The roads and highways in Alabama and nationwide are frequently used by many categories of vehicles, from motorcycles and cars to SUVs, vans, and trucks. The largest vehicles most drivers are likely to see regularly on the road belong to the category of commercial trucks.
A commercial truck is a common name for a specific type of motor vehicle that federal law defines as a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV).
According to paragraph 390.5 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR), a CMV is a motor vehicle that meets any one of the following definitions:
The commercial truck designation is broad and encompasses numerous types of vehicles. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) defines 8 truck classes based on their GVWR. The FHWA further groups vehicle classes into 3 general weight categories: light-duty, medium-duty, and heavy-duty.
Vehicles classified as light-duty trucks have a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 10,000 lbs. or less. The most common types of commercial trucks in this weight class are minivans used in for-hire transportation. They include the following vehicle classes:
Vehicles in the medium-duty category have a GVWR higher than 10,000 lbs. but equal to or lower than 26,000 lbs. Most vehicles in this weight category are used for commercial purposes. It encompasses the largest number of vehicle types and classes:
Virtually every heavy-duty truck is a commercial vehicle. It includes all vehicles with a GVWR of over 26,000 lbs. in the following classes:
Operating a commercial truck requires a valid Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). In Alabama, three types of Commercial Driver’s Licenses exist: Class A, Class B, and Class C. According to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA), the following CDL Classes are necessary to operate these types of commercial vehicles:
In addition to proper licensing, CDL holders are also subjected to higher insurance requirements than regular drivers. For instance, commercial truck drivers based in Alabama but driving across state lines must meet the FMCSA’s minimum requirements for liability insurance, which may range between $750,000 and $5,000,000, depending on the cargo transported.
Have you or a loved one been injured in a traffic accident due to the negligent actions of a commercial truck driver in Alabama? At The Vance Law Firm Injury Lawyers, our team of Alabama truck accident attorneys is prepared to represent your interests in court and get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free case review.