Commercial Vehicle Information

The North Fayette Township Police Department currently has 2 certified MCSAP or Commercial vehicle enforcement officers. They are Sergeant David Sandora and Corporal Lonnie Lamb. They can be reached by calling the police department at 412-787-8900.
Commercial Vehicle
The idea most people have of a commercial motor vehicle is a tractor trailer or an "18 wheeler." This is true! However for the purpose of this section, we will be discussing needs of the local business owners who are in commerce and may be operating as a commercial vehicle and not be aware of this fact. There are several penalties and fines that can be directed at said business/owner.

An example would be a landscaper or general contractor. If either is operating a vehicle or combination of vehicles with a weight rating over 17,001 lbs, they are considered a commercial motor vehicle in Pennsylvania and are subject to Title 49 of the Federal Regulations as well as Title 75 of the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle code. If the same are operating between states, the weight rating lowers to 10,001 lbs. This would be those who are registered in Pennsylvania and do work in neighboring states and vice versa!

Weight of Vehicle


If the vehicle or combination is over 17,001 lbs, the company must obtain a DOT number. It is free and can be obtained by going to FMCSA.DOT.GOV and applying. They will be issued at that time. After they are issued, they need to be placed on both sides of the vehicle in contrasting color and visible from 50 feet. Also the business name must be on both sides of the vehicle.

The vehicle or combination of vehicles may be over 17,001 lbs but less than 26,001 lbs that their class "C" regular driver's license permits them to drive. They do not need a CDL. They do however need a current medical card. These can be obtained at most local doctor's offices. You ask for the DOT exam. The medical card is good for 2 years. It must be carried on the driver. All drivers working for the company and driving these vehicles must have one.

In the power unit, truck, or on the trailer, there must be a fully charged and operational fire extinguisher. Also, a box of 3 orange triangles as required on board.  These need to be placed on the road behind the vehicle should it happen to break down.

Trailer Weight


If the trailer is over 3,000 lbs, it must have an emergency break away system. It must be in working condition. If it is not, the trailer will be placed out of service. Also, if towing with a ball and coupler or pintle hook, the trailer must be secured with 2 tow chains that are crossed under the tongue. There shall be no more slack than needed for turns. I.E. They should not be dragging on the ground! In Pennsylvania, all trailers that can haul something must be registered. A wood chipper or a cement mixer or the like does not need to be registered.

Towing Equipment


For persons towing a backhoe or other piece of equipment that has a hydraulically operated boom arm, the boom arm must be securely fastened with a steel chain. This is as per the vehicle code. The fine can go between $300 to 1,000 dollars!

Lastly anything on the trailer must be secured to prevent it from dropping, shifting, leaking, or escaping while in transport. This is very important for landscapers to have their mowers and tools secured while going from job to job!

Insurance


Finally, all vehicles must be insured. All lights, wipers, horn, tires, suspension, brakes, etc. must be in good working order!

View the CDL flow chart we use to confirm if the driver requires a CDL or not. Also we check to be certain the driver has the correct endorsements on their license to operate the vehicle(s).

Additional Questions


If you have any questions or would like us to review the laws with you or answer any specific questions, or go over your vehicles and equipment, please call and ask us! We will be happy to help! The MCSAP program is about education and for the safety of the motoring public!