Not every truck carrying tanks of liquid or gas should be considered a “tank truck” and regulated in the same way as a bulk tank-trailer, a trucking group says.
The American Trucking Associations wants federal truck safety regulators to change a new definition that expands the types of vehicles classified as tank trucks. The ATA asked the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to amend a definition adopted last May that includes vehicles “patently not tank trucks.”
That definition could require hundreds of thousands of drivers to apply for special tank truck endorsements. The new definition also doesn’t achieve the benefits envisioned in the initial petition from the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, the trucking association said.
At question are tractors hauling dry van trailers containing empty or filled cylinders and intermediate bulk containers forliquids and gases, the ATA said Feb. 22. Under the new definition, those vehicles are tank trucks, even when the containers are only loaded and shipped once and unloaded with their contents still inside.
The new definition includes all vehicles carrying tanks with more than 1,000 gallons of capacity, whether or not those tanks are temporarily or permanently attached. The definition should be changed to define tank trucks as vehicles with permanently attached tanks with an aggregate capacity of over 1,000 gallons, said the ATA.
Some states are beginning to enforce endorsement requirements for tank trucks on dry van trailers hauling liquid containers, while other states are not as yet.
“This is a substantively complicating factor for commercial drivers, their motor carrier employers, and their customers,” the ATA said in its petition.
Less-than-truckload carriers are particularly hard hit by the new definition, the ATA said, as they don’t always know in advance what shipments they will be moving.
“Available data for just the two largest pickup and delivery firms show that almost 200,000 drivers will be required to acquire tank endorsements,” the group said.