AN UPDATE on issues affecting cargo tanks, such as code repair requirements and Canadian trailer rear guards, was provided by Gary Spoelstra of West-Mark at the National Tank Truck Carriers annual meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) is currently writing Section 12 for cargo tanks and is about 60% to 70% complete, he said. When Section 12 is complete, ASME Section 8 will no longer be used for DOT cargo vessels. Once the new standards are complete, manufacturers will build these vessels with a T-Series designation, and the current U-Series vessels will no longer be manufactured, Spoelstra added.

At the same time, the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors are developing standards, training classes, and testing that will apply to the repair or alterations of T-Series vessels, including more stringent guidelines for certifying all registered inspectors and repair personnel doing this type of work.

Another issue in the foodgrade industry pertains to 3-A Sanitary Standards for the milk transportation industry that calls for a third-party verification (TPV) program. It will cover all equipment using the 3-A symbol stamp for renewals and new symbol authorizations. This will include certifications for those individuals conducting repairs on new or used equipment. The TPV program is in effect for all new manufactured equipment, and repair standards are currently being written and should be completed soon, he said.

Spoelstra also discussed new trailers domiciled in Canada that must meet Canadian regulations on rear underride guards, as the current US-required guards do not meet the higher performance requirements of Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 223, a regulation that Transport Canada announced in 2004. The Canadian requirement becomes effective September 1, 2007. Pre-approval by Transport Canada may be required for US-built trailers.

Spoelstra said that if transporters want to retrofit existing equipment, they may find that some trailers require extra reinforcement on the rear subframes before a Canadian-style guard can be installed. However, Spoelstra emphasized that carriers should always consult with the original trailer manufacturer before retrofitting new standards on old equipment.