U.S. Department of Transportation
Office of Public Affairs
Monday, January 26, 2004
Contact: Andy Beck, 202-366-8810
U.S. Department of Transportation to Begin Safety Inspections of Truck Container Chassis
Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta announced today that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) will launch a safety inspection program for intermodal container chassis. The inspection program will provide added oversight to help ensure that the trailer beds used by truckers to haul cargo containers are safe.
Intermodal container chassis are the flat trailer beds that cargo containers are loaded onto when being transported by truck. They are used to transport more than $450 billion in cargo value entering and leaving the United States annually. Cargo containers being hauled by rail and shipping companies are regularly transferred to trucks before final delivery.
"Every day millions of dollars worth of cargo are transferred from ships and rail to trailer beds and hauled away by trucks," said Secretary Mineta. "It is essential that we have a full and complete safety program focused on the trailer beds used to haul cargo containers."
The new inspection program will be modeled on the compliance review program already in place for the nation's trucking community. Chassis providers will be required to obtain a USDOT number and display it on their chassis so that data could be captured. The Department's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will apply the same penalty structure and enforcement actions for equipment, including issuing out-of-service orders and revoking USDOT numbers when needed.
Intermodal container chassis have been subject to routine safety inspections and review during federal and local enforcement actions. Most chassis are not owned by trucking companies and are not included as part of the existing compliance review process for truck operators. Within the coming weeks, DOT will outline specific details and a timeline for a notice of proposed rulemaking on the issue.
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