With the new inspection regs, is your rear-impact guard compliant?

November 23, 2021

Land Line Staff

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A new inspection point for annual truck and trailer inspections will be going into effect on Dec. 9.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration modified the annual inspection requirements on commercial motor vehicles to include the rear-impact guards, or ICC bumpers, as they are commonly referred to as. The final rule published Nov. 7 and is set to go into effect on Dec. 9.

The federal regs require every commercial motor vehicle be inspected at least once a year. Motor carriers are prohibited from using vehicles unless each component identified in Appendix A of Part 396 has passed the annual inspection. Rear impact guards will be included starting Dec. 9.

So what are the requirements on rear-impact guards to pass an annual inspection?

For trailers and semitrailers weighing 10,001 pounds or more, manufactured on or after Jan. 26, 1998, (see exceptions in § 393.86(a)(1)) will fail if any of the following are found on the inspection:

  • Missing guard.
  • Guard is not securely attached to the trailer, including broken or missing fasteners, any welds or parent metal cracked, or other damage that compromises secure attachment of the guard.
  • Guard horizontal member does not extend to within 100 mm (4 inches) of each, or extends beyond either, side extremity of the vehicle.
  • Guard horizontal member is more than 560 mm (22 inches) above the ground.
  • Guard horizontal member is more than 305 mm (12 inches) forward of the rear extremity of the vehicle.
  • Guard horizontal member does not have a cross-sectional vertical height of at least 100 mm (4 inches) across its entire width.

For commercial motor vehicles manufactured after Dec. 31, 1952, (except trailers and semitrailers manufactured on or after Jan. 26, 1998 – see exceptions in § 393.86(b)(1) and § 393.86(b)(3)):

  • Missing guard.
  • Guard is not securely attached to the trailer by bolts, welding, or other comparable means.
  • Guard horizontal member is more than 762 mm (30 inches) above the ground.
  • Guard horizontal member does not extend to within 457 mm (18 inches) of each side extremity of the vehicle.
  • Guard horizontal member is more than 610 mm (24 inches) forward of the rear extremity of the vehicle.

Truckers and motor carriers will need to comply with the new requirement on any annual inspection following the Dec. 9 effective date of the rule.

OOIDA said change ‘makes sense’

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association said including rear-impact guards on the list of equipment to be inspected annually makes sense. However, OOIDA also made it clear that it remains opposed to any proposals that would require costly front or side underride guards.

“Including rear-impact guards on the list of equipment that must be examined as part of the required annual inspection will enhance underride safety performance,” said Jay Grimes, OOIDA’s director of federal affairs. “While rear-impact guards have been proven to provide a practical safety benefit, that is not the case with proposed side and front underride mandates. OOIDA continues to oppose legislation that would require costly front or side underrides for commercial motor vehicles.” LL

TBS