Trucking Terms 101

Trucking Terms 101

Understanding common trucking terminology is essential for anyone in the trucking industry. For starters, you should familiarize yourself with the basics such as CDL, which stands for Commercial Driver's License and is required to qualify for positions involving hazardous materials or vehicles weighing over certain limits.

Furthermore, you should learn about DOT regulations, which are state and federal laws that govern safety practices such as length of drive times and vehicle inspections. Additionally, be aware of backhauling terminology; this describes when a truck returns empty after delivering goods instead of being loaded with related cargo.

Lastly, self-contained freight is freight that requires smaller vehicles than typical semi-trailers because it contains additional items to support its delivery process like refrigeration or packaging supplies. Becoming knowledgeable of terms like these can help prepare you for any challenges faced while in the trucking industry.

Elephant Race

When truckers spot another large commercial vehicle, the challenge often arises to see who can speed past the other first. However, this risk taking behavior is extremely hazardous for all those on the roads and should be discouraged.

Not only are these sorts of trucking "elephant races" dangerous for truckers themselves, but also for other motorists as well as innocent pedestrians who could get caught up in an accident caused by such reckless driving. It's important to remember that critical safety regulations exist to keep our roads safe; these antics should not be tolerated and failing to comply with traffic laws puts everyone at risk.


Jackknifing is an event that occurs when a trailer, towed by a vehicle such as a truck, suddenly folds in upon itself at the point where it is connected to the vehicle. It usually occurs when the vehicle tows too quickly into a sharp bend, suddenly bringing the rear of the trailer up against its own connection point with the vehicle.

The effects of jackknifing can be disastrous if other vehicles are in close proximity to the scene. As well as causing damage to both vehicles and their cargo, it can potentially lead to serious injury or even fatality for people nearby. It's important for any individual who operates such combination vehicles to understand how best to maintain control during tight turns and maneuvers or else risk creating hazardous situations on the road.


A commercial truck rollover accident is a catastrophic incident in which a large, commercial vehicle loses its balance and tips onto its side or roof. It can be caused by inclement weather, unsafe driver behavior such as distracted driving or excessively sharp turns, or improperly loaded cargo that shifts the truck's center of gravity.

While any type of vehicle accident can have devastating consequences, rollovers involving commercial trucks pose significant risks to nearby vehicles and people due to the amount of force they release upon impact. Unfortunately, most rollover accidents result in serious injuries or fatalities due to their severity.

Therefore, it is essential for drivers of commercial trucks to practice safety as well as caution and defensive driving in order to minimize the chances of a rollover occurring.

The Barrera Law Firm, PLLC is here to help you after a trucking accident. Call us today at (571) 290-2390!