Motor Carrier Safety Administration has extended until April 10,
2003, the comment period on the issue of who bears the responsibility
for inspecting, maintaining and repairing intermodal container
chassis and trailers (Docket Number 98-3635).
In its Jan.
13, 2003, comment to the FMCSA, the Owner-Operator Independent
Drivers Association said it would like to take part in a negotiated
rulemaking to resolve the issue.
vast majority of truckdrivers working out of the sea ports are
owner-operators who own their own tractors and are asked to hook
up to and haul container chassis and trailers that belong to the
water carriers," OOIDA President Jim Johnston said.
equipment sits entirely outside of the owner-operator’s control
until the moment they are assigned a piece of equipment and dispatched.
The income lost, penalties incurred and time wasted by owner-operators
forced to deal with poorly maintained equipment have a serious
impact on their ability to make a living."
an added concern
requested comments on this issue in 1999. However, since September
11, 2001, new concerns have become evident, OOIDA said.
first is the homeland security concern for the origin, content
and custody of shipping containers," Johnston said. "The
other is the proposed limited access of transportation workers
to secure areas of the ports.
of these issues gives greater importance to FMCSA’s efforts. Once
responsibility for the maintenance of intermodal equipment is
clearly established, the agency should have greater confidence
that such equipment will be better maintained."