New Changes to the Definition of Tank Vehicle
There are specific rules and requirements to be licensed to drive various types of vehicles. This is because different vehicles pose different safety hazards of which the driver must be aware. Drivers must be capable of controlling the vehicles they are licensed to drive to avoid the risk of serious trucking accidents.
The definition of “tank vehicle” includes truckers hauling common loads in fluid bins. Before May 2011, the definition of “tank vehicle” did not include commonplace fluid bins. Drivers could haul these loads without additional tank endorsements on their licenses. The change to the definition outlines volumes that are acceptable without additional endorsements on their license. These changes could apply to almost any driver operating a commercial vehicle.
Complaints from the American Trucking Association have brought about a re-examination of the definition of “tank vehicle”. The main complaint is that this definition is too broad and that it affected nearly all truckers hauling routine loads that were full or empty. It can also apply to vehicles that are manifestly not tank vehicles.
Truck drivers can now be cited for hauling a load that is empty but may fit within the definition of “tank vehicle” if the driver does not have the correct license endorsement. A citation can be very detrimental to the driver. Only two of these citations and the driver loses their commercial license for a set period of time. The federal government classifies not having the proper endorsement as a serious traffic violation.
Repeat violations may lead to the driver or the driver’s employer receiving a negative score under trucking safety regulations that were put in place last year. This could cause the company or driver to be removed from the road. Agencies have placed a high priority on motorist safety, and there may be further changes coming.