Without the trucking industry, business in the US would come to a standstill (pun intended). Nearly every industry in this country depends on trucking to move their products. But not at the expense of safety. There are dozens of federal and state regulations in place to keep the roads, and other drivers, safe.
All states in the Eastern North Central Midwest (which includes Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin) specify that it is illegal to have any cargo “dropping, sifting, leaking, blowing off, or otherwise escaping from the vehicle.”
There are exceptions. All states but Wisconsin allow some leeway for vehicles transporting “agricultural or horticultural products,” with Indiana further specifying vehicles that contain “poultry or livestock being transported to market.” Wisconsin gives a blanket statement that drivers must “provide adequate facilities to prevent such waste or foreign matter from spilling on or along the highways.”
Illinois also provides a prevision for “maintenance vehicles engaged in removing snow and ice from the roadway.”
Wisconsin stipulates that vehicles with a load that extends “more than 3 feet beyond the front of the foremost vehicle” are prohibited from driving on highways. An exception to this rule is made for a “vehicle carrying another vehicle equipped with a crane or boom,” as long as you have the right permit.
Some states specify the potential consequences of violating these laws.
In Illinois, the maximum fine is $250 per violation. In Michigan, a violation is punishable by a fine of “not more than $500 or imprisonment for not more than 90 days, or both.” And they go even further in giving law enforcement more flexibility to charge violators, by saying that “actual spillage of material on the highway or proof of that spillage is not necessary to prove a violation of this section.”
If you’d like a full list of commercial vehicle covering laws by state, fill out the form below to download a comprehensive PDF from the Industrial Fabrics Association International. This resource includes information about cargo control for all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Canada.