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Public Meeting To Discuss Requirements for Brake Hoses Used on Commercial Motor Vehicles

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Trucking American Government

Public Meeting To Discuss Requirements for Brake Hoses Used on Commercial Motor Vehicles

Paul L. Brennan
Federal Highway Administration
February 20, 1998

[Federal Register: February 20, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 34)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 8606-8607]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr20fe98-22]

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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Highway Administration

49 CFR Part 393

[FHWA Docket No. MC-97-5; FHWA-97-2364]
RIN 2125-AD40

 
Public Meeting To Discuss Requirements for Brake Hoses Used on 
Commercial Motor Vehicles

AGENCY: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of public meeting.

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SUMMARY: The FHWA is announcing a public meeting to discuss 
requirements for brake hoses used on commercial motor vehicles. The 
meeting is intended to initiate dialogue between the FHWA; the National 
Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA); manufacturers of brake 
hoses, brake hose assemblies, and brake hose end fittings for use on 
commercial motor vehicles; and interested parties concerning the 
adequacy of current Federal requirements for brake hoses and related 
components. The meeting will include presentations by the FHWA and the 
NHTSA explaining their respective roles. The agencies would provide 
brake hose manufacturers and interested parties the opportunity to 
voice their concerns about the adequacy of current Federal requirements 
for brake hoses.

DATES: The meeting will be held on March 24, 1998. The meeting will 
begin at 10:00 a.m. and end at 4:00 p.m.

ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held in room 4200 of the Department of 
Transportation's headquarters located at 400 Seventh Street, SW., 
Washington, D.C. 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Larry W. Minor, Office of Motor 
Carrier Research and Standards, HCS-10, (202) 366-4009; or Mr. Charles 
E. Medalen, Office of the Chief Counsel, HCC-20, (202) 366-1354, 
Federal Highway Administration, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, 
D.C. 20590. Office hours are from 7:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., e.t., Monday 
through Friday, except Federal holidays.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Electronic Access

    An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded using a modem 
and suitable communications software from the Federal Register 
Electronic Bulletin Board Service at (202) 512-1661. Internet users may 
reach the Federal Register's home page at: http://

[[Page 8607]]

 www.nara.gov/nara/fedreg and the Government Printing Office's database 
at: http://www.access.gpo.gov/su__docs.

Background

    On April 14, 1997 (62 FR 18170), the FHWA published a notice of 
proposed rulemaking (NPRM) concerning 49 CFR part 393 of the Federal 
Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs), and requested comments on 
the proposed amendments. The FHWA indicated that the proposed changes 
are intended to remove obsolete and redundant regulations; respond to 
several petitions for rulemaking; provide improved definitions of 
vehicle types, systems, and components; resolve inconsistencies between 
part 393 and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's 
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (49 CFR 571); and codify certain 
FHWA regulatory guidance concerning the requirements of part 393. 
Generally, the amendments do not involve the establishment of new or 
more stringent requirements, but a clarification of existing 
requirements. The agency indicated that this action is consistent with 
the President's Regulatory Reinvention Initiative and furthers the 
FHWA's ongoing Zero-Base Regulatory Review in that it proposes to make 
many sections more concise, easier to understand, and more performance 
oriented.
    On June 12, 1997, the FHWA extended the comment period from June 
13, 1997, to July 28, 1997, in response to a petition from the Motor 
and Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) (62 FR 32066). The MEMA 
requested additional time to formulate comments in response to the 
proposed amendments in Sec. 393.25, Requirements for lamps other than 
head lamps, Sec. 393.45, Brake tubing and hose, adequacy, and 
Sec. 393.46, Brake tubing and hose connections. A copy of the MEMA 
request is included in the docket.

FHWA's Proposed Amendments to Secs. 393.45 and 393.46

    Currently, the FHWA requires that brake hose and tubing installed 
on commercial motor vehicles conform to the applicable provisions of 
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 106, Brake hoses (49 
CFR 571.106). In addition, the FHWA's regulations reference several 
Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) standards concerning testing 
procedures for brake hoses used in air, hydraulic, and vacuum brake 
systems. There are also references to SAE standards for metallic and 
nonmetallic tubing, and tubing and hose connections.
    As part of the FHWA's effort to make the FMCSRs easier to 
understand, use and enforce, the agency proposed eliminating all of the 
references to SAE brake hose and tubing standards, with the exception 
of SAE J844, Nonmetallic Air Brake System Tubing. The proposed 
revisions, if adopted, would continue to require that all brake tubing 
and hoses, brake hose assemblies, and brake hose end fittings on 
commercial motor vehicles meet the applicable requirements of FMVSS No. 
106. The FHWA would incorporate by reference SAE J844 concerning coiled 
nylon brake tubing in air brake systems to take into account three 
exceptions currently contained in the FMVSS No. 106 test procedures for 
air brake hose.1 The tests concerning length change, tensile 
strength, and tensile strength of an assembly after immersion in water, 
have exceptions for coiled brake tubing. Manufacturers may choose 
between using the test procedures specified in FMVSS No. 106, or the 
test procedures specified in the SAE standards referenced in the FHWA's 
brake hose requirements. The proposed revision would have the effect of 
limiting each of the exceptions in FMVSS No. 106 to coiled nylon tubing 
that meets the testing requirements in SAE J844.
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    \1\ Paragraphs S7.3.6 (length change), S7.3.10 (tensile 
strength), and S7.3.11 (water absorption and tensile strength) of 49 
CFR 571.106 cross reference Sec. 393.45 and indicate that certain 
coiled tubing that meets the requirements of Sec. 393.45 is not 
required to meet the testing requirements described in those 
paragraphs.
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Purpose of the Meeting

    Several brake hose manufacturers have submitted comments to the 
rulemaking docket expressing opposition to the proposed changes. The 
manufacturers believe the SAE standards that would no longer be 
referenced provide more stringent testing requirements than FMVSS No. 
106 and are essential to ensuring that brake hose is adequate for use 
on commercial motor vehicles. Certain brake hose manufacturers have 
contacted members of Congress to voice their concerns stating that the 
proposed changes will decrease highway safety.
    The FHWA has received numerous calls from congressional staff and 
letters from members of the House and Senate. At the request of 
congressional staff, the FHWA met with representatives from several 
congressional offices on October 24, 1997, to explain the proposed 
rulemaking and the roles of the FHWA and the NHTSA. During the meeting, 
the FHWA offered to hold a public meeting concerning brake hoses. It 
was agreed that the public meeting would give the FHWA and the NHTSA 
the opportunity to clarify their respective roles for the brake hose 
manufacturers, and provide the brake hose manufacturers with the 
opportunity to voice their concerns about Secs. 393.45 and 393.46 and 
FMVSS No. 106 to the FHWA and the NHTSA.

Meeting Information

    The meeting will be held on March 24, 1998, at the Department of 
Transportation's headquarters located at 400 Seventh Street, SW., 
Washington, D.C., 20590. The meeting will be held in room 4200. The 
Department of Transportation's headquarters is located above the 
L'Enfant Plaza subway station and is two blocks south of the 
intersection of Independence Avenue and Seventh Street, SW. The meeting 
is scheduled from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
    Since access to the Department of Transportation's headquarters is 
controlled, all visitors must sign-in with the security office located 
at the southwest entrance to the building and wear a visitor's badge at 
all times while in the building.
    Individuals who wish to make a formal presentation should contact 
Mr. Larry W. Minor at (202) 366-4012 no later than March 16, 1998, to 
ensure that sufficient time is allotted for the presentation and to 
identify any audio-visual equipment needed for the presentation.

List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 393

    Highways and roads, Incorporation by reference, Motor carriers, 
Motor vehicle equipment, Motor vehicle safety.

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 31136, 31502; and 49 CFR 1.48.

    Issued on: February 13, 1998.
Paul L. Brennan,
Acting Associate Administrator for Motor Carriers.
[FR Doc. 98-4352 Filed 2-19-98; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-22-P



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