Commercial Vehicle Information

The North Fayette Township Police Department currently has 1 certified MCSAP or Commercial vehicle enforcement officer. He is Corporal Lonnie Lamb. He can be reached via email link on the right.

Commercial Vehicle
The idea most people have of a commercial motor vehicle is a tractor trailer or an "18 wheeler". However, we will be discussing needs of the local business owners who are in commerce and may be operating as a commercial vehicle but may not be aware of it. Operating a commercial vehicle improperly can result in several penalties and fines. 

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 applying here. After a DOT number is issued, it must be placed on both sides of the vehicle in contrasting color and visible from 50 feet. Also the business name must also 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 doctor's offices, ask for the DOT exam. The medical card is good for 2 years and you must carry it on your person. All drivers 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 to be on board. The triangles will 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 that is 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., the chains should not be dragging on the ground. In Pennsylvania, all trailers that are meant for hauling must be registered. A wood chipper or a cement mixer or the like do 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 fines for non-compliance can be anywhere 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. 


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

Visit this Commercial Driver's License flow chart to determine if you'll need a CDL. In North Fayette Township, if you're pulled over, we will check to be certain all drivers have the correct endorsements on their license to operate the vehicle(s) they're driving. If you need to obtain a CDL, we suggest starting with this PennDOT website. You can also practice for your PA CDL test here for no charge or access the PA CDL manual for information or review.

Commercial Vehicle Insurance Guide

 - click here.

Additional Questions

If you have any questions or would like us to review the laws with you or answer any specific questions, or to 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.