The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has been taking a harder look at cargo tank manufacturing, inspection, and repair facilities since January 2015. And based on what it has found, the agency plans to intensify its scrutiny.
As Bulk Transporter magazine reported recently, Paul Bomgardner, chief of the FMCSA’s Hazardous Materials Division, discussed the reasons for the increased focus on cargo tank repair facilities during National Tank Truck Carriers’ Tank Truck Week in New Orleans, Louisiana.
“Cargo tanks need to be built right. They need to have the protection that the regulations call for—the rollover protection that’s specified, the pressure-relief devices that are proper.
“We’ve been finding things wrong with brand new tanks with those types of defects on them. I can tell you that our focus at FMCSA will remain on the cargo tank manufacturing, inspection, and repair industry for the near future.”
He listed the top 25 cargo tank manufacturing facility violations, in order of the most prevalent.
Bomgardner also provided a preview of changes in the Compliance, Safety, Accountability program’s Safety Management System (SMS):
• Objective 1: Make the SMS more effective at prioritizing carriers that pose the greatest safety risk for interventions by: expanding the range over which the Utilization Factor is applied; simplifying the data sufficiency standards by only assigning BASIC percentiles to companies that have had an inspection with a violation in the past year; and segmenting the Hazardous Materials (HM) Compliance BASIC by cargo tank and non-cargo tank operations.
• Objective 2: Improve FMCSA’s focus on carriers with high crash rates and serious safety problems by: adjusting the Intervention Thresholds for the Vehicle Maintenance, Controlled Substances/Alcohol, Driver Fitness, and HM Compliance BASICs; and moving all operating while out-of-service (OOS) violations to the Unsafe Driving BASIC.
• Objective 3: Prioritize FMCSA’s investigative resources on carriers with more crash involvement by: increasing the number of crashes required to assign a percentile in the Crash Indicator BASIC from two to three.
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