Responsibilities Of A Commercial Vehicle Owner: All You Need To Know About

Hearing about a commercial vehicle accident, the first thing that comes to our mind is “Respondeat superior” (“let the superior answer”). Making the trucking company liable for the accident. The reason why most employers make sure that they fulfil their responsibilities and legal obligations like authorization of the vehicles (.i.e. attaining CA Number), annual inspections of the vehicles and driver agreements, etc. Therefore, actions to prevent negligence-based accidents are the foremost responsibility of a commercial vehicle owner.

Starting up a trucking industry might sound easy to you. However, being able to fulfil all your responsibilities as the owner of that company is not a piece of cake. Hence, it is imperative to know about all these responsibilities before you start one or have already started one. Without any further ado let’s start knowing about these.

Legal Authorization

Registration and legal authorization of a commercial vehicle is the topmost responsibility of an owner. Make sure to fill the registration form carefully with authentic data, apply for a CA number (carrier identification number), a USDOT number, and a motor carrier permit. These are necessary for both in-state carriers and out-state carriers. Done by following a proper legal procedure of filling forms and applying with the documents needed.

However, the ruling may vary depending on the types of carriers. It is thereby prudent to confirm these regulations with the help of the California Department of transportation.


Trucking industry employers are responsible for the safety of large cargo vehicles that have to cover long distances within or outside the state. They make sure that the drivers are paying full attention to the wear and tear of the vehicle, repairing them in time to ensure the optimum functionality of the vehicle. However, it is also potent for them to ensure that the traffic laws are followed properly. They are also responsible for route planning, confirming the feasibility of the route and safety of the loaded goods from cargo theft crimes. The utility of GPS tracking, an online support system, and radio connectivity with the other driver are all ways adopted to prevent any such cargo crime cases or vehicle breakdown issues. 

Annual Vehicle Inspection

Regular inquiries and inspection of the trucks and the health and capability of the drivers also come under the umbrella of the owner’s responsibilities. Making sure that there is no negligence in this regard. Prevent any potential damage or accident on their way.

Records and Reporting

Electronic logging devices have become a part of the trucking industry today. Employers today are responsible for continuously logging the track activities and updating any new change made. For instance, while filling the registration form for trucking identity and its legal authorization the information you entered, if it has changed then the owner needs to edit and update it accordingly. Reducing the chances of any future legal issues. Moreover, updates about the changes in ownership, record on services like changes fares, etc are crucial.

Driver Agreement

Driver agreement is another significant responsibility of a trucking company’s employer. This agreement is important, especially, in times of an accident or a casualty. Where the liability depends on whether a driver is an employee of the trucking company or an independent contractor. For example, if a driver runs his own truck and buys the insurance cover for the truck himself, then he is more likely to be an independent contractor. An independent contractor tends to complete his tasks in his way, and an employer is not responsible for any accident cases related to him. 

Whereas in the case of a driver, for whom the employer provides the instructions and withhold taxes with his paychecks, then he is an employee. For whom a company owner is more likely to be responsible for any negligence. Indeed, it is potent to create a detailed driver agreement and make it ratified by both parties. Helping you to prevent any future legal issues.

When all is said and done, one can say that your trucking startup industry not only requires monetary investment but the accomplishment of some legal duties. Fulfilling these can save a company from a lot of potential pitfalls.

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