Since the trucking industry is vital to the economy of Wisconsin and the United States as a whole, there are an abundance of large commercial trucks on the roads and highways of our state. The damage of a truck accident can be especially devastating given the size and weight of these vehicles. In order to protect the public, state and federal governments regulate the trucking industry. Trucking professionals are required to carefully follow these regulations while using public roads. Federal and Wisconsin trucking regulations can be complicated, but they are important to understand if you have been in an accident with a truck.

Contact Studinski Law, LLC to discuss how trucking regulations affect your case and your options going forward. To speak with an attorney, call us today at (715) 343-2850.

Trucking Hours of Service in Wisconsin

Generally, regulations limit the number of hours that a truck driver can be on the job to reduce the likelihood of accidents caused by driver fatigue. Generally, Wisconsin has adopted the federal hours of service regulations for most commercial truck drivers. A driver may not drive:

  • More than 11 cumulative hours following 10 consecutive hours off duty
  • After the 14th hour after having come on duty following 10 consecutive hours off duty
  • After having been on duty 60 hours in any period of seven consecutive days if the carrier does not operate commercial motor vehicles every day of the week
  • After having been on duty 70 hours in any period of 8 consecutive days if the motor carrier operates commercial motor vehicles every day of the week

Truck drivers often work many hours a week, and driver fatigue is a leading cause of accidents involving trucks. While Wisconsin has, in part adopted federal regulations concerning hour limits imposed by the federal government for interstate trucking, they do vary for certain vehicles and loads. Your truck accident attorney will investigate the trucker’s work and driver’s logs to determine if they were in compliance with state and federal hours of service requirements.

Record Keeping Requirements

Wisconsin law requires truck operators to keep a Record of Status. This is typically a standard paper logbook or any approved electronic log of the driver’s activities while on the road. Generally, drivers are exempt from this requirement if the driver operates within a 150 air-mile radius and returns to their work reporting location within 12 hours of beginning to drive. Drivers must have their records for the last seven days in their possession when driving, and drivers and trucking companies must keep copies of their log book record for at least six months.

Federal record requirements involve trucks that cross state lines, and while very similar to Wisconsin record requirements, they do vary in certain regards. One difference between Wisconsin and federal record keeping regulations is that the federal government is requiring that electronic logging devices (ELDs), be installed in trucks over the next several years. ELDs in trucks are able to keep accurate records of hours and miles driven, and they don’t rely as heavily on the drivers to keep honest and accurate logs.

Truck Weight Limits in Wisconsin

Wisconsin truck weight limits are important to be aware of and fully understand in order to ensure safety on the road. Commercial trucks are large in size and weigh many tons. This can cause devastation if they crash into another vehicle. If you were hit by a truck that was overloaded or too heavy, the truck operator was likely negligent in driving a vehicle that violated state regulations. Additionally, the person or company who loaded the truck may also share in the responsibility for your injuries.

Generally, the limits for a truck’s weight, and axle weight limits include:

  • Maximum gross vehicle weight: 80,000 lbs.
  • Single axle weight limit: 20,000 lbs.
  • Truck tractor steering axle weight limit: 13,000 lbs.

These weights are subject to exceptions for trucks staying within the state transporting certain forestry products, and trucks performing certain limited hauls with dairy products. Your truck injury lawyer must understand these technical details, and know how to review the truck evidence that comes from loading records and accident reconstruction data.

Studinski Law, LLC Can Help You

Wisconsin trucking regulations are in place to help keep our roadways safe, and they help us understand who may be liable for an accident that causes serious injuries. Your truck accident lawyer must understand the many state and federal regulations in place in order to help you seek all of the damages that you or a loved one deserve after being hit by a truck.

To speak with one of the experienced truck accident lawyers at Studinski Law, LLC, call us today at (715) 343-2850.

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