Intermodal chassis safety rule partially delayed

| 12/21/2009

Just one day after the intermodal chassis rule went into effect, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration delayed a portion of the rule.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration enacted new regulations in late 2008 that were supposed to ensure that truckers were only offered intermodal equipment that was deemed roadworthy. That regulation partially goes into effect, Dec. 17.

If intermodal equipment providers fully comply with the new rule, drivers should be able to take an intermodal chassis from a ready staging area and know that the equipment is roadworthy and compliant with all the equipment regs.

Part of the regulation requires drivers to fill out driver vehicle inspection reports – dubbed DVIRs – on equipment they do a pre-trip inspection on. If the equipment is in need of repair, that is to be noted on that report. If the equipment is in good shape, that too is to be noted.

The regulation that went into effect this past week mandated the record-keeping requirements of the DVIRs.

Intermodal special interest groups petitioned FMCSA for reconsideration of the rule and asked for an extension because the regulation required so many changes to the existing process.

According to a technical amendment obtained by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, FMCSA is going to delay the paperwork portion of the rule until summer 2010.

Joe Rajkovacz, OOIDA director of regulatory affairs, said the delay in collecting reports doesn’t keep intermodal equipment providers from making sure the equipment is roadworthy.

“That part of the regulation is still in effect,” he explained.

He advised truckers who run into an intermodal equipment provider that is chronically offering chassis in need of repair and not roadworthy to call the DOT’s safety hotline, 800-DOT-SAFT  (368-7238).

– By Jami Jones, senior editor