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Prior to employment, the prospective driver must take a road test in the type of vehicle that he will be operating. There are some exceptions to the road test requirement.

The driver, the trucking company and, under certain conditions, the shipper are responsible for the safe transport of the cargo.

As part of a pre-trip inspection, the driver should have found the worn-out seal on this glad hand, which is a component of the air braking system.

Rust streaks on a wheel are an indication of loose lug nuts; the truck should not be driven until maintenance has been performed.

Driver Qualification

The term driver qualification is often misunderstood. Simply because a driver has a CDL license and can drive does not mean that he/she is qualified or can be qualified to drive a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in accordance with the regulations that govern the trucking industry.

There are very specific rules in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) that address the driver qualification issue. Among others, they specify that a driver MUST be qualified to drive the type of commercial vehicle he or she intends to operate.

The road test certificate, or an equivalent, is kept in the driver’s qualification file. The driver qualification file also includes a motor vehicle record check, previous work histories, drug and alcohol testing results, medical examiner’s certificates, etc. The qualification process cannot be accomplished in a few minutes; it takes time, even days, to receive all of the requested previous employment information.

In addition to an initial qualification, motor carriers are bound by regulation to perform an annual review for each driver employed. This involves inspecting driving records and evaluating the overall performance of the driver. As with many of the regulations, there is a mandatory document retention requirement associated with this regulation.

Ruhl Forensic has specialists on staff who are intimately familiar with the federal regulations from a management, safety director and driver standpoint and can assist you with your driver issues in a truck case.