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Interpretation Response #15-0079 ([Renaldo Sales & Service, Inc.] [Mr. Kerry Fitzgerald])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Renaldo Sales & Service, Inc.

Individual Name: Mr. Kerry Fitzgerald

Location State: NY Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

May 2, 2016

Mr. Kerry M. Fitzgerald
Renaldo Sales & Service, Inc.
1770 Milestrip Road
North Collins, NY  14111

Reference No. 15-0079

Dear Mr. Fitzgerald:

This letter is in response to your April 10, 2015, letter requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to the inspection of cargo tank components as required by § 180.407.  Your questions have been paraphrased and answered as follows:

Q1. What is the meaning of “suspension system attachments” and “connecting structures” as these words are used in § 180.407(d)(2)(viii)?

A1. Section 180.407(d)(2)(viii) requires that all major appurtenances and structural parts directly attached to the cargo tank shell, including suspension system attachments and connecting structures, must be inspected for any corrosion or damage as part of the cargo tank’s external visual inspection and testing.  The HMR do not define “suspension system attachments.”

The HMR define “connecting structure” in §§ 178.320(a) and 178.345-1(c) as “the structure joining two cargo tanks” in one multiple-tank cargo tank.  The requirements in § 178.320 apply to all DOT-specification cargo tanks and, therefore, also apply to the external visual inspection and testing of cargo tanks in § 180.407(d)(2)(viii).  

Q2. If a cargo tank’s chassis suspension system (i.e., springs, U-bolts, axles, wheel drums, tires, steering controls, brakes) is meant to be inspected under § 180.407, exactly what components of this system are required to be included in that inspection?

A2. The inspection required under § 180.407 of the HMR is limited to both those structures directly attached to the cargo tank shell and those having a direct impact on the integrity of the tank itself, including those that attach the cargo tank to the chassis.  Other components of a cargo tank motor vehicle’s chassis, suspension system, and running gear are described in and required to be inspected under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR; see 49 CFR, Subtitle B, Chapter III, Subchapter B, Appendix G—Minimum Periodic Inspection Standards).  

Q3. It is my understanding that the HMR require inspections of cargo tanks and their components to occur on a pass/fail basis.  If this is the case, should inspections concerning cargo tank “suspension system attachments” include the inspection requirements prescribed in 49 CFR 397.17 (Tires)?

A3. Your understanding is correct.  The HMR require the inspection of a cargo tank’s attachment to a cargo tank to occur on a pass/fail basis.  However, the FMCSR require the regulation and inspection of a cargo tank’s tires, lights, brake lines, etc., as prescribed in 49 CFR Part 396, with requirements for tire maintenance further specified in § 397.17, as you stated.

I hope this information is helpful.  Please contact us if we can be of further assistance.


T. Glenn Foster
Chief, Regulatory Review and Reinvention Branch
Standards and Rulemaking Division

180.407, 180.407(d)(2)(viii), 178.320(a), 178.345-1(c), 178.320, 397.17

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
178.320 General requirements applicable to all DOT specification cargo tank motor vehicles
178.320 General requirements applicable to all DOT specification cargo tank motor vehicles
178.345-1 General requirements
180.407 Requirements for test and inspection of specification cargo tanks
180.407 Requirements for test and inspection of specification cargo tanks