The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on December 21, 2006 that would give intermodal equipment providers (IEP) more responsibility for insuring that their container chassis are properly maintained. The notice is unprecedented in that it would for the first time make IEPs subject to federal motor carrier safety regulations.
Under the proposed rulemaking, IEPs would be required to register FMCSA and file an Intermodal Equipment Provider Identification Report and display the USDOT Number or any other unique identifier on each intermodal container chassis used in interstate commerce. IEPs would also be required to establish a systematic inspection, repair and maintenance program; maintain the documentation for the program; and provide a means to “effectively respond” to driver and motor carrier complaints on unsafe containers.
In addition, the agency is proposing further inspection requirements for motor carriers and drivers operating intermodal equipment.
By ensuring that intermodal equipment is safe and properly maintained, FMCSA hopes to contribute to safer motor carrier operations.
The Federal Highway Administration issued the first rulemaking on this matter in February 1999, following a petition filed by the American Trucking Assns. (ATA). ATA had complained that rail carriers, ocean carriers and other entities offering container chassis for interstate transport frequently fail to ensure the container chassis are in safe and proper operating condition.
“This rule would hold the appropriate people responsible for the safety and maintenance of intermodal chassis,” said FMCSA Administrator John H. Hill.
More information on the rule is available at the Federal Register.