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Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Dealers Choice Truckaway System, Inc. Exemption Application

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Trucking Topics:  Dealers Choice Truckaway System

Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Dealers Choice Truckaway System, Inc. Exemption Application

T.F. Scott Darling, III
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
February 11, 2015


[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 28 (Wednesday, February 11, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 7675-7677]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-02811]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2014-0335]


Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Dealers 
Choice Truckaway System, Inc. Exemption Application

AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of final disposition.

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[[Page 7676]]

SUMMARY: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) 
announces its decision to grant Dealers Choice Truckaway System, Inc.'s 
(Truckmovers) exemption application to allow the use of ultra-high-
molecular-weight polyethylene blocks to build up the height of the 
front end of towed vehicles in driveaway-towaway operations. The 
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) permit the use of 
``hardwood blocks of good quality'' for this purpose, but the use of 
materials other than hardwood blocks is not addressed. FMCSA believes 
the use of ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene plastic blocks will 
maintain a level of safety that is equivalent to the level of safety 
achieved without the exemption. While the Truckmovers exemption 
application requested relief for an estimated 250 drivers and CMVs, the 
Agency has decided that it is appropriate to extend the scope of the 
exemption to allow any motor carrier to use ultra-high-molecular-weight 
polyethylene support blocks in lieu of hardwood blocks.

DATES: This exemption is effective February 11, 2015 and ending 
February 13, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Mike Huntley, Vehicle and Roadside 
Operations Division, Office of Carrier, Driver, and Vehicle Safety, MC-
PSV, (202) 366-5370, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 1200 
New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments submitted to notice requesting public comments on the 
exemption application, go to www.regulations.gov at any time or visit 
Room W12-140 on the ground level of the West Building, 1200 New Jersey 
Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday 
through Friday, except Federal holidays. The on-line Federal document 
management system is available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. 
The docket number is listed at the beginning of this notice.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    FMCSA has authority under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315 to grant 
exemptions from certain parts of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety 
Regulations. FMCSA must publish a notice of each exemption request in 
the Federal Register (49 CFR 381.315(a)). The Agency must provide the 
public an opportunity to inspect the information relevant to the 
application, including any safety analyses that have been conducted. 
The Agency must also provide an opportunity for public comment on the 
request.
    The Agency reviews safety analyses and public comments submitted, 
and determines whether granting the exemption would likely achieve a 
level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be 
achieved by the current regulation (49 CFR 381.305). The decision of 
the Agency must be published in the Federal Register (49 CFR 
381.315(b)) with the reasons for denying or granting the application 
and, if granted, the name of the person or class of persons receiving 
the exemption, and the regulatory provision from which the exemption is 
granted. The notice must also specify the effective period and explain 
the terms and conditions of the exemption. The exemption may be renewed 
(49 CFR 381.300(b)).

Truckmovers Application for Exemption

    Truckmovers applied for an exemption from 49 CFR 393.71(k)(4) to 
allow the use of ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene support 
blocks in lieu of hardwood blocks to increase the height of a towed 
vehicle in driveaway-towaway operations. A copy of the application is 
included in the docket referenced at the beginning of this notice.
    In its application, Truckmovers states that without the proposed 
exemption it will not be able to utilize ultra-high-molecular-weight 
polyethylene support blocks because 49 CFR 393.71(k)(4) specifically 
requires the use of hardwood blocks to build up the height of the front 
end of a towed vehicle in driveaway-towaway operations. Truckmovers 
provided information regarding the development of ultra-high-molecular-
weight polyethylene blocks with a compression rating of 3,300 psi, 
which can withstand extreme heat and cold. These blocks are not 
susceptible to decomposition and erosion like wood blocks, allowing for 
their re-use. The high compression strength of the ultra-high-
molecular-weight polyethylene makes the blocks resistant to deformation 
under loading when secured with cargo securement devices, while wood 
can be compressed as a result of over-tightening of the cargo 
securement devices, and can crack and become loose in transit. For the 
reasons stated above, Truckmovers requests that its operators be 
permitted to use the ultra-high molecular polyethylene support blocks 
to increase the height of a towed vehicle in driveaway-towaway 
operations, instead of utilizing hardwood blocks as specified in the 
current regulation. Truckmovers believes that the use of ultra-high-
molecular-weight polyethylene plastic blocks, in lieu of hardwood 
support blocks, will maintain a level of safety that is equivalent to 
the level of safety achieved without the exemption.

Comments

    FMCSA published a notice of the application in the Federal Register 
on October 8, 2014, and asked for public comment (79 FR 60891). No 
comments were received.

FMCSA Decision

    The FMCSA has evaluated the Truckmovers exemption application. The 
Agency believes that granting the temporary exemption to allow the use 
of ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene support blocks in lieu of 
hardwood blocks to increase the height of a towed vehicle in driveaway-
towaway operations will provide a level of safety that is equivalent 
to, or greater than the level of safety achieved without the exemption. 
FMCSA agrees that ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene blocks will 
be less susceptible to material degradation than hardwood blocks, and 
that the use of these plastic blocks will help ensure that the towed 
vehicle will remain secure within the saddle mounts and will prevent 
shifting while in transit. While the Truckmovers exemption application 
requested relief for an estimated 250 drivers and CMVs, the Agency has 
decided that it is appropriate to extend the scope of the exemption to 
allow any motor carrier to use ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene 
support blocks in lieu of hardwood blocks to increase the height of a 
towed vehicle in driveaway-towaway operations.

Terms and Conditions for the Exemption

    The Agency hereby grants the exemption for a two-year period, 
beginning February 11, 2015 and ending February 13, 2017. Any motor 
carrier that experiences a failure of the ultra-high-molecular-weight 
polyethylene support blocks must report the incident to FMCSA's Vehicle 
and Roadside Operations Division, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, Washington, 
DC 20590. The report must include information about the size of the 
support block and the weight upon the support block at the time the 
block was damaged. This information will enable FMCSA to gather 
information about the real-world experiences of carriers in using 
ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene support blocks.

[[Page 7677]]

    The exemption will be valid for two years unless rescinded earlier 
by FMCSA. The exemption will be rescinded if: (1) Motor carriers and/or 
commercial motor vehicles fail to comply with the terms and conditions 
of the exemption; (2) the exemption has resulted in a lower level of 
safety than was maintained before it was granted; or (3) continuation 
of the exemption would not be consistent with the goals and objectives 
of 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b).
    Interested parties possessing information that would demonstrate 
that motor carriers using the plastic support blocks are not achieving 
the requisite statutory level of safety should immediately notify 
FMCSA. The Agency will evaluate any such information and, if safety is 
being compromised or if the continuation of the exemption is not 
consistent with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b), will take immediate 
steps to revoke the exemption.

Preemption

    During the period the exemption is in effect, no State shall 
enforce any law or regulation that conflicts with or is inconsistent 
with this exemption with respect to a person operating under the 
exemption.

    Issued on: January 30, 2015.
T.F. Scott Darling, III,
 Acting Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2015-02811 Filed 2-10-15; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P

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