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Vehicle Information

Customs requirements.  Trucks that are based outside the U.S. that are engaged in international traffic, arriving with cargo designed for points in the U.S. may be admitted without formal entry of duty.  All cargo must be manifested on a Customs form Inward Cargo Manifest (CF 7533).

Drivers are responsible for payment of a Customs User Fee.  A yearly decal may be purchased for $100 or drivers may instead pay a fee of $5 for each crossing.

Insurance.  To gain entry into the U.S., a Canadian trucker must file certificates of financial responsibility and have proof of insurance. A Canadian insurer enters into an arrangement with an American insurer under which the U.S. insurer does the necessary filings for the Canadian carrier and provides proof of insurance and the U.S. insurer "reinsures" the risk back to the Canadian insurer.

The onus is on the carrier to ensure that provincial and state insurance requirements are fully understood and complied with.  Go to Transport Canada's NAFTA Resource Manual.

Inspection, Repair and Maintenance.  Carriers must have a written maintenance schedule for each commercial motor vehicle outlining routine vehicle maintenance and the due dates for each type of maintenance.  Parts and accessories must be in safe and proper operating condition at all times.  More information.

Mud Flaps.  A commercial vehicle, except a truck tractor traversing between terminals at a speed not to exceed 25 miles per hour, and a combination of a commercial vehicle and trailer or semitrailer, when used on a highway, shall be so constructed or equipped as to prevent water or other road surface substances from being thrown from the rear wheels of the vehicle.  More information.

Brakes.  All commercial motor vehicles (including trailers) must be equipped with brakes acting on all wheels. These brakes must be capable of operating at all times.  More information.

Air emissions.  EPA established a national program regulating, as a group, heavy-duty vehicles and their fuel. New emission standards will begin to take effect in model year 2007 and are based on the use of high-efficiency, catalytic exhaust emission-control devices or comparably effective advanced technologies.  More information.

Because these catalytic devices are damaged by sulfur, the EPA also is reducing, by 97 percent, the level of sulfur permitted in highway diesel fuel; the effective date is mid-2006. The program gives substantial flexibility to refiners, especially small operations, and engine/vehicle manufacturers, to help them implement the new requirements in the most cost-efficient manner.

Safety Devices.  Full trailers must be equipped with safety device that prevents accidental separation.  More information.

Vehicle and Load Size.  It is vital that carriers and drivers understand the size requirements (height, width, length and weight) for commercial motor vehicles operating on Michigan highways.  State roadways have use restrictions placed on them by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) for use by commercial motor vehicles. Restrictions are based on vehicle size and the time of year.   More information.

Michigan Weight and Axle Loads.  Maximum load limits may depend on the following:

  • What type of highway you are operating on (see highway types).
  • The number of axles and the distance (spacing) between the axles or axle assemblies on which the vehicle or combination of vehicles are operated (spacing is the distance between axles, measured from the center of one axle to the center of another axle).
  • The gross vehicle weight of the vehicle or combination of vehicles.
  • Tire width (published by the manufacturer).

Depending on the conditions above, your vehicle may be subject to the maximums found under the bridge formula or the normal loading standards. More information.

Bridge Gross Weight Formula.  The Bridge Gross Weight Formula was developed to prevent stress to highway bridges caused by heavy trucks. The formula provides a standard to control the spacing of truck axles and weight on those axles. Vehicles with a gross weight of 80,000 pounds or less may be eligible for increased weights using the Bridge Gross Weight Formula. Vehicles exceeding a gross weight of 80,000 pounds or the gross weight calculated using the Bridge Weight Formula are not eligible for bridge weights (exception: 5 axle tandem tandems).  More information.



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