Are Pickup Trucks Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMVs)?August 22, 2017
In some cases, yes, pickup trucks can be considered to be commercial motor vehicles. The use, weight and features of the vehicle will impact when pickups can qualify as CMVs.
In the aftermath of a crash with a pickup truck, knowing whether the truck is a CMV can be important to figuring out your options for filing a claim and seeking recovery.
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How Federal Regulations Define Commercial Motor Vehicles
According to federal law, a commercial vehicle can be any vehicle that is operated for interstate commerce purposes (i.e., business-related uses) and that:
- Weighs at least 10,001 pounds (as a single or combination vehicle)
- Transports 8 or more passengers (for compensation) or 15 or more passengers (if no compensation is involved)
- Carries enough hazardous materials to require special placarding.
This means that a pickup truck used for business purposes can be a CMV when:
- Fully loaded and/or hooked up with a trailer, it weighs at least 10,001 pounds.
- The pickup has hazardous materials placarding.
Requirements for Pickups Qualifying as CMVs
When a pickup truck is considered to be a commercial motor vehicle, the vehicle must be maintained in compliance with all requirements set forth by federal law,1 as well as any applicable state regulations (in the state(s) where the truck operates).
Some of these requirements include:
- Putting the business name and Department of Transportation (DOT) number on the vehicle
- Outfitting the vehicle with the required safety equipment, like (but not necessarily limited to) brakes on all wheels, various reflectors and lights, a compliant coupling system and various emergency equipment
- Undergoing annual inspections
- Requiring drivers of these vehicles to conduct regular inspections (prior to and during a haul)
- Systematically inspecting, repairing and maintaining the vehicle and keeping records of these activities
- Following all federal cargo securement requirements.
Truck Accidents Involving Pickups as CMVs: The Recovery Options
When pickup trucks qualifying as CMVs are in collisions, accident victims may have a claim against any combination of the following (depending on the circumstances and causes of the crash):
- The pickup truck driver, if driver negligence (like distracted or drunk driving) played a role in the wreck
- The company that employs the driver, when (for example) the company failed to properly train the driver and/or maintain the vehicle
- Other parties, like those responsible for maintaining safe roadways (if dangerous road conditions were a factor) or vehicle equipment makers (if equipment failures or malfunctions played a role in causing a crash).
The Amaro Law Firm can go over the details of your truck crash and point out:
- All liable parties
- The available legal options
- What needs to be done to initiate a claim and protect it moving forward.
Find Out More about Your Rights & Legal Options: Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer at the Amaro Law Firm
Discover how a truck accident lawyer at the Amaro Law Firm can advocate your rights – and make a big difference in the strength and success of your claim.
Call (713) 352-7975, text (281) 612-8024 or email our firm for a free case evaluation.
We are ready to answer your questions and advocate your rights to recovery and justice.
Virtual and mobile consultations are available if you are unable to visit our office.
In truck wreck cases, we represent accident survivors – and families who have lost loved ones to deadly crashes – from across the U.S.
1: Federal regulations for commercial motor vehicles from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)