Home Page About Us Contribute




Escort, Inc.



Tweets by @CrittendenAuto






By accessing/using The Crittenden Automotive Library/CarsAndRacingStuff.com, you signify your agreement with the Terms of Use on our Legal Information page. Our Privacy Policy is also available there.

Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Agricultural and Food Transporters Conference of American Trucking Associations Application for Exemption

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Trucking Topics:  American Trucking Associations

Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Agricultural and Food Transporters Conference of American Trucking Associations Application for Exemption

Raymond P. Martinez
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
15 April 2019


[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 72 (Monday, April 15, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 15279-15282]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-07437]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2017-0319]


Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Agricultural 
and Food Transporters Conference of American Trucking Associations 
Application for Exemption

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

ACTION: Notice of final disposition; grant of application for 
exemption.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) 
announces its decision to grant a limited 5-year exemption to the 
Agricultural and Food Transporters Conference (AFTC) of American 
Trucking Associations (ATA) to allow certain alternate methods for the 
securement of agricultural commodities transported in wood and plastic 
boxes and bins and large fiberglass tubs, as well as hay, straw, and 
cotton bales that are grouped together into large singular units. The 
Agency has determined that the use of certain alternate cargo 
securement methods will likely maintain a level of safety that is 
equivalent to, or greater than the level of safety achieved without the 
exemption. This conclusion is based on the results of a comprehensive 
test program conducted by FMCSA in collaboration with the California 
Highway Patrol (CHP), the California Department of Food and Agriculture 
and the California Trucking Association.

DATES: This exemption is effective April 15, 2019 and ending April 15, 
2024.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Luke W. Loy, Vehicle and Roadside 
Operations Division, Office of Carrier, Driver, and Vehicle Safety, MC-
PSV, (202) 366-0676, 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:

[[Page 15280]]

Background

    Under 49 CFR part 381, FMCSA has authority to grant exemptions from 
some of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). Pursuant 
to 49 CFR 381.315(a), FMCSA must publish a notice of each exemption 
request in the Federal Register. The Agency must provide the public 
with 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 the safety analyses and the public comments 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)). If the Agency denies the request, it must state the reason 
for doing so. If the decision is to grant the exemption, the notice 
must specify the person or class of persons receiving the exemption and 
the regulatory provision or provisions from which an exemption is 
granted. The notice must specify the effective period of the exemption 
(up to 5 years) and explain its terms and conditions. The exemption may 
be renewed (49 CFR 381.315(c) and 49 CFR 381.300(b)).

AFTC's Application for Exemption

    AFTC applied for an exemption from 49 CFR 393.102, 393.106, 
393.110, and 393.114 to allow alternate methods for the securement of 
(1) agricultural commodities transported in wood and plastic boxes and 
bins and large fiberglass tubs, and (2) hay, straw, and cotton bales 
that are grouped together into large singular units. A copy of the 
application is included in the docket referenced at the beginning of 
this notice.
    AFTC states that ``For the past several years, Agricultural haulers 
in California have been utilizing annual exemptions granted by the CHP 
to continue to allow the use of previously existing cargo securement 
methods for hauling agricultural products. The California annual 
exemptions were granted because the strict application of the cargo 
securement requirements that FMCSA identified in a Final Rule in 2002 
and became effective in 2004 would have resulted in a less secure 
agricultural commodity cargo securement environment.''
    In support of its application, AFTC states that ``We are requesting 
this exemption after the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration 
(FMCSA) performed testing and evaluation of various methods utilized in 
securing a wide variety of agricultural products for transport that 
occurred in 2007 and 2008. Many cargo securement methods were tested 
including those used to secure plastic and wood bins, large fiberglass 
tubs, and hay and cotton bales. The study with FMCSA was a 
collaborative effort with the California Highway Patrol, California 
Department of Food and Agriculture, California Trucking Association and 
several of our carrier members.'' A copy of the draft report has been 
included in the docket at the beginning of this notice.
    AFTC notes that the requested alternate securement methods for 
boxes, bins, and tubs are intended to apply only to the transportation 
of agricultural products from the field or storage to the first point 
of processing and the return or delivery of empty containers to field 
or storage location. Additionally, loads transported in vans or that 
are contained on four sides by racks, or for other than agricultural 
operation as described above must be transported in accordance with the 
general cargo securement rules of Sec. Sec.  393.100-393.114. AFTC 
states ``The reason for the requested variances is because these 
agricultural commodities are `grouped' into larger singular `units' and 
these larger grouped units of cargo behave differently when tested to 
the performance requirements under 49 CFR 393.102.''
    Without the proposed exemption, AFTC states that commercial motor 
vehicle operators nationwide would not be allowed to use the 
alternative cargo securement techniques that have been tested by the 
John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center (Volpe) in 
cooperation with FMCSA and the California Highway Patrol, and that 
carriers in California would continue to request to operate under cargo 
securement exemptions from California that require less cargo 
securement than that proposed under the requested FMCSA exemption.
    The exemption would apply to all CMV operators nationwide that 
transport agricultural commodities in interstate commerce as described 
in the attachment to the exemption application which is available in 
the docket noted at the beginning of this document. Further AFTC notes 
that granting the exemption ``will provide an increased level of safety 
as the alternate securement methods require more cargo securement than 
is currently required under the California exemptions the industry has 
been operating under for the past few years.''

Comments

    FMCSA published a notice of the application in the Federal Register 
on January 5, 2018, and asked for public comment (82 FR 28930). No 
comments were received.

Background of Regulations

    On September 27, 2002, FMCSA published new cargo securement rules 
(67 FR 61212). The rules were based on the North American Cargo 
Securement Standard Model Regulation, reflecting (1) the results of a 
multi-year research program to evaluate U.S. and Canadian cargo 
securement regulations; (2) the motor carrier industry's best 
practices; and (3) recommendations presented during a series of public 
meetings involving U.S. and Canadian industry experts, Federal, State, 
and Provincial enforcement officials, and other interested parties. 
Motor carriers were required to comply with the new requirements 
beginning January 1, 2004.
    The cargo securement rules include general securement rules 
applicable to all types of articles or cargo, with certain exceptions 
(Sec. Sec.  393.100-393.114), and commodity-specific rules for cargoes 
that require specialized means of securement (Sec. Sec.  393.116-
393.136). The commodity-specific requirements take precedence over the 
general rules for a commodity listed in those sections. This means all 
cargo securement systems must meet the general requirements, except to 
the extent a commodity-specific rule imposes additional requirements 
that prescribe in more detail the securement method to be used. 
Specifically with respect to AFTC's exemption application, there are no 
commodity-specific rules applicable to the transportation of (1) 
agricultural commodities transported in wood and plastic boxes and bins 
and large fiberglass tubs, or (2) hay, straw, and cotton bales that are 
grouped together into large singular units.

Overview of Testing

    In response to concerns raised by shippers of agricultural 
commodities, FMCSA contracted with Volpe to develop a detailed test 
plan to determine if use of current State regulations and industry best 
practices are capable of meeting the minimum performance criteria of 
FMCSA's September 2002 cargo securement final rule for the 
transportation of agricultural commodities and protection against 
shifting and falling agricultural cargo. Volpe conducted a nationwide 
review of State regulations and industry practices

[[Page 15281]]

related to the transportation of fruits, vegetables, nuts, baled hay 
and straw, and other agricultural commodities by CMVs engaged in 
interstate and intrastate commerce. Most information was gathered from 
commercial agricultural commodity transport operations in California, 
Washington, Nevada, and New Mexico, and sources contacted included 
State farm bureaus, trucking associations, and State law enforcement 
agencies.
    On September 12-14, 2007, representatives from FMCSA and Volpe 
conducted site visits in California to inspect a variety of 
agricultural securement methods and gather firsthand information on how 
certain commodities are transported from the field to the processing 
plant. State and industry representatives contacted included the 
California Department of Food and Agriculture, the CHP, local farmers, 
and trucking companies. A series of full-scale tests was performed at 
the California Highway Patrol (CHP) Academy in West Sacramento between 
October 30, 2007, and November 8, 2007, to determine the adequacy of 
current industry practices when compared with the FMCSA cargo 
securement regulations. Existing State regulations and industry 
transportation methods were reviewed and tests were conducted 
simulating the minimum longitudinal and lateral acceleration and 
deceleration cargo securement performance requirements. Cargo 
securement methods were tested on plastic bins, wooden bins, fiberglass 
tomato tubs, small and big bales of hay, and cotton bales.
    The testing of the cargo securement systems was done by lifting a 
semitrailer to simulate the g forces that act on the cargo when the 
vehicle suddenly accelerates or decelerates or the lateral forces 
acting on the cargo when the trailer goes around a curve. Commercial 
semitrailers and semitrailers with converter dollies were used for each 
cargo securement method tested. The tests were conducted to compare the 
performance of the different securement methods with the minimum 
performance criteria identified in Sec. Sec.  393.102(a)(1) and 
393.102(a)(2) of the FMCSRs. During testing, strain-gauge-based load 
cells were installed to provide data on the loads applied to the cargo 
securement devices. An accelerometer was used to measure the angle to 
which each trailer was raised during test lifts. The load cells and 
accelerometer data output from each test configuration were recorded on 
a laptop computer. Three types of full-scale securement tests were 
performed with plastic and wooden fruit bins, tomato tubs, and cotton 
and hay bales to determine (1) coefficient of friction, (2) securement 
device tension, and (3) longitudinal and lateral acceleration and 
longitudinal deceleration.
    A summary of the findings of the testing is provided as follows:
     The industry standard agricultural commodity cargo 
securement practices are effective in ``unitizing'' the individual 
components (hay bales, plastic/wood bins, cotton bales) into a single 
``unit'' of cargo. The addition of welded or bolted blocking at the 
front of the trailer to inhibit the sudden movement of the ``unitized'' 
cargo during a hard brake application appears to be highly effective 
for plastic and wooden bins. The addition of a lateral cargo securement 
device generated significant improvement in the longitudinal and 
lateral cargo securement testing for maintaining the cargo on the 
trailer.
     The best method for securing agricultural commodities 
hauled in plastic bins involves utilizing a combination of perimeter 3/
8-inch wire rope tiedowns (previous industry standard practice) 
combined with corner irons, and in specific conditions lateral cargo 
securement devices were included to control lateral movement of the 
cargo.
     The corner irons and wire rope technique serves to unitize 
the bins and reduce their movement as individual units. Additional 
blocking consisting of 2.5-inch angle iron secured with four 9/16-inch 
Grade 8 bolts was evaluated during testing to restrict movement of the 
cargo during longitudinal testing. Equivalent blocking techniques 
utilizing welding of blocking bars, or bars secured in stake pockets 
should be considered equally effective.
     The addition of lateral cargo securement devices is 
necessary to minimize the amount of movement at the center of the 
unitized load. During longitudinal testing, it was shown that the 
Washington Wrap style of securement at the rear of the load can damage 
the structural integrity of the plastic bins. During lateral testing, 
it was shown that the Washington Wrap style of securement allowed 
significant lateral movement of the unitized load along almost the 
entire length of the trailer (which could adversely affect the 
vehicle's stability or maneuverability in real-world driving 
conditions).
     The industry practice of securing loads of cotton bales, 
while not tested, appeared to unitize the bales together, and wire rope 
was used longitudinally to secure the load, and the addition of \1/2\-
inch rope laterally was estimated to be sufficient to secure the cotton 
bales to the trailer and meet the cargo securement performance 
requirements at 49 CFR 393.102.
    A copy of the full report is included in the docket.

FMCSA Decision

    The FMCSA has evaluated the AFTC exemption application. The Agency 
believes that granting the temporary exemption to allow alternate 
methods for the securement of (1) agricultural commodities transported 
in wood and plastic boxes and bins and large fiberglass tubs, and (2) 
hay, straw, and cotton bales that are grouped together into large 
singular units will likely provide a level of safety that is equivalent 
to, or greater than, the level of safety achieved without the 
exemption. The testing of these cargo securement methods in 2007 and 
2008 in collaboration with CHP, California Department of Food and 
Agriculture, California Trucking Association and several member 
carriers of AFTC proved that the cargo securement performance 
requirements of 49 CFR 393.102 were met. FMCSA notes that the cargo 
securement techniques for large and small hay and straw bales, which 
were evaluated in the draft cargo securement testing report in the 
docket, were previously addressed in a ``Technical Review of Industry 
Cargo Securement Practices for Baled Hay and Straw, Revision1,'' dated 
July 7, 2008. A copy of the technical review has been included in the 
docket referenced at the beginning of this notice.

Terms and Conditions for the Exemption

    The Agency hereby grants the exemption from 49 CFR 393.102, 
393.106, 393.110, and 393.114 to allow alternate methods for the 
securement of (1) agricultural commodities transported in wood and 
plastic boxes and bins and large fiberglass tubs, and (2) hay, straw, 
and cotton bales that are grouped together into large singular units 
for a 5-year period, beginning April 15, 2019 and ending April 15, 
2024. During the temporary exemption period, motor carriers will be 
allowed to use the alternate methods for the securement of agricultural 
commodities transported in wood and plastic boxes and bins and large 
fiberglass tubs, and hay, straw, and cotton bales that are grouped 
together in large singular units as proposed by AFTC in its exemption 
application. A copy of the alternate cargo securement methods that must 
be used by motor carriers during the exemption period has been placed 
in the docket noted at the beginning of this document, and is available 
on the FMCSA website at

[[Page 15282]]

www.fmcsa.dot.gov/insert.specific.link.when.finalized.
    The exemption will be valid for 5 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 alternate cargo securement methods for 
the securement of agricultural commodities transported in wood and 
plastic boxes and bins and large fiberglass tubs, and hay, straw, and 
cotton bales that are grouped together in large singular units, 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

    In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315(d), as implemented by 49 CFR 
381.600, during the period this exemption is in effect, no State shall 
enforce any law or regulation applicable to interstate commerce that 
conflicts with or is inconsistent with this exemption with respect to a 
firm or person operating under the exemption. States may, but are not 
required to, adopt the same exemption with respect to operations in 
intrastate commerce.

    Issued on: April 9, 2019.
Raymond P. Martinez,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2019-07437 Filed 4-12-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P

Connect with The Crittenden Automotive Library

The Crittenden Automotive Library at Google+ The Crittenden Automotive Library on Facebook The Crittenden Automotive Library on Instagram The Crittenden Automotive Library at The Internet Archive The Crittenden Automotive Library on Pinterest The Crittenden Automotive Library on Twitter The Crittenden Automotive Library on Tumblr
 


The Crittenden Automotive Library

Home Page    About Us    Contribute