Questions about Lift Axles, Placards,
Cargo Securement & More Answered by Law
Enforcement Officials (as of August 2011)
Warning: Laws are subject to change without notice.
These interpretations were made on July 11, 2011.
Brought to you as a public service by Ol’ Blue, USA and 10-4.
Submit your questions to www.askthelaw.org
HOPE TO SEE YOU IN DALLAS
Please join us in our Ol’ Blue, USA “Safety Center”® at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas, TX on August 25, 26 & 27. We are pleased to announce that Lt. Monty Kea and his team from the Texas Highway Patrol will be joining us in Dallas again this year. Visit our website at www.safetytour.org for more details.
OPERATING A LIFT AXLE FROM THE CAB
Q: I am in a huge debate with my boss about having the regulator for the tag axle in the cab of dump trucks and can’t find the law that says we cannot have them in the cab. Can you refer me to where I can find this law? Bryan in Wisconsin
A: Provided by Senior Trooper Monty Dial (Ret.), Texas Highway Patrol, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division, Garland, TX: The answer is found in Part 393.207(g). The controls must be located on the trailer, but if the controls are located inside the vehicle, they can’t be operated while moving at a speed of more than 10 mph.
FLATBED CARGO SECUREMENT
Q: Can you hook a chain or binder to the outside of the rub rail? Does the pin on the chain go to the inside or outside of the hook? Can you use anything other than a cotter pin? Jim in Texas
A: Provided by Jim Brokaw, formerly a Staff Sergeant, Nebraska State Patrol, Carrier Enforcement Division, Lincoln, NE: You will find the requirements for cargo securement in 49 CFR Subpart I Sections 393.100-393.136 (Protection Against Shifting and Falling Cargo) – and in Sections 393.116-393.136 (Specific Securement Requirements by Commodity Type). 49 CFR 393.104(c) states: “Vehicle structures, floors, walls, decks, tie-down anchor points, header-boards, bulkheads, stakes, posts, and associated mounting pockets used to contain or secure articles of cargo must be strong enough to meet the performance criteria of 393.102, with no damaged or weakened components, such as, but not limited to, cracks or cuts that will adversely affect their performance for cargo securement purposes, including reducing the working load limit.” Although not recommended, it is permissible to have a tie-down pass over the outside of the rub-rail. However, prior to attaching a chain or binder to the rub-rail itself, you should determine if the manufacturer rates the rub-rail as an approved anchor point. The regulations do not specifically address how hooks are to be attached to a chain; again you will want to refer to the manufacturer’s specifications and recommendations.
PLACARDS ON A CMV
Q: Can I be fined if a placard gets wet and blows off the trailer and then I go through a scale and an officer sees that one placard is missing? Bruce in California
A: Provided by Officer Jaime Nunez, California Highway Patrol, Commercial Vehicle Section, Sacramento, CA: If placards are required, then you must have placards on all four sides of the vehicle or you will be in violation of Title 49 (part 172.504), regardless of the weather conditions. The bail and fine information is available at the individual courts, depending on where the violation actually occurred.
DAC REPORT INFORMATION
Q: How long does information, good or bad, stay on your DAC report? Thank you. David in Michigan
A: Provided by Sgt. Pete Camm (Ret.), California Highway Patrol, Sacramento, CA: According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) website under Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP), your DAC report should contain 5 years of collision (crash) data and 3 years of roadside inspection data. Information on the DAC is from FMCSA’s Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS); it does not include data from court systems.
~ The Ask The Law™ programs are an ongoing educational effort between Ol’ Blue, USA™ and commercial law enforcement agencies. Ol’ Blue, USA is a non-profit organization dedicated to highway safety education and to improving relations between the motoring public, law enforcement and commercial drivers. “Ask The Law” is a registered trademark of Ol’ Blue, USA. This column is copyrighted© by Ol’ Blue, USA. Warning: Laws are subject to change without notice. These interpretations were made on July 11, 2011.