Commercial Vehicles
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Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit

In 1997, the New York State Police consolidated three existing traffic safety details - Motor Carrier Safety, HazMat, and Scales - into one unit, dedicated to removing unsafe trucks from the state's roadways: the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit.

All NYSP troopers work to ensure the safe operation of commercial vehicles on New York's roadways. Their enforcement efforts have helped make New York's commercial vehicle safety record one of the best in the nation.

Each member of the CVEU is highly trained and skilled in all of the state laws and federal regulations pertaining to commercial motor vehicles. There are currently 98 men and women certified to perform CVSA Level 1 safety inspections, as well as hazardous materials and cargo tank inspections.

Throughout the year, the Division Headquarters Traffic Services section provides each trooper assigned to the CVE Unit with updates on legal developments. Additionally, CVE Unit members participate in special training at the NYSP Academy to learn about new and changing laws, policies, criminal interdiction techniques, and motor carrier safety regulations.

The CVE Unit works closely with the Motor Vehicle and Motor Carrier inspectors of the New York State Department of Transportation, conducting safety inspections daily at road checks through the state. Unit members also cooperate with other law enforcement agencies, often assisting with enforcement, accident investigations and training involving commercial motor vehicles.

Commercial Motor Vehicle Definition

According to 390.5 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, a Commercial Motor Vehicle is any self-propelled or towed motor vehicle used on a highway in interstate commerce to transport passengers or property when the vehicle:

  1. Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating, or gross vehicle weight or gross combination weight, of 4,536 kg (10,001 pounds) or more, whichever is greater.

  2. Is designed or used to transport more than 8 passengers (including the driver) for compensation.

  3. Is designed or used to transport more than 15 passengers, including the driver, and is not used to transport passengers for compensation.

  4. Is used in transporting material found by the Secretary of Transportation to be hazardous under 49 U.S.C. 5103 and transported in a quantity requiring placarding under regulations prescribed by the Secretary under 49 CFR, subtitle B, chapter I, subchapter C.

Education

Often, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement (CVE) Unit troopers are requested to speak on the subject of commercial vehicle safety to groups ranging from truck drivers and safety managers to high school driver's education classes.

There is also a CVE Unit information area at the New York State Fair, and all unit troopers participate in the annual International Highway Transportation Safety Week sponsored by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Commercial Vehicle safety Alliance (CVSA).

Public Education

Requests for presentations by State Troopers must be made in writing, to:

Director of Traffic Services
New York State Police, Division Traffic Services
1220 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12226 

Please specify:

  • nature of the request
  • location
  • date and time
  • and approximate number of people in attendance

Include a contact name, address email and phone number. Please provide at least 30 days advance notice.

Vehicle Escorts

Upon request the State Police escort oversized vehicles on the State roadways.

An escort consists of a certified escort vehicle carrying an "oversized load" sign on the front bumper (1) and a following patrol car (2).

Documentation: For each vehicle to be escorted, fax copies of the documents outlined below to the NYSP Traffic Services Section.

Without exception, the NYSP requires two full business days, not including the date of the request, nor the date of the move, to process and schedule an escort.

  1. A valid NYSDOT (NYS Department of Transportation) special hauling permit. If you have problems with your permit, contact NYSDOT at 1-888-783-1685 to make corrections or changes.
  2. A valid route survey for the route traveled during the escort.
  3. A valid NYS Thruway permit, if traveling on the NYS Thruway.
  4. Amendments to any of the above documents.
  5. A fax cover sheet including:
    • Company contact name and number.
    • Company email address.
    • The date on which you wish the escort to begin.
  6. Valid permits for all municipalities that require permits along the route.
  7. A valid permit to enter the adjoining state, if traveling outside of New York.

Fax documents to: 518-457-9620, NYSP Traffic Services, Attn: Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit

Requests received after 1 p.m. will be processed on the next business day. If any of the above items are incomplete or incorrect, we will be unable to process your request.

Mileage: Mileage starts upon the trooper leaving their station and ends upon their return, after the detail has been completed.

Minimum Pay: Each officer assigned will be paid a minimum four hours at trooper overtime pay rate, regardless of the time spent conducting the escort.

Delays: If the escort is delayed by three hours or more, from the time and date the escort was scheduled to begin, the escort will be cancelled. Rescheduling requires a minimum notice of two business-days, unless the delay was caused by:

  • The NYSP or NYSDOT.
  • Natural incurring incident such as inclement weather closing roadways
  • An act of Federal, State or Local government making travel impossible excluding a vehicle found to be in violation or placed "out of service", as defined in section 390.5 of the Federal Motor Carriers Safety regulations.

Billing for cancellations or delays: Companies cancelling a police escort within 24 hours of the scheduled movement or delaying it by three hours or more will be billed an amount equal to four hours of trooper overtime pay rate, per officer scheduled, unless cancelled or delayed by:

  • The NYSP or NYSDOT (except delay by company of three hours or more).
  • Natural incurring incident such as including inclement weather closing roadways.
  • An act of Federal, State or Local government making travel impossible excluding a vehicle found to be in violation or placed "out of service", as defined in section 390.5 of the Federal Motor Carriers Safety regulations.

Disclaimer: Requests for escorts are scheduled in the order they are received, consistent with available staffing. The State Police maintains the right to deny any request for police escort of an oversized commercial vehicle.

Reasons for denying an escort may include: police emergency, prevailing or anticipated adverse weather conditions, invalid permit/route surveys, delays of three hours or more, or where public safety conflicts with the escort route.

Contact: If you have any questions please contact Division Traffic Services at (518) 457-3258.

Escort Rates

Commercial Vehicle Escort Rate Calculations

Current Service Rates

  • As of April 1, 2021 the charted rates apply to all NYSP escorts and private sector services.
  • For budgeting purposes, note that hours billed are often at the overtime rate
  • Trooper hourly rates are subject to change based on contract negotiations
  • Regular and overtime rates include Fringe Benefits and Indirect Costs as 65.52%
     
Regular Hourly Rate $102.50
Overtime Hourly Rate $145.54
Mileage Cost 0.56¢ per mile

 

Example: A 115-mile escort which lasted 1 hour at the regular rate and four hours at the overtime rate would be billed as follows:
1 Hour Regular Rate @ $102.50 $102.50
4 Hours Overtime Rate @ $145.54 $582.16
  Total Personal Service Cost $684.66
115 Miles @0.56¢ per mile $64.40
  Total $749.06

Contact

If you have any questions please call the NYS Police Traffic Services at: 518-457-3258.

FAQs

Hours of Service

Q. What are the new hours of Service Regulations?

This information is available on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) website.

Hazardous Materials

Q. How much hazardous material may I transport before I need to placard my vehicle?

The amount of hazardous materials (HAZMAT) one may transport commercially before being required to display placards on the transport vehicle varies with the class of HAZMAT being shipped. According to Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 172.504, except for cargo tanks and bulk packages, materials that are contained in:

  • Table 1 are required to be placarded in any amount.
  • Table 2 and shipped in non-bulk packages are not required to be placarded when the total amount is less than 1,000 pounds.

Q. Do I need to supply shipping papers when I transport a 55-gallon (total capacity) drum of a material classed as combustible?

No, materials classed as combustible are not subject to the hazardous material regulations until the total quantity in a single container exceeds 119 gallons.

Q. How much hazardous materials can I carry on my vehicle to do my work everyday?

Refer to the Materials of Trade regulations from NY DOT at: www.dot.ny.gov.

Refer to the DOT Flyer at: www.phmsa.dot.gov.

Accidents and Drug Testing

Q. Do I have to participate in a random drug testing program? If so, how do I comply?

Refer to rules established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Contact may be established via their website www.fmcsa.dot.gov by contacting the Albany office of FMCSA at (518)-431-4145.

Q. When do I have to have my driver tested after an accident?

As soon as practicable. After an incident involving a commercial motor vehicle operated on a public road in commerce, each employer must test for alcohol and controlled substances, on each surviving driver:

  1. Who was performing safety-sensitive functions with respect to the vehicle, if the accident involved loss of life.
  2. Who receives a citation under State or local law for a moving traffic violation arising from the accident, if the accident involved:
    • Bodily injury to a person who, as a result of the injury, immediately received medical treatment away from the scene of the accident; or
    • One or more motor vehicles incurring disabling damage as a result of the accident, requiring the motor vehicle to be transported away from the scene by a tow truck or other motor vehicle.

Q. Do the police have to provide me a post-accident alcohol and drug test?

No. Your employer is responsible for post-accident alcohol and drug testing.

Heights and Weights

Q. What is the maximum weight allowed for registration of my Commercial Motor Vehicle with the NYS DMV?

A motorist may register a single vehicle or combination of vehicles having three or more axles, no more than 34,000 pounds, plus 1,000 pounds for each foot and major fraction of a foot of the distance from the center of the foremost axle to the center of the rearmost axle.

Q. What is the maximum allowable weight for a single axle?

The weight on any one axle of a single vehicle or a combination of vehicles, equipped with pneumatic tires, cannot exceed 22,400 pounds.

Q. What is the maximum allowable weight on tandem axles?

The weight on any two consecutive axles of a single vehicle or a combination of vehicles, equipped with pneumatic tires, when axles are spaced less than eight feet from center to center, cannot exceed 36,000 pounds.

Q. What is the maximum allowable length of my single vehicle?

The maximum allowable length for a single vehicle is 40 feet, including bumpers and load.

Q. What is the maximum allowable length of my combination vehicle?

The maximum allowable length for a combination vehicle is 65 feet, including bumpers and load, except:

  • Vehicles operating on qualifying or access highways.
  • Vehicles hauling poles, girders, columns or other similar objects of great length.
  • Fire vehicles.
  • A disabled vehicle being towed less than 10 miles.

Q. What is the maximum allowable height and width of my vehicle?

The maximum allowable height is 13 feet 6 inches. The maximum allowable width is:

  • On any highway, 96 inches (8 feet) including load.
  • On any qualifying or access highway, 102 inches (8 feet) including load.

Q. Can I tow a 53-foot trailer in New York State?

A 53-foot trailer may be tow on qualifying or designated access NYS highways listed on the NYS Department of Transportation web site.

Q. What if my vehicle is larger than any of the weights and dimensions allowed in New York State?

Visit the NYS Department of Transportation website or call 1-888-783-1685 to obtain a permit.

Q. Do I need a NYS HUT permit if I have an IFTA?

Yes. If your vehicles gross weight is in excess of 18,000 pounds. For more information go to the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance website or call 518-457-3649.

House Coach (RV’s)

Q. How long can my house coach be?

45 feet, provided that its wall-to-wall turning diameter does not exceed 90 feet 3 inches and it has a data plate permanently affixed to the front passenger side door jamb indicating the following

  • The VIN number
  • The wall-to-wall turning diameter
  • The wall-to-wall tuning diameter was calculated in accordance with the Society of Automotive Engineers J-695 Standard 06/01/03

Q. Do I need a special license to drive a 45-foot house coach?

No – Class D with a personal use endorsement.

Q.  What license do I need if my house coach is over 26,000 pounds GVWR?

Class D with a personal use endorsement.

Q.  How wide can my house coach be?

96 inches on all highways in NY or 102 inches on qualifying or access highway in NY plus an awning as follows:

  • The vehicle is used for non-commercial purposes and
  • The awning and support hardware is at least 7 1/2 feet off the ground and
  • The awning and support hardware extends 6” or less from the body on the passenger side and 4” or less from the body on the drivers side

Q.  Do these width requirements apply to a RV fifth wheel trailer?

Yes provided as follows:

  • The trailer is designed to provide temporary living quarters for recreational camping or travel
  • Not to exceed 400 square feet in the set up mode
  • Used for non-commercial use.
Licensing

Q. How do I determine what class license do I need to drive my truck?

License class is determined by the following criteria:

  • The vehicles GVWR or
  • The registered weight of the vehicle or
  • The actual weight of the vehicle and load

Which ever is greater.

Registration

Q. What does GVWR mean?

GVWR is the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. This is the weight of an empty vehicle plus the maximum carrying capacity of the vehicle recommended by the manufacturer.

Q. What does GCWR mean?

GCWR is the Gross Combination Weight Rating. This is used for combination vehicles, combining the GVWR of the power unit plus the GVWR of each vehicle in the combination.

Q. How much weight should I register my trailer for?

Register for the maximum gross weight of the trailer. Maximum gross weight is the weight of the empty trailer plus the maximum load to be carried in the trailer.

Q. How much weight should I register my truck for?

Register for the maximum gross weight of the truck. Maximum gross weight is the weight of the empty truck plus the maximum load to be carried by the truck.

Q. How much weight should I register my tractor (tractor/trailer) for?

Register for the maximum gross weight of the tractor. Maximum gross weight of a tractor is the weight of the tractor plus the weight of an empty semi-trailer plus the maximum load to be carried on the tractor and semi-trailer combination.

Cargo Securement

Q. Where can I find the new Cargo Securement regulations?

Refer to: www.fmcsa.dot.gov.