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Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR); Definition

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Trucking American Government

Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR); Definition

Anne S. Ferro
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
August 27, 2012


[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 166 (Monday, August 27, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 51706-51709]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-21017]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

49 CFR Parts 383 and 390

[Docket No. FMCSA-2012-0156]
RIN 2126-AB53


Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR); Definition

AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.

ACTION: Direct final rule; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) amends 
the definition of ``gross combination weight rating'' (GCWR) in our 
regulations. The definition currently prescribes how the GCWR is 
calculated if the vehicle manufacturer does not include the information 
on the vehicle certification label required by the National Highway 
Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The Agency has determined the 
definition should not include what is essentially guidance that is 
difficult for the motor carrier and enforcement communities to use. 
Therefore, FMCSA amends this definition to state that the GCWR is the 
value specified by the commercial motor vehicle manufacturer.

DATES: This rule is effective October 26, 2012, unless an adverse 
comment or notice of intent to submit an adverse comment, is either 
submitted to our online docket via http://www.regulations.gov on or 
before September 26, 2012 or reaches the Docket Management Facility by 
that date. If an adverse comment or notice of intent to submit an 
adverse comment is received by September 26, 2012, we will withdraw 
this direct final rule and publish a timely notice of withdrawal in the 
Federal Register.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by docket number FMCSA-

[[Page 51707]]

2012-0156 using any one of the following methods:
    (1) Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.
    (2) Fax: (202) 493-2251.
    (3) Mail: Docket Management Facility (M-30), U.S. Department of 
Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.
    (4) Hand delivery: Same as mail address above, between 9 a.m. and 5 
p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The telephone 
number is 202-366-9329.
    To avoid duplication, please use only one of these four methods. 
See the ``Public Participation and Request for Comments'' portion of 
the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below for instructions on 
submitting comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tom Kelly, Office of Enforcement and 
Program Delivery, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001, by telephone at (202) 
366-1812 or via email at Thomas.Kelly@dot.gov. Office hours are from 9 
a.m. to 5 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. If 
you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, 
contact Renee V. Wright, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 
(202) 366-9826.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Public Participation and Request for Comments
    A. Submitting Comments
    B. Viewing Comments and Documents
    C. Privacy Act
II. Abbreviations
III. Regulatory Information
IV. Background
V. Discussion of the Rule
VI. Regulatory Analyses
VII. The Final Rule

I. Public Participation and Request for Comments

    We encourage you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting 
comments and related materials. All comments received will be posted, 
without change, to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any 
personal information you have provided.

A. Submitting Comments

    If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this 
rulemaking (FMCSA-2012-0156), indicate the specific section of this 
document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each 
suggestion or recommendation. You may submit your comment and material 
online, or by fax, mail or hand delivery, but please use only one of 
these means. We recommend that you include your name and a mailing 
address, an email address, or a phone number in the body of your 
document so that we can contact you if we have questions regarding your 
submission. As a reminder, FMCSA will only consider adverse comments as 
defined in 49 CFR 389.39(b) and explained below.
    To submit your comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov, 
click on the ``submit a comment'' box, which will then become 
highlighted in blue. In the ``Document Type'' drop down menu select 
``Proposed Rule'' and insert ``FMCSA-2012-0156'' in the ``Keyword'' 
box. Click ``Search'' then click on the balloon shape in the 
``Actions'' column. If you submit your comment by mail or hand 
delivery, submit it in an unbound format, no larger than 8\1/2\ by 11 
inches, suitable for copying and electronic filing. If you submit it by 
mail and would like to know that it reached the Facility, please 
enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope. FMCSA will 
consider all comments and material received during the comment period.

B. Viewing Comments and Documents

    To view comments, go to http://www.regulations.gov, click on the 
``read comments'' box, which will then become highlighted in blue. In 
the ``Keyword'' box insert ``FMCSA-2012-0156'' and click ``Search.'' 
Click the ``Open Docket Folder'' in the ``Actions'' column. If you do 
not have access to the Internet, you may also view the docket online by 
visiting the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground 
floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., 
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

C. Privacy Act

    Anyone can search the electronic form of comments received into any 
of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or 
signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, 
business, labor union, etc.). You may review a Privacy Act notice 
regarding our public dockets in the January 17, 2008, issue of the 
Federal Register (73 FR 3316).

II. Abbreviations

FMCSA Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
FR Federal Register
GCWR Gross combination weight rating
NHTSA National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

III. Regulatory Information

    FMCSA publishes this amendment to parts 383 and 390 under the 
direct final rule procedures in 49 CFR 389.11 and 389.39 because we 
believe the rule is a routine, non-controversial amendment to the 
definition of ``gross combination weight rating'' (GCWR) in both 49 CFR 
383.5 and 390.5. The rule would provide consistency between FMCSA's 
definition of GCWR and the definition of that term used by NHTSA under 
49 CFR 571.3. FMCSA does not expect adverse comments. If no adverse 
comments or notices of intent to submit an adverse comment are received 
by September 26, 2012, this rule will become effective as stated in the 
DATES section. In that case, approximately 30 days before the effective 
date, FMCSA will publish a document in the Federal Register stating 
that no adverse comments were received and confirming that this rule 
will become effective as scheduled. However, if the Agency receives any 
adverse comments or notices of intent to submit an adverse comment, 
FMCSA will publish a document in the Federal Register announcing the 
withdrawal of all or part of this direct final rule. If an adverse 
comment applies only to part of this rule and it is possible to remove 
that part without defeating the purpose of this rule, the Agency may 
adopt, as final, that part of this rule on which no adverse comments 
were received. FMCSA will withdraw the part of this rule that was the 
subject of an adverse comment. If the Agency decides to proceed with a 
rulemaking following receipt of any adverse comments, FMCSA will 
publish a separate notice of proposed rulemaking and provide a new 
opportunity for comment.
    A comment is considered ``adverse'' if the comment explains why 
this rule or a part of this rule would be inappropriate, including a 
challenge to its underlying premise or approach, or would be 
ineffective or unacceptable without a change.

IV. Background

    Currently, the definitions in 49 CFR 383.5 and 390.5 both say:

    Gross combination weight rating (GCWR) means 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

[[Page 51708]]

adding the GVWR \1\ of the power unit and the total weight of the 
towed unit and any load thereon.

    \1\ GVWR stands for gross vehicle weight rating.
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    The first sentence of the definition is entirely correct; this is 
the definition used by other authorities. The second sentence, however, 
presents an alternative definition that is not used to determine GCWR 
by either vehicle manufacturers or the National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration (NHTSA) (see 49 CFR 571.3) (``Gross combination weight 
rating or GCWR means the value specified by the manufacturer as the 
loaded weight of a combination vehicle.'') As FMCSA and its State 
partners increase their monitoring of drivers and carriers through 
roadside inspections, investigations and the Agency's Safety 
Measurement System and other tools, questions from industry and the 
enforcement community about the inconsistency between FMCSA's GCWR 
definition in 49 CFR 383.5 and 390.5 and NHTSA's definition in 49 CFR 
571.3 make it clear that the FMCSA definition must be changed.

V. Discussion of the Rule

    FMCSA is using a direct final rule to promulgate this correction to 
the GCWR definition in 49 CFR 383.5 and 390.5 because the Agency does 
not believe the change would have a net impact of the number of drivers 
or carriers subject to the FMCSRs, or the applicability of the 
requirements therein. Furthermore, we do not anticipate the submission 
of adverse comments. By removing the second sentence in the definition 
in both sections, the rule simply conforms the Agency's GCWR definition 
to the one used by NHTSA.

VI. Regulatory Analyses

E.O. 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review and DOT Regulatory Policies 
and Procedures as Supplemented by E.O. 13563)

    FMCSA has determined that this proposed rule is not a significant 
regulatory action within the meaning of Executive Order (E.O.) 12866, 
as supplemented by E.O. 13563 (76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011), and not 
significant within the meaning of the Department of Transportation's 
regulatory policies and procedures because the direct final rule is not 
expected to generate substantial congressional or public interest. The 
rulemaking is unlikely to impose costs on the industry because the 
change to the GCWR definition would not have a net impact of the number 
of drivers or carriers subject to the FMCSRs, or the applicability of 
the requirements therein. The cost, if any, would be borne by motor 
carriers that had previously determined by reference to the 
inconsistent wording that their operations were not subject to certain 
safety regulations and that would now be required to achieve compliance 
with the applicable rules. The Agency believes this population to be 
negligible, and that the costs of the rule would not begin to approach 
the $100 million annual threshold for economic significance. This rule 
therefore has not been formally reviewed by the Office of Management 
and Budget (OMB).

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    Pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (5 U.S.C. 601 et 
seq.), as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness 
Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121, 110 Stat. 857), FMCSA is not required to 
prepare a final regulatory flexibility analysis under 5 U.S.C. 604(a) 
for this final rule because the agency has not issued a notice of 
proposed rulemaking prior to this action.

Assistance for Small Entities

    In accordance with section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory 
Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, FMCSA wants to assist small entities 
in understanding this direct final rule so that they can better 
evaluate its effects on themselves and participate in the rulemaking 
initiative. If the direct final rule would affect your small business, 
organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions 
concerning its provisions or options for compliance; please consult the 
FMCSA point of contact, Tom Kelly, listed in the FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT section of this proposed rule.
    Small businesses may send comments on the actions of Federal 
employees who enforce or otherwise determine compliance with Federal 
regulations to the Small Business Administration's Small Business and 
Agriculture Regulatory Enforcement Ombudsman and the Regional Small 
Business Regulatory Fairness Boards. The Ombudsman evaluates these 
actions annually and rates each agency's responsiveness to small 
business. If you wish to comment on actions by employees of FMCSA, call 
1-888-REG-FAIR (1-888-734-3247). DOT has a policy regarding the rights 
of small entities to regulatory enforcement fairness and an explicit 
policy against retaliation for exercising these rights.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    This proposed rule would not impose an unfunded Federal mandate, as 
defined by the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1532 et 
seq.), that will result in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal 
governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $143.1 
million (which is the value of $100 million in 2010 after adjusting for 
inflation) or more in any 1 year.

E.O. 13132 (Federalism)

    A rule has Federalism implications if the rule has a substantial 
direct effect on State or local governments and would either preempt 
State law or impose a substantial direct cost of compliance on the 
States. FMCSA has analyzed this rule under E.O. 13132 and determined 
that it does not have Federalism implications.

E.O. 12988 (Civil Justice Reform)

    This final rule meets applicable standards in sections 3(a) and 
3(b)(2) of E.O. 12988, Civil Justice Reform, to minimize litigation, 
eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden.

E.O. 13045 (Protection of Children)

    FMCSA analyzed this action under E.O. 13045, Protection of Children 
from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks. The Agency determined 
that this rule will not create an environmental risk to health or 
safety that may disproportionately affect children.

E.O. 12630 (Taking of Private Property)

    FMCSA reviewed this final rule in accordance with E.O. 12630, 
Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected 
Property Rights, and has determined it will not effect a taking of 
private property or otherwise have taking implications.

Privacy Impact Assessment

    Section 522 of title I of division H of the Consolidated 
Appropriations Act, 2005, enacted December 8, 2004 (Pub. L. 108-447, 
118 Stat. 2809, 3268, 5 U.S.C. 552a note), requires the Agency to 
conduct a privacy impact assessment (PIA) of a regulation that will 
affect the privacy of individuals. This rule does not require the 
collection of any personally identifiable information.
    The Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a) applies only to Federal agencies 
and any non-Federal agency which receives records contained in a system 
of records from a Federal agency for use in a matching program. FMCSA 
has determined this rule will not result in a new or revised Privacy 
Act System of Records for FMCSA.

E.O. 12372 (Intergovernmental Review)

    The regulations implementing E.O. 12372 regarding intergovernmental

[[Page 51709]]

consultation on Federal programs and activities do not apply to this 
program.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501 et 
seq.), Federal agencies must obtain approval from OMB for each 
collection of information they conduct, sponsor, or require through 
regulations. There is no new information collection requirement 
associated with this final rule.

National Environmental Policy Act and Clean Air Act

    FMCSA analyzed this rule in accordance with the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and 
determined under our environmental procedures Order 5610.1 (69 FR 9680, 
March 1, 2004) that this action does not have any effect on the quality 
of the environment. Therefore, this final rule is categorically 
excluded (CE) from further analysis and documentation in an 
environmental assessment or environmental impact statement under FMCSA 
Order 5610.1, paragraph 6(b) of Appendix 2. The CE under paragraph 6(b) 
addresses rulemakings that make editorial or other minor amendments to 
existing FMCSA regulations. A Categorical Exclusion Determination is 
available for inspection or copying in the Regulations.gov Web site 
listed under ADDRESSES.
    FMCSA also analyzed this rule under the Clean Air Act, as amended 
(CAA), section 176(c) (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.), and implementing 
regulations promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency. 
Approval of this action is exempt from the CAA's general conformity 
requirement since it does not affect direct or indirect emissions of 
criteria pollutants.

E.O. 13211 (Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use)

    FMCSA has analyzed this rule under E.O. 13211, Actions Concerning 
Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or 
Use. FMCSA has determined that it is not a ``significant energy 
action'' under that order because it is not a ``significant regulatory 
action'' under E.O. 12866 and is not likely to have a significant 
adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy. The 
Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has 
not designated it as a significant energy action. Therefore, it does 
not require a Statement of Energy Effects under E.O. 13211.

E.O. 13175 (Indian Tribal Governments)

    This rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 
13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, 
because it does not have a substantial direct effect on one or more 
Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and 
Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities 
between the Federal Government and Indian tribes.

Technical Standards

    The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) (15 
U.S.C. 272 note) directs agencies to use voluntary consensus standards 
in their regulatory activities unless the agency provides Congress, 
through OMB, with an explanation of why using these standards would be 
inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impractical. Voluntary 
consensus standards (e.g., specifications of materials, performance, 
design, or operation; test methods; sampling procedures; and related 
management systems practices) are standards that are developed or 
adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies.
    This rule does not use technical standards. Therefore, FMCSA did 
not consider the use of voluntary consensus standards.

List of Subjects

49 CFR Part 383

    Administrative practice and procedure, Alcohol abuse, Drug abuse, 
Highway Safety, Incorporation by reference, Motor carriers.

49 CFR Part 390

    Highway safety, Intermodal transportation, Motor carriers, Motor 
vehicle safety, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

VII. The Final Rule

    For the reasons stated above, FMCSA amends 49 CFR parts 383 and 390 
in title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, chapter III, subchapter B, as 
follows:

PART 383--COMMERCIAL DRIVER'S LICENSE STANDARDS; REQUIREMENTS AND 
PENALTIES

0
1. The authority citation for part 383 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 521, 31136, 31301 et seq., and 31502; secs. 
214 and 215, Pub. L. 106-159, 113 Stat. 1748, 1766, 1767; sec. 4140, 
Pub. L. 109-59, 119 Stat. 1144, 1746; and 49 CFR 1.73.

0
2. Amend Sec.  383.5 by revising the definition of ``gross combination 
weight rating'' to read as follows:


Sec.  383.5  Definitions.

* * * * *
    Gross combination weight rating (GCWR) means the value specified by 
the manufacturer as the loaded weight of a combination motor vehicle.
* * * * *

PART 390--FEDERAL MOTOR CARRIER SAFETY REGULATIONS; GENERAL

0
3. The authority citation for part 390 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 504, 508, 31132, 31133, 31136, 31144, 
31151, and 31502; sec. 114, Pub. L. 103-311, 108 Stat. 1673, 1677-
1678; secs. 212, 217, and 229, Pub. L. 106-159, 113 Stat. 1748, 
1766, 1767; sec. 229, Pub. L. 106-159 (as transferred by sec. 4115 
and amended by secs. 4130-4132, Pub. L. 109-59, 119 Stat. 1144, 
1726, 1743-1744), sec. 4136, Pub. L. 109-59, 119 Stat. 1144, 1745; 
and 49 CFR 1.73.

0
4. Amend Sec.  390.5 by revising the definition of ``gross combination 
weight rating'' to read as follows:


Sec.  390.5  Definitions.

* * * * *
    Gross combination weight rating (GCWR) means the value specified by 
the manufacturer as the loaded weight of a combination motor vehicle.
* * * * *

    Issued on: August 16, 2012.
Anne S. Ferro,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2012-21017 Filed 8-24-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P



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