OOS changes
New rule gives clear directive on trucks without authority

By Terry Scruton
Senior Writer

There is finally an out-of-service rule that gives states direction on how to deal with errant foreign trucks.

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance has made changes to its North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria that cover any truck – foreign or domestic – that is being operated without authority or outside the scope of its authority.

For years, state inspectors have had no clear directive on what they should do when they stop trucks – particularly foreign-based trucks – that don’t have long-haul authority. Often those trucks stayed in operation because inspectors did not have a specific mechanism to put them out-of-service.

Rick Craig, OOIDA’s director of regulatory affairs, said the new OOS criteria include language that gives inspectors who find vehicles without operating authority the ability to place those vehicles out of service until proper operating authority is obtained.

Craig said this new language closes a loophole in the old regulations, because in the past not having proper authority was not considered an imminent safety hazard, which is what the out-of-service criteria were based on.

A Department of Transportation report issued earlier this year found that several states – including Florida and Indiana – were not enforcing the out-of-service rule for Mexican trucks because nobody had any idea how to do it.