).
  • Commercial motor vehicle drivers must comply with hours of service requirements, which limit the number of hours worked in any given day or week. Must Visit the link.
  • Drivers transporting trailers over 10,000 pounds GVWR must have an endorsement on their CDL for either H” (for hauling cargo) or N” (for operating a tank vehicle).
  • Operators of vehicles carrying hazardous materials must obtain proper endorsements.
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