FMCSA orders certain cargo tanks to be inspected

| Thursday, October 30, 2003


On January 5, 2002, this cargo tank - a DOT specification MC-307/312 - catastrophically failed when the trailer broke in two pieces. This failure occurred in the void area between the first and second tank. The FMCSA is ordering all DOT specification MC-307/312 cargo tanks to be inspected no later than Dec. 31, 2003.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is ordering all DOT specification MC-307/312 cargo tanks to be inspected no later than Dec. 31, 2003. The tanks are joined to form a single trailer using stainless steel tie bands that overlap the adjoining ends.

On Jan. 5, 2002, a tractor pulling this kind of cargo tank catastrophically failed when the trailer broke in two pieces. This failure occurred in the void area between the first and second tank.

All tanks still in service should be inspected no later than Dec. 31, 2003, in accordance with Truck Trailer Manufacturer Association Technical Bulletin TB-121-03, FMCSA said. A Federal Register notice will be issued after Dec. 31, 2003, addressing those tanks that have not yet been inspected.

Meanwhile, FMCSA suggests the following steps be taken prior to the required inspection:

Identify MC 307/312 cargo tanks manufactured prior to January 1983 with designs similar to the tank involved in the incident Jan. 5, 2002.

Locate these tanks and determine the status of each tank (i.e. still in service, removed from service, has been sold, scrapped, etc).

For those tanks no longer in service, gather documentation from the owner of the tank supporting the reasons why the tank is no longer in service.

Inspect those tanks still in service in accordance with TTMA's Technical Bulletin TB-121-03.

The inspection documents should identify the tank; defects discovered, if any, during the inspection process; and, if the tank was returned to service, the methods used to repair the defects.

The inspection documents should be forwarded to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Attention: Hazardous Materials Division, 400 7th Street SW, Suite 8310, Washington, DC 20590