What Is Commercial Transportation?

August 9, 2023

Commercial transportation refers to moving goods or people from one location to another in order to make a profit. It can be done through various methods, including trucks, planes, and trains. Regardless of the method chosen, it's important to keep in mind that commercial transportation must be done legally. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Department of Transportation regulate all aspects of commercial transportation. These agencies create safety standards, monitor regulation compliance and issue licenses.

Exceptionally heavy vehicles, vehicles that carry more than 15 passengers, and any vehicle transporting hazardous materials are considered commercial vehicles. Drivers of these vehicles must have a special drivers' license, commercial markings and a DOT number.

When does a vehicle become commercial? It typically becomes commercial when it's used for paid work. For example, if you and a friend decide to paint houses for fun, your truck is considered commercial because you are making money. This also applies to vehicles such as shuttle vans and buses.

A vehicle can also be considered commercial when it is owned or leased by a company and is used for business purposes. This includes vehicles such as taxis and rental cars. The FMCSA regulations on hours of service and electronic logging devices do not apply to these types of vehicles.

The idea of creating designated traffic corridors for oversize and overweight cargo was once promoted in the state of Texas, but it lost steam over funding issues. This is a shame because such corridors could help reduce the amount of accelerated wear on other roadways due to these oversized and heavy loads.


Traffic Dave is on a mission to help traffic engineers, transportation planners, and other transportation professionals improve our world.
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