If you make a living by driving a commercial vehicle, you value your commercial driver’s license (CDL) and want to protect it at all costs. Whether you are applying for regional truck driving jobs or want to move up with your current company, losing your CDL is a disaster you can easily prevent by following these three tips.
Never Drive While Under the Influence
While drivers of passenger vehicles who choose to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs typically receive a fine, points on their license, and a short trip to jail, commercial drivers who are charged with a DUI or a DWI are subject to even harsher penalties. If you are caught driving under the influence, you will receive the same penalties as drivers of passenger vehicles, but you will also have your CDL revoked immediately. The simple solution is to abstain from any type of drug and alcohol while you are on duty.
Avoid Getting Points on Your License
Most types of traffic violations assign points to your license, and after you reach a certain amount, your license will be suspended. Incidents such as speeding, lane violations, and accidents can accumulate points quickly and cause you to lose your license. Even if the violations occur while you are off duty in your personal vehicle, the points will also be assigned to your CDL. For this reason, it is important to do everything in your power to avoid receiving points for violations.
The amount of points assigned for different violations varies from state to state. Approximately 15 points within a three-year timeframe will cause your license to be suspended, which means you will not be allowed to operate a motor vehicle for up to 120 days. A license suspension may also cause you to lose your job and make it difficult to find a new one.
If you are charged with a traffic violation, it is a good idea to hire an attorney. In many cases, a traffic lawyer can help you avoid receiving points on your license in addition to paying a fine. If you rely on your CDL to make a living, the last thing you want is to accumulate too many points and have it suspended, so it is worth the lawyer fee to only have to pay a traffic fine for violations that happen occasionally.
Follow Commercial Driving Regulations
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 1,300 commercials truck drivers were killed in vehicle accidents in 2017. One of the top reasons for truck accidents is fatigue, so the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration enforces strict Hours-of-Service limits to prevents truck drivers from becoming overly tired. Violating these guidelines will result in your CDL being suspended.
According to the guidelines, commercial drivers have a 14-hour workday in which they can spend up to 11 hours operating the vehicle. Drivers are not allowed to drive more than eight hours at a time without taking a break for at least 30 minutes, and after the 14-hour workday is over, the driver may not operate the vehicle for at least 10 hours.
To keep drivers from being overworked, they each must maintain a strict log of driving hours and breaks. Depending on how the company works, each driver may log up to 60 hours in seven days or 70 hours in eight days, but once the maximum hour limit has been reached, the driver must refrain from operating the vehicle for at least 34 hours. Following these guidelines is an easy way to stay safe on the road and protect your CDL.
If you are interested in applying for regional truck driving jobs, Duncan and Son Lines is an excellent company to work for. To learn more or apply for a job, contact us today.