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The Acronyms of Moving: Explained

  • Sometimes, when you do research about the moving industry, it feels like you’re looking at an endless succession of letters. We're here to break down some of the confusion for you.
  • FMCSA. This stands for Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which is one of the government entities which oversees the moving industry. The FMCSA ensures that your household goods are protected and insured.
  • USDOT. This is the United States Department of Transportation, which also regulates the moving industry. The USDOT is the licensing side, making sure all movers are operating within the law while transporting your goods.
  • PUC. Public Utilities Commission. Sometimes, moving trucks will have PUC number listed near the license plate for additional tracking and verification purposes.
Did You Know

QuestionIn the 20th century, the 1940 film "They Drive by Night" co-starred Humphrey Bogart. He plays an independent driver struggling to becomefinanciallystable andeconomicallyindependent. This is all set during the times of the Great Depression. Yet another film was released in 1941, called "The Gang's All Here". It is a story of a trucking company that'sbeen targeted bysaboteurs.

QuestionThe Federal Bridge Law handles relations between the gross weight of the truck, the number of axles, and the spacing between them. This is how they determine is the truck can be on the Interstate Highway system. Each state gets to decide themaximum, under the Federal Bridge Law. They determine by vehicle in combination with axle weight on state and local roads

QuestionAMSA wanted to help consumers avoid untrustworthy or illegitimate movers. In January 2008, AMSA created the ProMover certification program for its members. As a member, you must have federal interstate operating authority.Members are also required to pass an annual criminal back check,be licensed bythe FMCSA, and agree to abide by ethical standards. This would include honesty in advertising and in business transaction with customers.Each must also sign a contract committing to adhere to applicable Surface Transportation Board and FMCSA regulations. AMSA also takes into consideration and examines ownership. They are very strict, registration with state corporation commissions.This means that the mover must maintain at least a satisfactory rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB).As one can imagine, those that passare authorizedto display the ProMove logo on the websites and in marketing materials.However, those that fail willbe expelledfrom the program (and AMSA) if they cannot correct discrepancies during probation.

Question

The FMCSA has established rules to maintain and regulate the safety of the trucking industry.According to FMCSA rules, driving a goods-carrying CMV more than 11 hours or to drive after having been on duty for 14 hours, is illegal.Due to such heavy driving, they need a break to complete other tasks such as loading and unloading cargo, stopping for gas and other required vehicle inspections, as well as non-working duties such as meal and rest breaks.The 3-hour difference between the 11-hour driving limit and 14 hour on-duty limit gives drivers time to take care of such duties.In addition, after completing an 11 to 14 hour on duty period, the driver muchbe allowed10 hours off-duty.

QuestionIn 1991 the film "Thelma & Louise" premiered,rapidlybecoming a well known movie.Throughout the movie, a dirty and abrasive truck driver harasses the two women during chance encounters.Author Michael Dunne describes this minor character as "fat and ignorant" and "a lustful fool blinded by a delusion of male superiority".Thelma and Louise exact their revenge by feigning interest in him and then blowing up his tanker truck full of gas.

QuestionThe industry intends to both consumers as well as moving companies, this is why there are Ministers of Transportation in the industry. They are there to set and maintain laws and regulations in place to create a safer environment.It offers its members professional service training and states the time that movers have been in existence. It also provides them with federal government representation and statistical industry reporting.Additionally, there are arbitration services for lost or damaged claims, publications, public relations, and annual tariff updates and awards.This site includes articles as well that give some direction, a quarterly data summary, and industry trends.