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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 #15-0206 ([Valley Building Center] [Mr. David French])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Valley Building Center

Individual Name: Mr. David French

Location State: OH Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

March 29, 2016

David French
Valley Building Center
204 East Main Street
Andover, OH 44003

Ref. No. 15-0206

Dear Mr. French:

This responds to your letter of October 23, 2015, and subsequent telephone conversations with a member of my staff, requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180).  In your request, you state that your company transports a forklift powered by a small diesel engine which utilizes an approximately eight gallon capacity diesel fuel tank.  This forklift attaches to the transport vehicle’s flatbed trailer in transportation, but detaches entirely from the transport vehicle in order to be operated at customer delivery sites.  Your questions are paraphrased and answered as follows.

Q1. Does the fuel tank pertaining to the forklift described in your request fall solely under the requirements of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR; 49 CFR Parts 350-399)?

A1. No.  Under the HMR, § 173.220, paragraph (a), “applicability,” relays that a self-propelled vehicle with a fuel tank containing a liquid fuel, such as the forklift described in your request, is subject to the requirements of the HMR when transported as cargo on a transport vehicle, regardless of whether the fuel tank of the forklift meets the definition of a fuel tank in § 171.8.  On this point, please also note that
§ 173.220 applies similarly to the engine of the self-propelled vehicle, not solely the fuel tank.  A common shipping name for such a material is “Vehicle, flammable liquid powered” and the corresponding UN ID# is UN3166.  

Although subject to the HMR, provided the fuel tank of a vehicle transported as cargo is securely closed, such transport is not subject to any other requirements under the HMR (e.g., shipping papers, labeling, marking, placarding, emergency response information, training) when transported by motor vehicle or rail car.  Fuel may remain in the vehicle’s fuel tank when transported by highway or rail (see § 173.220(b)(4)).  Please note that the definition of a hazardous material (as defined in § 171.8) does not exclude materials that meet one or more of the defining criteria but are being transported under exceptions (e.g., § 173.220(h)(1)).

Q2. Is the forklift described in your request subject to the “UN3166” description and Class 9 hazard classification?

A2. Under § 173.22, it is the shipper’s responsibility to classify and describe a hazardous material.  This Office does not normally perform this function.  However, based on the information you provided, a forklift with an engine and fuel tank containing diesel fuel would be properly described as “UN3166,” a Class 9 hazardous material.

I hope this answers your inquiry.  If you need additional assistance, please contact this Office again.   

Sincerely,

Dirk Der Kinderen
Chief, Standards Development Branch
Standards and Rulemaking Division

173.220, 171.8, 173.220(b)(4), 173.220(h)(1), 173.22
 

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
171.8 Definitions and abbreviations
173.22 Shipper's responsibility
173.220 Internal combustion engines, vehicles, machinery containing internal combustion engines, battery-powered equipment or machinery, fuel cell-powered equipment or machinery
173.220 Internal combustion engines, vehicles, machinery containing internal combustion engines, battery-powered equipment or machinery, fuel cell-powered equipment or machinery
173.220 Internal combustion engines, vehicles, machinery containing internal combustion engines, battery-powered equipment or machinery, fuel cell-powered equipment or machinery