FMCSA Issues Tank Vehicle Definition Guidance
On May 24, 2012, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued regulatory guidance clarifying its definition of a tank vehicle to declare that the definition does include intermediate bulk containers. The current definition, adopted in May 2011, required that all vehicles moving cargoes of bulk (capacity greater than 119 gallons) tanks that were permanently or temporarily attached to the vehicle’s chassis and with an aggregate capacity of more than 1,000 gallons should be considered tank vehicles. The guidance also clarified that any tank that is properly secured in a vehicle should be considered “attached” to the chassis, regardless of the manner of securement. Finally, the guidance states that bulk tanks that are manifested as empty or as residue do not count toward the 1,000 gallon threshold to become a tank vehicle. This guidance was spurred by calls from the industry, including an ATA petition for rulemaking on this issue. FMCSA granted ATA’s petition and will initiate a rulemaking at a later date. This guidance does not represent a final rule to revise the tank vehicle definition in response to ATA’s petition, but rather a clarification of the existing definition.