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Trucking abbreviations and acronyms cheat sheet

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Estimated reading time: 2 minutes 

From DOT to OTR and RGN, a lot of abbreviations are used in everyday communication within the trucking industry.  

Since the sheer number of initialisms can be daunting for those new to the industry, we’ve created a cheat sheet for some of the most common trucking abbreviations and acronyms. 

26 common trucking acronyms to know

ABS – Anti-lock Braking System: Electronic safety system designed to improve traction in a hard brake situation. 

APU – Auxiliary Power Unit: A device that provides energy for functions such as climate control in the cab when the engine is off. 

BOL – Bill of Lading: A legal document between a shipper and carrier detailing the type, quantity and destination of the goods being carried. 

CDL – Commercial Driver's License: The type of driver’s license required to operate a commercial motor vehicle of any kind.   

CLP – Commercial Leaner’s Permit: A permit that a driver must get before being granted a CDL. 

CMV – Commercial Motor Vehicle: The standard abbreviation for a commercial truck. Specifically, it refers to vehicles used in commerce, usually for transporting goods or paid passengers. CMVs are defined by factors like weight, passenger capacity and whether they transport hazardous materials. 

CPM – Cents per Mile: A common measurement of pay in the trucking industry. 

CSA – Compliance, Safety, Accountability: A measurement system developed by the FMCSA. The government agency uses it to assess the safety of carriers and drivers. 

DOT – Department of Transportation: The U.S. government department responsible for transportation, infrastructure and policy. 

DVIR – Driver Vehicle Inspection Report: A formal report confirming a driver has thoroughly inspected their commercial motor vehicle before taking it on the road. 

ELD – Electronic Logging Device: A device installed in the cab of a tractor. Drivers use it for communicating, logging hours of service, utilizing navigation, checking workflow, etc. 

ELDT – Entry Level Driver Training: Mandatory training for entry-level drivers before they can get their CDL. 

FMCSA – Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association: An agency of the United States Department of Transportation that regulates the trucking industry. 

FHWA – Federal Highway Administration: An agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation that supports state and local governments in the design, construction and maintenance of the nation's highway system. 

GVW – Gross Vehicle Weight: The total weight of a vehicle and its freight, fuel, passengers and equipment. 

HHMG – Household Movers Guide: One of the most popular standards in transportation to calculate miles between two points as a basis for billed and paid miles. 

HOS – Hours of Service: Regulatory rules for how many hours a driver may drive and/or work. 

LCV – Long Combination Vehicle: A type of truck that includes multiple trailers or semi-trailers. 

LOH – Length of Haul: The distance that a load of freight has to be transported. 

LTL – Less than Truckload: The transportation of freight that doesn’t require a full truckload. 

MVR – Motor Vehicle Record: A report of a person's driving history, often used by potential employers and insurance companies. 

OO – Owner-Operator: Someone who owns their own trucking business and leases it onto a carrier or operates under their own authority. 

OOS – Out of Service: When a driver, truck or carrier is not allowed to operate due to violations of regulations. 

OTR – Over-the-Road: A common abbreviation used to refer to long-haul trucking.  

RGN – Removable Gooseneck: A type of trailer that drivers can use to carry tall or long loads. The gooseneck at the front of the trailer can be removed, allowing the front of the trailer to become a ramp. 

WIM – Weigh-in-Motion: Systems that measure the weight and speed of a moving vehicle. 

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Schneider Guy loves the "Big Orange." He's passionate about the trucking industry and connecting people to rewarding careers within it. He's been the eyes and ears of our company since our founding in 1935, and he's excited to interact with prospective and current Schneider associates through "A Slice of Orange."

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