FMCSA Withdraws Final Rule Amending GCWR

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has withdrawn its August 27, 2012, direct final rule (DFR) amending the definition of gross combination weight rating (GCWR) in 49 CFR parts 383 and 390.

The DFR would have taken effect on October 26, 2012. However, the Agency received several adverse comments in response to the DFR and will, therefore develop a notice of proposed rulemaking to request public comments on proposed changes to the GCWR definition.

Commenter John F. Nowak stated that the definition of GCWR should not be amended until the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) changes its regulations to require manufacturers to include a vehicle's GCWR in addition to its gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) on the certification label. He argued that it was difficult at this time for drivers, motor carriers, and law enforcement officers to obtain GCWR information quickly. Nowak claimed that currently only the second half of the existing definition of GCWR is readily available for use by carrier and enforcement personnel. This commenter went on to say that because FMCSA must be aware of the difficulty in obtaining the manufacturer's GCWR for any particular vehicle, the second sentence of the existing definition must be retained.

Currently, the definitions in 49 CFR 383.5 and 390.5 both define gross combination weight rating (GCWR) as the value specified by the manufacturer as the loaded weight of a combination (articulated) vehicle. In the absence of a value specified by the manufacturer, GCWR will be determined by adding the GVWR of the power unit and the total weight of the towed unit and any load thereon.

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