Questions about Blown-Out Tires, Straps, King Pin Laws & More Answered by Law Enforcement Officials (as of September 2015)
Warning: Laws are subject to change without notice.
These interpretations were made on August 14, 2015.
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LOGBOOK PAGE SEIZED BY OFFICER
Q: I had forgotten to bring my logbook current and got pulled over for speeding. When cited, the officer tore out that day’s original page from my logbook and kept it. Is it legal to confiscate a legal document without a warrant? Thanks – Brian in Arizona
A: Provided by Sgt. Pete Camm (Ret.), California Highway Patrol, Sacramento, CA: The answer to your question is yes. Under the Best Evidence Rule, officers are allowed to confiscate the original page or pages of your logbook when issuing a citation, with no warrant required. A Record of Duty Status (RODS) is specifically required to be possessed, kept up to current status and required to be presented to enforcement, by a driver. FMCSA interpretation 395.8 says: “Question 9: May a duplicate copy of a record of duty status be submitted if an original was seized by an enforcement official? Guidance: A driver must prepare a second original record of duty status to replace any page taken by an enforcement official. The driver should note that the first original had been taken by an enforcement official and the circumstances under which it was taken.”
DRIVING ON A BLOWN-OUT TRAILER TIRE
Q: One of our trailers recently blew a right outside tire. The driver called dispatch and, since he was only a few miles away, was told to go to the shop. The driver got off the interstate so he could operate at a lower speed. Less than a mile from the shop, the driver was stopped. He told the officer he knew the tire was flat and pointed to the shop within sight. The officer put him out of service. Can I challenge this OOS, which earns us (the carrier) and the driver 10 points on our CSA 2010 score? Thanks – Kathy in Iowa
A: Provided by Jim Brokaw, formerly a Staff Sergeant, Nebraska State Patrol, Carrier Enforcement Division, Lincoln, NE: You can file a Data Q with the FMCSA on their website to challenge this Out of Service, but quite honestly, I doubt if you’ll be successful. Operating a CMV on a blown out tire (regardless of how far) is a violation of 49 CFR 393.75(a)(3). Although I know this is hindsight now, your dispatcher should have had someone from the shop go out to the truck. The blown tire should have been replaced with a spare as soon as the driver discovered it. In the case of dual wheels, it’s also permissible to single out the duals by taking the blown tire off and running on just the inside wheel and tire, provided you don’t exceed the weight rating of the single tire.
KINGPIN RULE FOR AUTO HAULERS IN CA
Q: I was told that if I had a stepdeck longer than 48 feet with a beavertail and ramps, this would classify it as an auto hauler trailer and make it not subject to the California kingpin to rear axle (KPRA) law. Is this true, and if so, with the ramps flipped up, can I haul a forty-foot container with the back sitting on the ramps? Thank you in advance for your help – Kurtis in Illinois
A: Provided by Officer Jaime Nunez, California Highway Patrol, Commercial Vehicle Section, Sacramento, CA: Section 35400 of the California Vehicle Code prohibits any vehicle from exceeding a length of 40 feet. However, a trailer may exceed 40 feet in length provided the KPRA does not exceed 40 feet. Currently, there is no exemption from the KPRA requirement for trailers measuring over 40 feet in length; therefore, you are subject to the California KPRA law. A 40-foot container may be transported on your trailer provided it is loaded and secured in accordance with the federal loading regulations as found in Part 393.126 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.
SECURING THAT EXCESS STRAP
Q: When securing a low load with 4-inch straps, there is 8 or 10 feet of extra strap. One driver says I should pull the entire length of the strap through the winch before folding up the excess strap and tightening, while another one says it is okay to fold the strap and feed the folded end through the winch 6 or 8 inches then tighten. Which is correct? Thanks – Jared in Utah
A: Provided by Senior Trooper Monty Dial (Ret.), Texas Highway Patrol, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division, Garland, TX: There is nothing in Part 393.100 through 136 that addresses how extra strap lengths must be secured. I’ve seen many ways drivers have used to secure the extra strap, none of which were right or wrong. The only thing I would caution you is to make sure the extra strap is secured to prevent it from being damaged, thus resulting in a violation of Part 393.104, if it is being used to secure the load.
~ 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 August 14, 2015.