Requirements for Intermodal Equipment Providers and Motor Carriers and Drivers Operating Intermodal Equipment
FMCSA proposes regulations for entities offering intermodal chassis to motor carriers for transportation of intermodal containers in interstate commerce. As mandated by section 4118 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), this rulemaking would require intermodal equipment providers (IEPs) to register and file with FMCSA an Intermodal Equipment Provider Identification Report (Form MCS-150C); display the USDOT Number, or other unique identifier, on each intermodal container chassis offered for transportation in interstate commerce; establish a systematic inspection, repair, and maintenance program to ensure the safe operating condition of each intermodal container chassis; maintain documentation of the program; and provide a means to effectively respond to driver and motor carrier reports about intermodal container chassis mechanical defects and deficiencies. The proposed regulations would for the first time make IEPs subject to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). The agency is also proposing additional inspection requirements for motor carriers and drivers operating intermodal equipment. The intent of this rulemaking is to ensure that intermodal equipment used to transport intermodal containers is safe and systematically maintained. Improved maintenance is expected to result in fewer out-of-service orders and highway breakdowns involving intermodal chassis and improved efficiency of the Nation's intermodal transportation system. To whatever extent inadequately maintained intermodal chassis are responsible for, or contribute to, crashes, this proposal would also help to ensure that commercial motor vehicle (CMV) operations are safer.
New Entrant Safety Assurance Process
FMCSA proposes changes to the New Entrant Safety Assurance Process that would raise the standard of compliance for passing the new entrant safety audit. The agency has identified 11 regulations that it believes are essential elements of basic safety management controls necessary to operate in interstate commerce and proposes that failure to comply with any one of the 11 regulations would result in automatic failure of the audit. Under this proposal, carriers would also be subject to the current safety audit evaluation criteria in Appendix A of part 385. Additionally, if a roadside inspection discloses certain violations, the new entrant would be subject to expedited actions to correct these deficiencies. The agency proposes to eliminate Form MCS- 150ASafety Certification for Application for USDOT Number. The agency also intends to check compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and certain household goods-related requirements in the new entrant safety audit, if they apply to the new entrant's operation. However, failure to comply with these requirements would not impact the outcome of the safety audit. These changes would not impose additional operational requirements on any new entrant carrier. All new entrants would continue to receive educational information on how to comply with the safety regulations and be given an opportunity to correct any deficiencies found. FMCSA recognizes many new entrants are small businesses that are unaware of these requirements and continue to need the agency's assistance. Finally, FMCSA would make clarifying changes to some of the existing new entrant regulations and establish a separate new entrant application procedure and safety oversight program for non-North America-domiciled motor carriers. FMCSA believes this proposal would improve its ability to identify at-risk new entrant carriers and ensure deficiencies in basic safety management controls are corrected before the new entrant is granted permanent registration.