What are the Requirements of 49 CFR 391?

As a truck driver, there’s a huge number of responsibilities that you have day-to-day. However, there are certain requirements that you have to meet before even being hired. These guidelines are set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and are in place to make sure that only qualified people can get behind the wheel of a commercial motor vehicle.

While this covers things like drug testing, you have to comply with all of these requirements. At Fleet Drug Testing, we have solutions to make sure you can do this. We have testing programs and other services that take the guesswork out of complying with FMCSA and DOT regulations. Contact us today to get started.

Requirements Under 49 CFR 391

49 CFR 391 is official federal law that sets qualifications for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers throughout the country. These requirements include:

  • Driver qualifications – CMV drivers must meet certain minimum qualifications, including age, physical fitness, and language proficiency.

  • Driving records – Drivers are required to maintain accurate and up-to-date records of their driving history, violations, and convictions.

  • Licensing – Drivers must have a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL) issued by their state of residence.

  • Medical examinations – CMV drivers are required to undergo periodic medical examinations to ensure they are physically fit to operate commercial vehicles.

  • Hours of Service (HOS) – Regulations govern the maximum driving hours and mandatory rest periods to prevent driver fatigue and ensure safety.

  • Drug and alcohol testing – Drivers are subject to drug and alcohol testing to ensure they are not operating under the influence.

  • Safety performance history – Motor carriers must investigate and consider a driver’s safety performance history before employing them.

  • Notification of convictions – Drivers must promptly notify their employers of any traffic convictions.

These regulations are in place to enhance the safety of commercial motor vehicle operations and protect both drivers and the public on the road.

What Other Requirements Are There For Truck Drivers?

Driving a truck professionally offers various options, including local CDL drivers. They operate within specific geographic areas, like cities or nearby regions, transporting goods. Then, there’s “long-haul” positions, with drivers covering long distances across state lines.

Drivers are used in virtually every industry or job you can think of. Most of the time, though, these positions are in:

  • Retail – Many truck drivers are involved in delivering products to retail stores, ensuring that shelves are stocked with merchandise.

  • Manufacturing – Truck drivers transport raw materials to manufacturing facilities and then distribute finished products to various destinations.

  • Construction – Construction companies rely on truck drivers to transport construction materials, equipment, and debris to and from job sites.

  • Wholesale trade – Wholesale businesses often need truck drivers to distribute goods to retailers or other businesses.

  • Healthcare – Truck drivers may transport medical supplies, equipment, and pharmaceuticals to hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies.

  • Agriculture – Farmers and agricultural businesses use truck drivers to move crops, livestock, and agricultural supplies.

  • Waste management – Garbage and recycling truck drivers collect and transport waste and recyclables.

  • Mining and extraction – The mining industry relies on truck drivers to transport minerals and other materials from mines to processing facilities.

  • Food industry – Drivers in this industry transport perishable and non-perishable food products to distribution centers, stores, and restaurants.

  • Petroleum and chemicals – The transportation of hazardous materials like petroleum and chemicals requires specialized truck drivers.

  • Construction – The construction industry relies on drivers to transport materials like lumber, concrete, and roofing materials.

  • E-commerce and parcel delivery – With the growth of online shopping, there’s a rising demand for delivery drivers to transport packages directly to consumers.

Other Requirements

Aside from FMCSA regulations, there are other requirements that many companies look for in a driver. These include:

  • Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) – Drivers need a valid CDL with endorsements (e.g., HazMat) depending on the cargo they transport. Obtaining a CDL involves passing written and driving tests.

  • Clean driving record – Employers typically demand a clean driving history without major violations like DUIs or reckless driving.

  • Experience – Many employers prefer 1-2 years of commercial driving experience.

  • Physical fitness – Drivers should be physically fit to handle heavy lifting, climbing, and prolonged sitting.

  • Attention to detail – They must be detail-oriented, maintain accurate records, and follow instructions.

  • Customer service skills – Interacting with customers and businesses, strong customer service skills are valuable.

  • Background check – Employers conduct background checks, including criminal history and drug testing.

Obviously, the specific requirements you may need to meet to get a truck driving position is going to differ from company to company and even job to job. What’s important to remember is that you have to at least hold a CDL and comply with FMCSA requirements to maintain a good record and reputation. This will ultimately make you desirable for a position.

Drug Testing Solutions for Your Business

Whether you’re a local or long-haul river, maintaining a drug-free and alcohol-free status is crucial for passing federal tests. However, compliance with additional agency requirements, such as following procedures and maintaining accurate records, is equally important.

To meet these standards, work with our experts at Fleet Drug Testing. We offer the expertise and a comprehensive range of services to ensure compliance and keep your operations running smoothly.

Contact us today to begin.

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