The difference between interstate and intrastate trucking is this:
- Interstate trucking is when, to transport the cargo, a commercial motor vehicle crosses state lines to transport cargo.
- Intrastate trucking is when the driver of a commercial motor vehicle picks up cargo and delivers it within the same state without leaving its boundaries.
Note: Sometimes, it can happen so that the CMV truck driver didn't cross the state lines but the load is still considered an interstate load. That happens because the nature of the load is interstate. That means that the cargo originates or needs to be delivered to another state or country.
Both interstate trucking businesses and intrastate trucking businesses carry out distinctly different functions.
Below, find the differences between an intrastate business and an interstate business.
Abide to different laws in intrastate vs. interstate trucking
Depending on what type of load you want to transport the laws are different in every state.
If you do interstate commerce, you have to abide by the rules set by the FMCSA,
The laws are also different depending on what type of transportation you do.
If you do interstate commerce you have to follow federal rules set by the FMCSA.
On the other side, if you do intrastate commerce, you only have to follow the rules of that state.
Make sure you’re up to date on the rules and regulations you need to follow depending on where you’re traveling.
As a truck driver, you must determine which laws apply to you.
Otherwise, if you get caught, you might have insurance issues. Or, serious penalties get applied to the trucking company.
An insurance carrier may refuse to pay for a claim since the driver was not operating in their designated state.
If this happens, a person may sustain significant financial losses because of a messy insurance scenario.
Whether you’re a driver, dispatcher, or fleet manager, it’s important to understand whether it is an interstate load or an intrastate load that is being hauled so that you know which rules to follow to stay in compliance and operate effectively.
The insurance requirements for interstate motor carriers?
Under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, for-hire general freight carriers must carry a minimum of $750,000.00 in liability insurance coverage.
Fore-hire and private carriers of certain oils and hazardous wastes must carry a minimum of 1 million in liability coverage while carriers of other hazardous materials must carry 5 million in liability insurance coverage.
Private buses equipped to carry 15 people or less must carry 1.5 million in liability coverage. Buses that carry 15 people or more must maintain five million in coverage.
For other US states, the minimum insurance requirements may differ.
Trucks used in interstate and intrastate trucking
For intrastate loads, mostly straight trucks are used to haul freight for local businesses and government entities.
Below, find a list of commercial motor vehicles that are commonly licensed to conduct business within state lines and interstate.
Garbage trucks are uniquely designed to collect and transport solid waste to the appropriate treatment facility or landfill.
Dump trucks are mostly used for transporting loose construction material.
A dump truck is characterized by its open-box bed, which uses hydraulic pumps to hinge loads on and off the truck.
They are often used to haul sand, rock, or other building materials to a work site as well.
These vehicles range in size.
Some of the huge size dump trucks are used to transfer movable cargo and to deliver larger loads to and from work sites.
Concrete mixing rucks
Concrete mixing trucks are designed to transport and mix concrete at the same time.
They are used to deliver concrete to construction sites or residential areas.
These trucks weigh 20,000-30,000 pounds empty and can carry another 40,000 pounds of concrete.
Their heavy weight makes them extremely dangerous when it collides.
Except for some heavy tow trucks (used to haul 18-wheelers), most tow trucks are used to tow intrastate commercial truck vehicles.
These include hook and chain tow trucks, flatbed tow trucks, wheel-lift tow trucks, and rollbacks. They are typically built on a 1-ton pickup truck-style frame.
Box trucks are trucks with an attached cargo area.
Typically, they have a garage door exterior that opens into a large cube space, ideal for transporting many packages and large appliances.
Box trucks are commonly used as delivery trucks by such businesses as FedEx, UPS, Uhaul, or Ryder.
Trucks used in interstate trucking:
Commercial motor vehicles used in interstate trucking are usually larger and carry bigger loads than those used in intrastate trucking.
Tractor-trailers are used to carry large loads.
They are a combination of a tractor unit and a trailer.
With the variety of trailers available today, it is easy to recognize these interstate trucks by their size and shape. Tanker trucks are a specific type of 18-wheeler.
Tanker trucks are a specific type of 18-wheeler.
Tanker trucks are commercial motor vehicles designed to carry liquid, gas, and hazardous substances from one location to another.
Similar in size to a railroad tank car, tanker trucks can be difficult to drive due to the volumes of the loads they carry.
Fuel trucks also use tanks to transport materials to and from work sites. These trucks can be very dangerous in a collision when they are carrying flammable or explosive liquids.
As the name suggests, flatbed trucks are trucks with a leveled bed attached to the rear. Ideal for transporting large, and sometimes oversized loads using webbing straps and rope, these trucks make the process of loading and unloading deliveries time-efficient and convenient.