Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations Designed to Prevent Semi Tractor-Trailer Accidents

We applaud and support the Motor Carrier Industry.  Without responsible owners and operators our economy could not function.  Billions and Billions of dollars worth of goods and supplies are transported back and forth across our great country every day.  The industry supplies us with the food we eat, the materials supporting our homes and the tools of business and commerce.  In order to achieve this wondrous feat, semi tractor-trailers, big rigs, large trucks and small trucks must share the road with passenger cars carrying families and individuals whose missions are essential to the well being and industry of society.   In order to accomplish both missions safely, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration imposes certain obligations on Motor Carriers.  Of the various rules applicable, we are here to talk about the inspection, repair and maintenance of the semi tractor-trailers on the road.  A poorly maintained big rig is a serious danger which likely will cause trucking collisions. Big truck accidents pose danger to the driver of the truck, but also pose significant risk to the small cars on the road resulting in serious injury including paralysis, brain injury, broken bones, and even wrongful death.  In order to help avoid semi tractor-trailer collisions, motor carriers are required to comply with the Inspection Repair and Maintenance regulations.

I set out the  applicable provision below for your ease of reference. As you can see, safety is the primary motivation behind the regulations.  Strict record keeping is also required to ensure compliance with these regulations.

Inspection, repair, and maintenance

§ 396.3Inspection, repair, and maintenance. (a) General. Every motor carrier and intermodal equipment provider must systematically inspect, repair, and maintain, or cause to be systematically inspected, repaired, and maintained, all motor vehicles and intermodal equipment subject to its control. (1) Parts and accessories shall be in safe and proper operating condition at all times. These include those specified in part 393 of this subchapter and any additional parts and accessories which may affect safety of operation, including but not limited to, frame and frame assemblies, suspension systems, axles and attaching parts, wheels and rims, and steering systems.(2) Pushout windows, emergency doors, and emergency door marking lights in buses shall be inspected at least every 90 days. (b) Required records. Motor carriers, except for a private motor carrier of passengers (nonbusiness), must maintain, or cause to be maintained, records for each motor vehicle they control for 30 consecutive days. Intermodal equipment providers must maintain or cause to be maintained, records for each unit of intermodal equipment they tender or intend to tender to a motor carrier. These records must include: (1) An identification of the vehicle including company number, if so marked, make, serial number, year, and tire size. In addition, if the motor vehicle is not owned by the motor carrier, the record shall identify the name of the person furnishing the vehicle;(2) A means to indicate the nature and due date of the various inspection and maintenance operations to be performed;(3) A record of inspection, repairs, and maintenance indicating their date and nature; and (4) A record of tests conducted on pushout windows, emergency doors, and emergency door marking lights on buses.

Code of Federal Regulations493

(c) Record retention. The records required by this section shall be retained where the vehicle is either housed or maintained for a period of 1 year and for 6 months after the motor vehicle leaves the motor carrier’s control.

We read, study and use these regulations in each and every case we handle for Hoosiers seriously injured in big truck accidents. Let us put our experience (58 years) to work for you.

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