FMCSA bulletin cautions buses from exceeding tire ratings

By Land Line staff | 8/17/2012

With an uptick in motor coach travel, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued a bulletin urging motor coach companies to refrain from exceeding the tire ratings.

The bulletin comes just two weeks after a deadly bus crash in Illinois on Aug. 2. A motor coach operated by Megabus crashed into an overpass injuring 47 and killing one college student. Authorities believe a tire blew out on the bus causing the crash.

Regulations prohibit motor coaches from exceeding the speed or load capacity.

“A tire on a motor coach loaded beyond its weight rating, operated at highway speeds for a significant period of time, is more likely to overheat and fail, possibly placing the lives of passengers and other motorists at risk,” the bulletin states. “This concern is heightened when motor coaches are operating in the extremely hot temperatures experienced across the Nation this year, as drought and high heat conditions have plagued a large portion of the United States.”

The bulletin closes by stating that if FMCSA determines that motor carriers have violated applicable tire loading restrictions, the agency may declare those carriers and/or their vehicles to be an imminent hazard and, as such, place them immediately out-of-service pursuant.

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