The DOT Doctor’s Blog

December 17, 2008

FMCSA Issues Rule to Improve the Safety of Equipment Used in the Transportation of Intermodal Containers

Filed under: Uncategorized — dotdoctor @ 1:45 pm
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The chassises used for hauling these containers have been in rough condition. Lights did not work. Tires were poor. They were a rolling advertisement for road un-safety. These rolling road hazards were allowed on our highways until just a few years ago when responsibility for the chassis was being passed onto the motor carrier. This helped as many companies invested into their own chassises for transportion of the ocean containers. Due to this change, most of us have noticed a large introduction of new chassises on the roadway and in the ports. This was a costly but nice change. Personally, I always felt placing this on the motor carrier was wrong.

This new ruling shares the responsibility between the intermodal equipment provider, motor carrier and driver. Since all are responsible, in their own aspect, for highway safety; this may be a more fair method of distributing responsibility.

…but for the Port workers who carry these containers for a living, I have to wonder if this increased responsibility along with the current Clean Air rules at the Ports in Southern CA will not have an adverse effect on the industry. Let’s see what 2009 brings!

FMCSA Issues Rule to Improve the Safety of Equipment Used in the Transportation of Intermodal Containers

WASHINGTON—New rules issued today will significantly strengthen safety requirements for intermodal container chassis, the special trailers that hold cargo containers when they are transferred from ship or rail to truck for final delivery, announced John H. Hill, administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

“We want to ensure that every piece of equipment traveling on our highways is operating safely,” said FMCSA Administrator John H. Hill. “These new rules will bring new safety and enforcement focus on the chassis and equipment used to haul goods on our nation’s roads every day,” Hill said.

The new regulations make intermodal equipment providers subject to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) for the first time, and establish shared safety responsibility among intermodal equipment providers, motor carriers, and drivers.

Beginning in December 2009, intermodal equipment providers must have in effect regular and systematic inspection, repair, and maintenance programs for intermodal chassis; they will also need to track defects reported and repairs made. By December 2010, each intermodal provider is required to identify its equipment with a USDOT number. FMCSA’s final rule also outlines inspection requirements for motor carriers and drivers operating intermodal equipment.

Intermodal equipment providers will be subject to on-site reviews to ensure compliance with the new rules. Penalties for violating these rules range from civil fines to a prohibition on providing or operating intermodal equipment found to pose an imminent hazard.

The final rule on this Intermodal Chassis is available for review at

FMCSA Toughens Safety Requirements for New Commerical Truck and Bus Companies

Filed under: Uncategorized — dotdoctor @ 12:51 pm
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Yesterday the FMCSA announced tougher requirements for New DOT number recipients. The idea is to help increase road safety and awareness. What many new DOT number recipients do not understand is that this FULL set of rules applies to trucking companies of all sizes. The government makes no distinction between a one truck fleet and a million truck fleet. Make sure you know the rules and are complaint. The DOT Doctor can help! With our New Business Set up Package we apply for and obtain your DOT number for you. Then for the first year we take care of all your compliance needs. This includes your Form 2290s, IFTA quarterly filings, UCR filing, logbook auditing, writing a DOT Compliant safety plan and much, much more. Check it out today – Sign up before the end of the year to receive a 10% discount on your order.

FMCSA 10-08
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Contact: Kristin Schrader
Tel.: (202) 366-9999 or (202) 366-2309

FMCSA Toughens Safety Requirements for New Commercial Truck and Bus Companies

WASHINGTON—The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced a new rule to place stricter safety requirements on all newly registered trucking and bus companies. This final rule raises the compliance standards for passing new entrant safety audits, while ensuring that safety deficiencies are corrected before a new motor carrier is granted permanent registration with the agency.

“These more stringent safety requirements are meant to help new carriers succeed at establishing and maintaining a comprehensive safety management program,” said FMCSA Administrator John H. Hill. “Imposing these tougher standards will ensure that new entrants are fully aware and compliant with federal safety regulations aiding in the continued reduction of highway crashes and fatalities on our nation’s highways.”

The final rule issued by the FMCSA establishes that a newly registered trucking or bus company will automatically fail its safety audit if it violates any one of 16 essential federal regulations during the 18-month safety monitoring period. These essential regulations cover controlled substances and alcohol testing, hours-of-service, driver qualifications, vehicle condition, and carrier financial responsibility.
If a company fails its new entrant safety audit, it may result in revocation of a carrier’s registration with the agency, unless the carrier takes necessary corrective action within a specified time period established by FMCSA.

The rule would also require that if during the 18-month safety monitoring period, certain violations are discovered during roadside inspections, the new entrant may be subjected to a new entrant expedited safety audit or in the case of serious safety violations, a more comprehensive compliance review, which can result in fines and penalties. The carrier may also be required to submit a written corrective action plan explaining in detail how the carrier will achieve compliance with the safety rules and improve its safety performance.
The final rule on the New Entrant Safety Assurance Process is available for review on the FMCSA Web site in Rules and Regulations.

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