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FMCSA final rule addresses intermodal equipment

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued a final rule requiring intermodal equipment providers to file vehicle identification reports, establish certain maintenance programs, retain documentation of the program, and respond to driver and carrier reports about mechanical defects.

The final rule (49 CFR Parts 385, 386, 390, 392, 393, 396, and Appendix G to Subchapter B of Chapter III) was published in the Federal Register December 17, 2008, and becomes effective June 17, 2009.

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) said in a news release that it supports the FMCSA action: "Enactment of these chassis 'roadability' mandates has been the top priority for ATA’s Intermodal Motor Carriers Conference (IMCC), whose members played a critical role in negotiating and drafting industry consensus legislation that led to the development of these long overdue equipment safety requirements."

The rule requires providers to:

•Establish a systematic inspection, repair, and maintenance program to ensure the safe operating condition of each intermodal container chassis.

•Maintain documentation of the program.

•Display the Department of Transportation number, or other unique identifier, on each intermodal container chassis offered for transportation in interstate commerce.

•Provide a means to effectively respond to driver and motor carrier reports about intermodal container chassis mechanical defects and deficiencies.

•Ensure that intermodal chassis are roadable before the equipment is made available to the driver for transport.

The final rule can be seen in its entirety in the online Federal Register.

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