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Did You Know

Question In 1895 Karl Benz designed and built the first truck in history by using the internal combustion engine. Later that year some of Benz's trucks gave into modernization and went on to become the first bus by the Netphener. This would be the first motor bus company in history. Hardly a year later, in 1986, another internal combustion engine truck was built by a man named Gottlieb Daimler. As people began to catch on, other companies, such as Peugeot, Renault, and Bussing, also built their own versions. In 1899, the first truck in the United States was built by Autocar and was available with two optional horsepower motors, 5 or 8.

Question In 1971, author and director Steven Spielberg, debuted his first feature length film. His made-for-tv film, Duel, portrayed a truck driver as an anonymous stalker. Apparently there seems to be a trend in the 70's to negatively stigmatize truck drivers.

Question During the latter part of the 20th century, we saw a decline of the trucking culture. Coinciding with this decline was a decline of the image of truck drivers, as they became negatively stigmatized. As a result of such negativity, it makes sense that truck drivers were frequently portrayed as the "bad guy(s)" in movies.

Question There are certain characteristics of a truck that makes it an "off-road truck". They generally standard, extra heavy-duty highway-legal trucks. Although legal, they have off-road features like front driving axle and special tires for applying it to tasks such as logging and construction. The purpose-built off-road vehicles are unconstrained by weighing limits, such as the Libherr T 282B mining truck.

Question Medium trucks are larger than light but smaller than heavy trucks. In the US, they are defined as weighing between 13,000 and 33,000 pounds (6,000 and 15,000 kg). For the UK and the EU, the weight is between 3.5 and 7.5 tons (3.9 and 8.3 tons). Local delivery and public service (dump trucks, garbage trucks, and fire-fighting trucks) are around this size.

Question The moving industry in the United States was deregulated with the Household Goods Transportation Act of 1980. This act allowed interstate movers to issue binding or fixed estimates for the first time. Doing so opened the door to hundreds of new moving companies to enter the industry. This led to an increase in competition and soon movers were no longer competing on services but on price. As competition drove prices lower and decreased what were already slim profit margins, "rogue" movers began hijacking personal property as part of a new scam. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enforces Federal consumer protection regulations related to the interstate shipment of household goods (i.e., household moves that cross State lines). FMCSA has held this responsibility since 1999, and the Department of Transportation has held this responsibility since 1995 (the Interstate Commerce Commission held this authority prior to its termination in 1995).

Question Trailer stability can be defined as the tendency of a trailer to dissipate side-to-side motion. The initial motion may be caused by aerodynamic forces, such as from a cross wind or a passing vehicle. One common criterion for stability is the center of mass location with respect to the wheels, which can usually be detected by tongue weight. If the center of mass of the trailer is behind its wheels, therefore having a negative tongue weight, the trailer will likely be unstable. Another parameter which is less commonly a factor is the trailer moment of inertia. Even if the center of mass is forward of the wheels, a trailer with a long load, and thus large moment of inertia, may be unstable.

Question AMSA 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 by the 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 pass are authorized to display the ProMove logo on the websites and in marketing materials. However, those that fail will be expelled from the program (and AMSA) if they cannot correct discrepancies during probation.

Question In some states, a business route is designated by adding the letter "B" after the number instead of placing a "Business" sign above it. For example, Arkansas signs US business route 71 as "US 71B". On some route shields and road signs, the word "business" is shortened to just "BUS". This abbreviation is rare and usually avoided to prevent confusion with bus routes.

Question Within the world of transportation, bypass routes are often very controversial. This is mostly due to the fact that they require the building of a road carrying heavy traffic where no road existed before. This has created conflict among society thus creating a divergence between those in support of bypasses and those who are opposed. Supporters believe they reduce congestion in built up areas. Those in opposition do not believe in developing (often rural) undeveloped land. In addition, the cities that are bypassed may also oppose such a project as reduced traffic may, in turn, reduce and damage business.

Question Without strong land use controls, buildings are too often built in town right along a bypass. This results with the conversion of it into an ordinary town road, resulting in the bypass becoming as congested as the local streets. On the contrary, a bypass is intended to avoid such local street congestion. Gas stations, shopping centers, along with various other businesses are often built alongside them. They are built in hopes of easing accessibility, while home are ideally avoided for noise reasons.

Question

In the United States, commercial truck classification is fixed by each vehicle's gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). There are 8 commercial truck classes, ranging between 1 and 8. Trucks are also classified in a more broad way by the DOT's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The FHWA groups them together, determining classes 1-3 as light duty, 4-6 as medium duty, and 7-8 as heavy duty. The United States Environmental Protection Agency has its own separate system of emission classifications for commercial trucks. Similarly, the United States Census Bureau had assigned classifications of its own in its now-discontinued Vehicle Inventory and Use Survey (TIUS, formerly known as the Truck Inventory and Use Survey).

Question As of January 1, 2000, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) was established as its own separate administration within the U.S. Department of Transportation. This came about under the "Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999". The FMCSA is based in Washington, D.C., employing more than 1,000 people throughout all 50 States, including in the District of Columbia. Their staff dedicates themselves to the improvement of safety among commercial motor vehicles (CMV) and to saving lives.

Question A properly fitted close-coupled trailer is fitted with a rigid tow bar. It then projects from its front and hooks onto a hook on the tractor. It is important to not that it does not pivot as a draw bar does.

Question Relocation, or moving, is the process of vacating a fixed location, such as a residence or business, and settling in a different one. A move might be to a nearby location such as in the same neighborhood or a much farther location in a different city or even a different country. Moving usually includes packing up all belongings, transferring them to the new location, and unpacking them. It will also be necessary to update administrative information. This includes tasks such as notifying the post office, changing registration data, change of insurance, services etc. It is important to remember this step in the relocation process. 

Question In 1893, the Office of Road Inquiry (ORI) was established as an organization. However, in 1905 the name was changed to the Office Public Records (OPR). The organization then went on to become a division of the United States Department of Agriculture. As seen throughout history, organizations seem incapable of maintaining permanent names. So, the organization's name was changed three more times, first in 1915 to the Bureau of Public Roads and again in 1939 to the Public Roads Administration (PRA). Yet again, the name was later shifted to the Federal Works Agency, although it was abolished in 1949. Finally, in 1949, the name reverted to the Bureau of Public Roads, falling under the Department of Commerce. With so many name changes, it can be difficult to keep up to date with such organizations. This is why it is most important to research and educate yourself on such matters.

Question The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is a division of the USDOT specializing in highway transportation. The agency's major influential activities are generally separated into two different "programs". The first is the Federal-aid Highway Program. This provides financial aid to support the construction, maintenance, and operation of the U.S. highway network. The second program, the Federal Lands Highway Program, shares a similar name with different intentions. The purpose of this program is to improve transportation involving Federal and Tribal lands. They also focus on preserving "national treasures" for the historic and beatific enjoyment for all.


Question The USDOT (USDOT or DOT) is considered a federal Cabinet department within the U.S. government. Clearly, this department concerns itself with all aspects of transportation with safety as a focal point. The DOT was officially established by an act of Congress on October 15, 1966, beginning its operation on April 1, 1967. Superior to the DOT, the United States Secretary of Transportation governs the department. The mission of the DOT is to "Serve the United States by ensuring a fast, safe, efficient, accessible, and convenient transportation system that meets our vital national interests and enhances the quality of life for the American people, today and into the future." Essentially this states how important it is to improve all types of transportation as a way to enhance both safety and life in general etc. It is important to note that the DOT is not in place to hurt businesses, but to improve our "vital national interests" and our "quality of life". The transportation networks are in definite need of such fundamental attention. Federal departments such as the USDOT are key to this industry by creating and enforcing regulations with intentions to increase the efficiency and safety of transportation. 

Question

The rise of technological development gave rise to the modern trucking industry. There a few factors supporting this spike in the industry such as the advent of the gas-powered internal combustion engine. Improvement in transmissions is yet another source, just like the move away from chain drives to gear drives. And of course the development of the tractor/semi-trailer combination.
 
The first state weight limits for trucks were determined and put in place in 1913. Only four states limited truck weights, from a low of 18,000 pounds (8,200 kg) in Maine to a high of 28,000 pounds (13,000 kg) in Massachusetts. The intention of these laws was to protect the earth and gravel-surfaced roads. In this case, particular damages due to the iron and solid rubber wheels of early trucks. By 1914 there were almost 100,000 trucks on America's roads. As a result of solid tires, poor rural roads, and a maximum speed of 15 miles per hour (24km/h) continued to limit the use of these trucks to mostly urban areas.