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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Interpretation Response #13-0150 ([Fowler Transportation Ltd.] [Mr. Kevin Riley])

Below is the interpretation response detail and a list of regulations sections applicable to this response.

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Fowler Transportation Ltd.

Individual Name: Mr. Kevin Riley

Location State: TX Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

December 3, 2013

Mr. Kevin Riley
DOT Compliance/HSE Director
Fowler Transportation Ltd.
PO Box 220
Marshall, TX 75671

Ref. No. 13-0150

Dear Mr. Riley:

This responds to your July 15, 2013 letter regarding the shipping paper requirements of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180).  Your questions are paraphrased and answered as follows:

Q1.  Does § 172.200(b)(1) or (b)(2) except transportation of placardable amounts of diesel fuel (NA1993) from the requirement to provide a shipping paper; or from the requirement to provide a hazardous materials description on the shipping paper?

A1.  The answer is no.  Section 172.200(b) does not except a placarded load of diesel from the shipping paper requirements.  Section 172.200(b) states that, unless the material intended for shipment is a hazardous substance, hazardous waste, or marine pollutant, a shipping paper is not required for any material identified by the letter “A” or “W” in column 1 of the § 172.101 hazardous materials table (HMT) except when transported by aircraft (air) or vessel (water), respectively.  Diesel fuel is neither identified by the letter “A” nor “W” in column 1 of the § 172.101 HMT and therefore, this exception does not apply.  

Q2.  Is a tank mounted onto a skid equipped with a loading hitch, winched to a flatbed trailer and secured by tie down devices considered a portable tank or a cargo tank?  The tank capacity exceeds 119 gallons.  Also, as noted in a telephone conversation with a member of my staff on July 25, the diesel fuel contained in the tank is not loaded or unloaded from the tank while on the flatbed trailer.

A2.  Based on your description and without further visual evidence, it is the opinion of this Office that the tank you describe is a portable tank.  The terms “Cargo tank” and “Portable tank” are defined in § 171.8 of the HMR.  Paraphrasing the complete definitions, a cargo tank is a bulk packaging that is permanently attached to or forms part of a motor vehicle, or is not permanently attached but which by reason of its size, construction or attachment to a motor vehicle is loaded or unloaded without being removed from the vehicle; and a portable tank is a bulk packaging designed to be loaded onto or temporarily attached to a transport vehicle and equipped with skids, mountings, or accessories to facilitate handling by mechanical means.  Thus, the tank is a portable tank, and subject to all requirements associated with the use of portable tanks authorized for transportation of diesel fuel.  

I hope this information is helpful.  If you have further questions, please contact this office.


Robert Benedict
Chief, Standards Development Branch
Standards and Rulemaking Division


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
171.8 Definitions and abbreviations
172.200 Applicability