Intermodal chassis owners – not truckers – will stand to incur fines if
the chassis are unsafe under a new FMCSA program – in essence making the
chassis owners responsible.
The announcement appears to reverse a policy released by the FMCSA just
Transportation Norman Y. Mineta said Jan. 26 that the U.S. Department of
Transportation would launch a safety inspection program for intermodal
The program will be modeled on the
current compliance review system for trucks. Chassis providers will be required
to obtain a U.S. DOT number and display it on their chassis so that data can be
captured. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will apply the same
penalty structure and enforcement actions for
equipment, including issuing out-of-service orders and revoking U.S. DOT
numbers when needed.
being hauled by rail and shipping companies are regularly transferred to trucks
before final delivery. The program will provide added oversight to help
ensure that the trailer beds used by truckers to haul cargo containers are
safe, the agency said.
most chassis are not owned by trucking companies and are not included as part
of the existing compliance review process for truck operators. Within the
coming weeks, DOT said it would outline specific details and a timeline for a
notice of proposed rulemaking on the issue.
weeks ago, FMCSA declined to issue a rule on intermodal chassis maintenance. In
a Dec. 31 decision, the agency said that while the trucking industry thought
the matter was a safety issue, there were “no data available to support this
in a Jan. 26 statement, Secretary Mineta said, “Every day millions of dollars
worth of cargo are transferred from ships and rail to trailer beds and hauled
away by trucks. It is essential that we have a full and complete safety program
focused on the trailer beds used to haul cargo containers.”