TANK trailer engineers gave updates on two Department of Transportation proposals during a meeting held at the TTMA convention April 27.

The two biggest issues involved rear end protection of tank trailers and a potential regulation that would track safety-related incidents and the shops that performed the safety inspections on the trailer. John Conley, former head of National Tank Truck Carriers gave a short update on the issues.

The first is an attempt by industry to clarify what DOT considers to be rear end protection devices as opposed to bottom outlet protection since the two are regulated differently. The industry sees it one way, and government is viewing it differently. TTMA is seeking clarification.

The second involves an idea that Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is considering. The idea is to develop a Carfax-style database that tracks the safety performance of tank trailers—and the shops that perform their safety inspections. The idea, which is not as of yet an official proposal, would target “shade-tree” inspectors who put a label on the trailer and say it passed. Under existing hazmat standards, the agencies have the authority to shut down the inspection operation and render void the inspections done on other trailers.

The Tank Engineering Committee also introduced a new publication and three publication revisions, all of which were approved and sent on to the general board meeting:

•  RP 107 – TTMA Flange Dimensional Information

•  TB 75 – Hot Products Tank Vehicles

•  TB 121 – Inspection of Unwetted Circumferential Seam Welds, in a Self-Supporting Cargo Tank Motor Vehicle Where External Visual Inspection is Precluded.

•  TB 122 – Operation of Typical Vapor Recovery (VRL) Lines on DOT 407 and DOT 412 Cargo Tanks.

The next meeting of the Tank Engineering Committee will be in Alexandria, Virginia August 2. It will be a joint meeting between industry and government. It also will include a TREAD act training session.   ♦