Approved Footwear For Trucking - The LAW

Topic 17803 | Page 1

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Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

This kind of bootstraps off the "Elite" discussion that went off the rails and got itself DELETED.

The question was raised regarding driving a CMV with Flip-Flops, and someone poked me for a "Rickipedia Ruling" on what regs may or may not cover this. Then it turned into dogs urinating on trees, then on each other - and the entire thread went POOF!

At any rate...

There is NOTHING IN THE FMSCA's (49 CFR 3XX) regarding "proper footwear" for operating a CMV. So flip-flops are not "illegal" to drive in. Actually, neither is driving BAREFOOT.

As far as Federal FMSCA/DOT Regulations go - barefoot, flip-flops, 6" spiked heels. It's ALL GOOD.

Contrary to popular belief (or urban legend) there are NO STATE LAWS PROHIBITING FLIPS OR BAREFOOT DRIVING EITHER - for a car or CMV - none on the books.

Zero, Zilch, Nada - NONE.

NOW - if you get in an ACCIDENT, and being barefoot or wearing flips CONTRIBUTED TO the accident (my sandal got caught under the brake pedal, I got distracted trying to get it loose and rolled over the mini-van full of kids on the way home from the soccer game), you could get cited for "careless driving" or something of that nature - but not for the flips or barefoot itself.

In order for something to be AGAINST THE LAW - there has to be a regulation or statute on the books SPECIFICALLY SAYING THAT IT IS. This is a common law principle.

Same principle why - if there isn't a "No U-Turn Sign" at the intersection, you are ALLOWED to make a U-Turn. Or why drug chemists can change one molecule in a substance, and it is LEGAL until that composition is SPECIFICALLY OUTLAWED (aka: designer drugs).

Now - one of the posters who responded, stated that it was "against OSHA Regs" - so I did some digging there.

And I did find something there in the section pertaining to the trucking industry, under the header of 29 CFR 1910 Subpart I - 1910.136 - Personal Protection Equipment - Foot Protection, which generally states:

29 CFR 1910.136(a) - General requirements. The employer shall ensure that each affected employee uses protective footwear when working in areas where there is a danger of foot injuries due to falling or rolling objects, or objects piercing the sole, or when the use of protective footwear will protect the affected employee from an electrical hazard, such as a static-discharge or electric-shock hazard, that remains after the employer takes other necessary protective measures.

But this says NOTHING about a "requirement" for ANY TYPE OF FOOTWEAR in order to DRIVE a truck. And I find it HIGHLY UNLIKELY that OSHA inspectors are hiding out at Truck Stops, looking to cite drivers when they get out of their trucks in flops on the fuel island. Nor is it likely that DOT officers at a coop, are going to snatch you up for an OSHA Reg (especially one this vague). OSHA reg violations - usually specify a penalty for violations - this one does not.

OSHA regs are usually something that is used AFTER THE FACT - like an injury or death was caused by NOT FOLLOWING the regs - a complaint is made TO OSHA - they investigate and find a violation - the company is cited - and the penalty is determined at an administrative hearing. Such violations can usually form the basis of "proof of negligence" in a subsequent civil suit (someone gets killed - family sues).

So don't think OSHA is going to get you nailed either.

The poster that brought up the OSHA thing, also brought up that DOT Officials can cite you for ANYTHING - INCLUDING VIOLATING COMPANY POLICY.

And yet again - "company policies" are not part of the CFR or State Statutes, therefore, a DOT Officer CANNOT CITE YOU FOR VIOLATING A COMPANY POLICY. The mere notion of this, had me spitting coffee on my keyboard.

So there you have it.

The ACTUAL TRUTH - regarding Flip Flops and Driving A Truck.

Because we ARE TRUCKING TRUTH.

Rick

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

CMV:

Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Cwc's Comment
member avatar

Sorry for the Rickipedia request from you but I've found a few of your posts and knew you were very through. AND from the sounds of another post from you I got the feeling you might even enjoy dumpster diving into the FMSCA.

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

Sorry for the Rickipedia request from you but I've found a few of your posts and knew you were very through. AND from the sounds of another post from you I got the feeling you might even enjoy dumpster diving into the FMSCA.

I enjoy the research. I like finding the answers to stuff. When it comes to trucking - it's highly (over) regulated, but all those regs have to be documented. So when a question comes up regarding what is legal or not - it's all out there to be found.

FMSCA, BATFE and a whole bunch of other alphabet-soup agencies that are in my "sphere of interest" - I've gotten pretty good at finding answers.

And I don't mind going looking for them, when asked - or when a discussion piques my interest. I go find the answer so I CAN KNOW - and share it with the community so THEY CAN TOO...

Rick

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Keith A.'s Comment
member avatar

I appreciate your thoroughness, Rick, and I'm sure a lot of other people do too. I enjoy knowing specifically/exactly what the law/regulations say.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Cwc's Comment
member avatar

I used to work in shipyards and other govi controlled places and sat through more than my fair share of OHSA training and specific shipyard OSHA safety classes just to get on site.

I even looked it up in the 49 CFR a long while back. I wouldn't have called attention to it had I been unsure.

Also to anyone else reading this. Don't show up at shippers or receivers in open toe footwear, aside from you being asked to leave you could potentially lose business for your company as you are the face of your company.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Mr M's Comment
member avatar

Lol. hey when i hit Wyoming port of entry I'll ask em.

Cwc's Comment
member avatar

Lol. hey when i hit Wyoming port of entry I'll ask em.

Go for it.

Tractor Man's Comment
member avatar

So much urban legend to driving barefoot. When I was in High School, the same thing was being said. I was in HS a loooooonnnnngggggg time ago. (Graduated in 78), yes 1978. Errol graduated in 1878.

smile.gif

Old School's Comment
member avatar

I always get a chuckle out of the old driving barefoot is illegal statements. That thing has been kicking around for as long as I can remember. That's why I always drive with my socks on... technically I'm not barefoot that way! smile.gif

Cwc's Comment
member avatar

Back then it might have been relevant. Most older vehicles had exhaust without heatshields that ran in some cases really close to the floor pans. So if you were driving barefooted or in a normal flip flop where your health might be bare and in contact with the hot floor pan... well you get where I'm going.

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