FMCSA Lightens Paperwork Load for Intermodal Drivers

June 13, 2012

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has lightened the regulatory load for intermodal drivers and equipment providers.

In a final rule this week, the agency said it is no longer necessary for drivers to submit a vehicle inspection report if the intermodal chassis has no defects. Chassis providers will not have to keep those reports, either.

FMCSA ruled that drivers do not have to submit a vehicle inspection report if the intermodal chassis has no defects.

The decision, which came at the request of the Ocean Carrier Equipment Management Association and the Institute of International Container Lessors, will save more than 1.6 million hours and $54 million a year, the agency said.

Since 1952 the rules have said that the driver must indicate "no defects" on equipment reports.

In 2010, the equipment groups asked the agency to change this requirement, pointing out that fewer than 4% of these inspections report defects.

The agency emphasized that drivers still must inspect the chassis at the end of the workday, and report any defects. Also, the change does not go to power units, and drivers still must file no-defect reports on chassis that are owned or leased by the motor carrier.

The Association of American Railroads expressed the consensus view of the stakeholders on this issue:

"Rarely does an agency have an opportunity to eliminate a paperwork requirement that clearly serves no useful purpose. This is one such occasion."

Read the final rule here.

Related Stories:

9/27/2011 'Roadability' defects found in 17% of intermodal chassis inspected

6/8/2011 FMCSA Proposes Dropping Inspection Reports on Defect-Free Container Chassis