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Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation: Brakes; Adjustment Limits

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Trucking Topics:  Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation: Brakes; Adjustment Limits

Anne S. Ferro
Federal Register
September 2, 2011


[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 171 (Friday, September 2, 2011)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 54721-54727]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-22478]


=======================================================================
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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

49 CFR Chapter III

[Docket No. FMCSA-2010-0257]
RIN 2126-AB28


Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation: Brakes; 
Adjustment Limits

AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) 
proposes to revise the requirements regarding clamp and rotochamber 
brake actuator readjustment limits in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety 
Regulations (FMCSRs). The purpose of this notice of proposed rulemaking 
(NPRM) is to amend the readjustment limits, clarify their application, 
and correct an error in cross-referencing a Federal Motor Vehicle 
Safety Standard (FMVSS). This proposal responds to a petition for 
rulemaking from the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA).

DATES: Send your comments on or before November 1, 2011.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by Docket ID Number 
FMCSA-2010-0257 by any of the following methods:
    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the 
online instructions for submitting comments.
    Mail: Docket Management Facility: U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., West Building, Ground 
Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
    Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-
140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET, Monday 
through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    Fax: 202-493-2251.
    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: Ms. Deborah M. Freund, Vehicle and 
Roadside Operations Division, Office of Bus and Truck Standards and 
Operations (MC-PSV), Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 1200 
New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001; 
deborah.freund@dot.gov; telephone (202) 366-5370.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents for Preamble

I. Public Participation and Request for Comments
    A. Submitting Comments
    B. Viewing Comments and Documents
    C. Privacy Act
II. Abbreviations
III. Legal Basis for the Rulemaking
IV. Background
V. CVSA's Petition
VI. Agency Analysis
VII. Discussion of the Proposed Rule
VIII. Regulatory Analyses

I. Public Participation and Request for Comments

    FMCSA encourages 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 provide.

A. Submitting Comments

    If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this 
rulemaking (FMCSA-2010-0257), 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 comments and material 
online or by fax, mail, or hand delivery, but please use only one of 
these means. FMCSA recommends that you include your name and a mailing 
address, an e-mail address, or a phone number in the body of your 
document so that FMCSA can contact you if there are questions regarding 
your submission.
    To submit your comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov and 
click on the ``Submit a Comment'' box, which will then become 
highlighted in blue. In the ``Document Type'' drop-down menu, select 
``Proposed Rules,'' insert ``FMCSA-2010-0257'' in the ``Keyword'' box, 
and click ``Search.''

[[Page 54722]]

When the new screen appears, click on ``Submit a Comment'' in the 
``Actions'' column. If you submit your comments by mail or hand 
delivery, submit them in an unbound format, no larger than 8\1/2\ by 11 
inches, suitable for copying and electronic filing. If you submit 
comments by mail and would like to know that they reached the facility, 
please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope.
    FMCSA will consider all comments and material received during the 
comment period and may change this proposed rule based on your 
comments.

B. Viewing Comments and Documents

    To view comments, as well as documents mentioned in this preamble, 
available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov and click on 
the ``Read Comments'' box in the upper right-hand side of the screen. 
Then, in the ``Keyword'' box insert ``FMCSA-2010-0257'' and click 
``Search.'' Next, click the ``Open Docket Folder'' in the ``Actions'' 
column. Finally, in the ``Title'' column, click on the document you 
would like to review. If you do not have access to the Internet, you 
may 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. ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal 
holidays.

C. Privacy Act

    Anyone is able to search the electronic form for all 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 the 
U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) Privacy Act system of records 
notice for DOT Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) in the Federal 
Register published on January 17, 2008 (73 FR 3316) at http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2008/pdf/E8-785.pdf.

II. Abbreviations

ATA American Trucking Associations.
CMV commercial motor vehicle.
CVSA Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance.
DOT U.S. Department of Transportation.
FHWA Federal Highway Administration.
FMCSRs Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.
FMVSSs Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.
NHTSA National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.
OOS out of service.
SAE Society of Automotive Engineers.

III. Legal Basis for the Rulemaking

    Appendix G, Minimum Periodic Inspection Standards, was added to the 
FMCSRs in 1988 (53 FR 49411, Dec. 7, 1988). Under the inspection 
standards of Appendix G, all items required to be inspected must be in 
proper adjustment, must not be defective, and must function properly 
before a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) is placed in service. Appendix 
G includes, among many other things, brake adjustment (readjustment) 
limits. Paragraph 1.a.(5) of this appendix currently reads:

    Readjustment limits. The maximum stroke at which brakes should 
be readjusted is given below. Any brake 1/4'' or more past the 
readjustment limit or any two brakes less than 1/4'' beyond the 
readjustment limit shall be cause for rejection. Stroke shall be 
measured with engine off and reservoir pressure of 80 to 90 psi with 
brakes fully applied.

    The figures in the rightmost column of each of the three tables 
following paragraph 1.a.(5) indicate the maximum stroke at which brakes 
should be readjusted.
    Subsequently, in June 1991, the Society of Automotive Engineers 
(SAE) developed International Recommended Practice J1817 (SAE J1817) to 
provide a marking system that distinguishes long-stroke from standard-
stroke air brake actuators, rotochambers, and their components. It 
defines ``rated stroke'' as the minimum design stroke of a brake 
actuator.
    The 2001 revision of SAE J1817 includes tables listing recommended 
values for minimum rated stroke and maximum readjustment stroke for 
clamp band/sealed design standard-stroke brake actuators (Table 1A), 
clamp band/sealed design long-stroke brake actuators (Table 1B), and 
rotochamber designs (Table 1C). Table 1B is further broken down to 
include three classes of long-stroke actuators. The classes are defined 
according to the range of difference between the maximum readjustment 
stroke and the standard rated stroke. In most but not all cases, the 
maximum readjustment stroke is 80 percent of the minimum rated stroke. 
The differences are greatest for the smaller sizes of brake chambers.
    In 1997, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), FMCSA's 
predecessor agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), 
published in the Federal Register an NPRM titled ``Parts and 
Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; General Amendments'' (62 FR 
18169, Apr. 14, 1997). This NPRM proposed to amend 49 CFR part 393 by 
removing obsolete and redundant regulations; responding to several 
petitions for rulemaking; providing improved definitions of vehicle 
types, systems, and components; resolving inconsistencies between part 
393 and 49 CFR part 571 (FMVSSs); and codifying certain regulatory 
guidance regarding the requirements of part 393. Generally, the 
amendments did not establish new or more stringent requirements but 
clarified existing requirements.
    As part of that NPRM, FHWA proposed to add a new Sec.  393.47(e) to 
the FMCSRs to specify the maximum permissible stroke for different 
types (sizes) of brake chambers and incorporate by reference SAE J1817, 
Long-Stroke Air-Brake Actuator Marking (June 1991). The NPRM proposed 
to require that the maximum values for pushrod travel for clamp- and 
rotochamber-type actuators must be less than 80 percent of the rated 
strokes listed in SAE J1817, or 80 percent of the rated stroke marked 
on the brake chamber by the chamber manufacturer, or the readjustment 
limit marked on the brake chamber by the chamber manufacturer. For 
types 16 and 20 long-stroke clamp-type brake actuators, the NPRM 
proposed that the pushrod travel must be less than 51 mm (2 in.), or 80 
percent of the rated stroke marked on the brake chamber by the chamber 
manufacturer, or the readjustment limit marked on the brake chamber by 
the chamber manufacturer. The NPRM did not propose to revise the 
Appendix G brake readjustment-limits tables.
    FMCSA published the final rule on August 15, 2005 (70 FR 48007). 
The Agency revised Sec.  393.47(e) as proposed, except that it 
incorporated by reference the July 2001 revision of SAE J1817 rather 
than the June 1991 edition. The preamble to the final rule did not 
indicate whether the Agency received comments on the decision to 
incorporate the July 2001 revision.

IV. Background

    On April 16, 2007, CVSA petitioned the Agency to revise Sec.  
393.47(e). CVSA stated that, although the readjustment (or brake 
actuator stroke) limits of SAE J1817 are consistent with those listed 
in Appendix G and CVSA's North American Standard Out-of-Service (OOS) 
Criteria, Sec.  393.47(e) ``specifies readjustment (stroke) limits 
based on 80 percent of the rated (full) strokes listed in SAE J1817.'' 
Relying on this criterion introduces discrepancies between Sec.  
393.47(e) and SAE J1817. Although the readjustment limits listed in SAE 
J1817 agree with those in Appendix G and the OOS Criteria, they differ, 
for some brake chambers, from the ``80 percent of rated

[[Page 54723]]

stroke'' specified in Sec.  393.47(e). Consequently, ``[t]he 
enforcement and/or noting of Sec.  393.47(e) violations by cross-
referencing the regulation to 80% of SAE J1817--Long Stroke Air-Brake 
Actuator Marking, July, 2001 is proving problematic for inspectors and 
industry.''
    CVSA also pointed out that Sec.  393.47(e) considers a brake with 
the stroke at the readjustment limit to be out of adjustment. In 
contrast, both Appendix G and the OOS Criteria state that the brake 
travel must exceed the readjustment limit for the brake to be 
considered out of adjustment. The petitioners added that the values in 
both Appendix G and the OOS Criteria were established consistent with 
brake manufacturers' recommendations. Although the CVSA subsequently 
updated the OOS Criteria to include several types of long-stroke clamp-
type brake chambers, FMCSA has not similarly revised the Appendix G 
values.
    In addition, CVSA requested that FMCSA revise Sec.  393.53, 
Automatic brake adjusters and brake adjustment indicators, to include 
references to the FMVSSs applicable to trailers. Sections 393.53(b) and 
(c) would be revised so that the FMVSS citations read, ``49 CFR 
571.121, S5.1.8 or S5.2.2.''
    On June 10, 2008, CVSA amended its April 2007 petition to correct 
the text of the table subheadings for clamp-type and rotochamber-type 
chamber data in the original petition and to add tables for Bendix DD-3 
and bolt-type brake chamber data. The amended petition changed the 
table subheadings ``Brake Chamber Pushrod Stroke Limit'' and ``RC 
Actuate Pushrod Stroke Limit'' to read ``Brake Adjustment Limit'' and 
``Rotochamber Type Brake Chamber Data,'' respectively.
    FMCSA has placed copies of CVSA's 2007 petition and 2008 correction 
in the docket for this rulemaking.

V. CVSA's Petition

    This NPRM is based on the authority of the Motor Carrier Act of 
1935 (1935 Act) and the Motor Carrier Safety Act of 1984 (the 1984 
Act), both of which provide broad discretion to the Secretary of 
Transportation (Secretary) in implementing their provisions.
    The 1935 Act provides that the Secretary may prescribe requirements 
for (1) Qualifications and maximum hours of service of employees of, 
and safety of operation and equipment of, a motor carrier [49 U.S.C. 
31502(b)(1)], and (2) qualifications and maximum hours of service of 
employees of, and standards of equipment of, a motor private carrier, 
when needed to promote safety of operation [Sec.  31502(b)(2)]. The 
2005 final rule amending part 393 of the FMCSRs (Parts and Accessories 
Necessary for Safe Operation, 70 FR 48007, Aug. 15, 2005) and these 
proposed amendments are based on the Secretary's authority to regulate 
the safety and standards of equipment of for-hire and private carriers.
    The 1984 Act gives the Secretary concurrent authority to regulate 
drivers, motor carriers, and vehicle equipment. Codified in 49 U.S.C. 
31136(a), section 206(a) of the Act requires the Secretary to publish 
regulations on commercial motor vehicle (CMV) safety. Specifically, the 
Act sets forth minimum safety standards to ensure that (1) CMVs are 
maintained, equipped, loaded, and operated safely [Sec.  31136(a)(1)]; 
(2) the responsibilities imposed on operators of CMVs do not impair 
their ability to operate the vehicles safely [Sec.  31136(a)(2)]; (3) 
the physical condition of CMV operators is adequate to enable them to 
operate the vehicles safely * * * [Sec.  31136(a)(3)]; and (4) the 
operation of CMVs does not have a deleterious effect on the physical 
condition of the operators [Sec.  31136(a)(4)].
    The proposed rule would provide improved guidance concerning CMV 
brake adjustment limits. The proposed maximum pushrod travel for brake 
actuators would enhance the braking performance of the vehicle, 
consistent with Sec.  31136(a)(1). The rule does not address the 
responsibilities or physical condition of drivers addressed by Sec.  
31136(a)(2) and (3), respectively, and deals with Sec.  31136(a)(4) 
only to the extent that a safer vehicle is less likely to have a 
deleterious effect on the physical condition of a driver. Before 
prescribing any such regulations, however, FMCSA must consider the 
``costs and benefits'' of any proposal (49 U.S.C. 31136(c)(2)(A) and 
31502(d)).

VI. Agency Analysis

    SAE J1817, ``Long-Stroke Air-Brake Actuator Marking,'' describes a 
marking system to distinguish long-stroke from standard-stroke air 
brake actuators, rotochambers, and components. Long-stroke air brake 
actuators are designed to provide longer pushrod stroke capabilities 
than standard-stroke actuators. Because some of these chambers are 
nearly identical in exterior appearance to the standard chambers, a 
unique marking system is needed for the purpose of identification by 
mechanics, inspectors, and others in the field. This marking helps 
ensure that both types of actuators are serviced correctly and brakes 
are adjusted properly. This is important because long-stroke actuator 
components from different actuator manufacturers are not 
interchangeable, nor are they interchangeable with standard actuator 
components.
    In addition to providing discrete marking requirements for 
differentiating long-stroke from standard-stroke actuators, SAE J1817 
includes tables that specify the rated stroke and the maximum 
readjustment stroke for various types of air brake actuators. Tables 1A 
and 1B provide data for standard-stroke and long-stroke clamp-type 
brake chambers, respectively, and Table 1C provides data for 
rotochamber designs.
    Section 393.47(e) of the FMCSRs, as amended in the August 2005 
final rule, outlines three options for determining brake actuator 
readjustment limits for clamp- and rotochamber-type actuators. The 
pushrod travel for these actuators must be:
    (1) Less than 80 percent of the rated stroke listed in Tables 1A, 
1B, or 1C of SAE J1817; or
    (2) Less than 80 percent of the rated stroke marked on the brake 
chamber by its manufacturer; or
    (3) Less than the readjustment limit marked on the chamber by the 
chamber manufacturer.
    As CVSA's petition notes, while Sec.  393.47(e) specifies that 
readjustment (stroke) limits may be based on 80 percent of the rated 
(full) strokes listed in SAE J1817, relying on this criterion may 
introduce discrepancies between Sec.  393.47(e) and SAE J1817. Although 
in some cases, the readjustment limits listed in SAE J1817 are 80 
percent of the rated stroke for a given actuator, deviations exist. 
Where the readjustment limit listed in SAE J1817 for a given actuator 
differs from a value equal to 80 percent of the rated stroke, the 
difference generally is small. In some cases, however, the deviations 
can be considered more significant (i.e., close to, or greater than, 
\1/8\ inch).\1\ The differences vary according to the type (size) of 
brake chamber. Using the ``80 percent of rated stroke'' criterion in 
Sec.  393.47(e) may produce a value that is either more stringent or 
less stringent than the value specified in SAE J1817. The differences, 
however, are only a fraction of an inch.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Brake stroke is measured in increments of \1/8\ inch.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    CVSA recommends incorporation of a set of tables into Sec.  
393.47(e)--similar to the tables that already exist in (a) SAE J1817, 
(b) the CVSA OOS Criteria, and (c) Appendix G to the FMCSRs--that, if 
included, would eliminate the discrepancies resulting from application 
of the ``80 percent'' criterion currently

[[Page 54724]]

permitted under Sec.  393.47(e) as discussed above. Inclusion of these 
tables would eliminate confusion in the enforcement community and the 
industry by providing explicit values for the actuator readjustment 
limits.
    In reviewing the tables in SAE J1817, FMCSA confirmed that the 
specified readjustment limits for certain actuators are not equal to 80 
percent of the corresponding rated stroke for those actuators.\2\ For 
example, the readjustment limit for a T-30-L3 chamber (common on new 
trucks) is listed at 2.5 inches in SAE J1817 and the CVSA OOS Criteria 
(Appendix G has not been updated to include long-stroke chambers), yet 
under the requirements of Sec.  393.47(e), 80 percent of its rated 
stroke of 3.0 inches (as provided in SAE J1817) is 2.4 inches, a 
difference of slightly less than an eighth of an inch. In another 
example, for a standard T-36 chamber (common on transit buses), SAE 
J1817, the CVSA OOS Criteria, and Appendix G all list the readjustment 
limit as 2.25 inches--but under the requirements of Sec.  393.47(e), 80 
percent of the rated stroke of 3.0 inches (as provided in SAE J1817) is 
2.4 inches, a difference of slightly more than an eighth of an inch. In 
the first example, the Sec.  393.47(e) criterion is more stringent; in 
the second it is less stringent. But in both cases the differences are 
only a small fraction of an inch.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ Whereas SAE J1817 provides values for (1) rated stroke and 
(2) corresponding readjustment limits, the CVSA OOS Criteria and 
Appendix G provide only readjustment limits.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Even though the discrepancies are minimal, they are confusing to 
the enforcement community and the industry. Accordingly, for the 
reasons discussed above, FMCSA proposes to amend Sec.  393.47(e) as 
recommended by CVSA.
    FMCSA does not, however, agree with CVSA's recommendation to limit 
out-of-adjustment findings to cases where the brake travel exceeds the 
readjustment limit. An s-cam brake that is at the readjustment limit 
when it is cold will be beyond the readjustment limit when it gets hot. 
FMCSA believes that vehicles should not be dispatched with brakes at 
the readjustment limit, because those brakes will be found to be beyond 
the adjustment limit--and out of compliance with the regulations--if 
evaluated during a roadside inspection after the brakes have become hot 
due to operational use. Based on these fundamental performance 
characteristics of s-cam brakes, the August 2005 final rule included a 
provision in Sec.  393.47(e) that requires brake stroke to be ``less 
than'' the readjustment limit(s), as opposed to the Appendix G 
provision under which brakes ``at'' the adjustment limit are in 
compliance with the FMCSRs. This difference reflects roadside 
inspection tolerances. Roadside inspectors typically refrain from 
citing a brake adjustment violation until the brake is beyond the 
adjustment limit. Further, under the 20 percent rule for brake 
violations in the OOS Criteria, roadside inspectors do not remove a CMV 
from service unless 20 percent of the vehicle's brakes are out of 
adjustment. The Agency believes, however, that it is appropriate to 
require motor carriers to take action under the requirements of Sec.  
393.47 when a brake is at the adjustment limit. This position is 
consistent with findings from a 1995 study concerning the accuracy with 
which brake adjustment can be measured \3\ performed by the University 
of Michigan Transportation Research Institute for FHWA's Office of 
Motor Carrier Safety. To avoid confusion in the enforcement community 
and the industry, this NPRM proposes to amend Appendix G to make its 
requirements consistent with those of Sec.  393.47(e) adopted in the 
August 2005 rule.
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    \3\ ``Evaluation of Brake Adjustment Criteria for Heavy 
Trucks,'' FHWA-MC-94-016, March 1995. A copy of the report is in the 
docket referenced at the beginning of this notice.
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VII. Discussion of the Proposed Rule

    This NPRM proposes to revise and expand the readjustment-limits 
tables as recommended by CVSA, and includes these revised tables in 
Sec.  393.47(e) and Appendix G. The revised tables cover readjustment 
limits not only for clamp-, bolt-, and rotochamber-type brake chambers 
but also for Bendix DD-3 chambers. The table for clamp-type brake 
chambers also differentiates between adjustment limits for more sizes 
of standard-stroke and long-stroke chambers.
    The NPRM also proposes to eliminate the cross-reference to SAE 
J1817 in Sec.  393.47(e). Inclusion of the new tables in Sec.  
393.47(e) would provide explicit readjustment limits for each type of 
actuator, eliminating the need for the cross-reference.
    FMCSA notes that the SAE Truck and Bus Brake Actuator Committee has 
initiated work on a new SAE Recommended Practice, J2899, which would 
describe the physical characteristics of air brake actuators that allow 
the correct brake readjustment limits to be determined. The new 
recommended practice would also define the maximum readjustment limits 
based on the rated stroke and type (size) of the chamber. The committee 
voted to develop this new J-specification to identify maximum 
readjustment limits independently of SAE J1817 and focus the latter on 
actuator long-stroke marking requirements. As the committee noted, 
limiting SAE J1817 to the topic defined within its scope will 
facilitate maintenance of the standard. This project was initiated in 
May 2009, and it is not known when the new recommended practice will be 
published.
    The proposed rule would adopt CVSA's suggestion to replace the 
heading ``Maximum stroke at which brakes should be readjusted'' with 
the term ``Brake Adjustment Limit.'' The proposed wording is more 
concise and direct.
    As discussed in the Agency Analysis section, FMCSA proposes changes 
to paragraph 1.a.(5) of Appendix G, ``Brake System, Service Brakes,'' 
to be consistent with the Sec.  393.47(e) requirement that pushrod 
travel be less than the values specified in the accompanying tables. 
For actuator types not listed in these tables, the pushrod stroke must 
be less than 80 percent of the rated stroke marked on the actuator by 
the actuator manufacturer, or less than the readjustment limit marked 
on the actuator by the actuator manufacturer.
    Lastly, the Agency would revise Sec.  393.53 in response to CVSA's 
request. Although the introductory text of each paragraph clearly 
states that it is applicable to ``each commercial motor vehicle,'' 
Sec.  393.53(b) and (c) omit a cross-reference to the FMVSSs applicable 
to trailers (S.5.2.2). The proposed rule adds this cross-reference to 
eliminate potential confusion.

VIII. Regulatory Analyses

Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review) and DOT 
Regulatory Policies and Procedures

    This proposed rule is not a significant regulatory action under 
section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, 
as supplemented by Executive Order 13563, and does not require an 
assessment of potential costs and benefits under section 6(a)(3) of 
that Order. FMCSA expects the economic impact of this NPRM to be 
minimal. The proposal affects the conditions under which motor carriers 
are cited for out-of-adjustment brakes during roadside inspections and 
CMVs are placed OOS for such violations. Each brake adjustment 
violation cited during a roadside inspection must be addressed

[[Page 54725]]

by the carrier, and each OOS order results in time lost for the carrier 
and driver because the vehicle may not be operated until the OOS 
defects have been corrected. Consequently, a decrease in OOS orders can 
be considered a benefit of these proposed amendments to the 
readjustment limits, while any increase in violations and OOS orders 
would be a cost. With respect to the safety impact of OOS orders for 
brake adjustment violations, more such orders on vehicles with defects 
may produce a safety benefit by reducing crashes. Neither the 
petitioners nor the Agency, however, are able to estimate whether the 
number of brake-adjustment violations resulting from this proposal 
would increase or decrease by a significant amount. It should be noted, 
however, that FMCSA requires motor carriers to maintain their vehicles 
in safe and proper operating condition at all times and to have a 
systematic inspection, repair, and maintenance program to avoid 
dispatching CMVs with safety defects and deficiencies (see, e.g., 49 
CFR 396.3(a)(1) and 398.7). Therefore, the potential costs of this NPRM 
relate only to carrying out the maintenance task (e.g., readjusting the 
brakes or replacing an inoperable slack adjuster) at the inspection 
location rather than at one of the carrier's usual maintenance 
locations.
    From 2000 to 2009, the annual number of Level I and Level V 
roadside inspections of CMVs--the only inspection levels that include 
brake stroke measurement--ranged from about 0.94 to 1.25 million, and 
the percentage of inspections resulting in the CMV being placed OOS for 
brake violations of all kinds ranged from a high of 17 percent to a low 
of 12.2 percent. Roughly half of these violations concerned out-of-
adjustment brakes, but the Agency believes that the changes in this 
proposal would have relatively little impact on this ratio. By 
proposing to: (1) Remove from Sec.  393.47(e) the cross-reference to 
the readjustment-limits tables in SAE J1817 and the requirement that 
pushrod travel be less than 80 percent of the rated stroke listed in 
those tables, (2) incorporate into Sec.  393.47(e) a set of tables 
(duplicating those in Appendix G) providing explicit readjustment 
limits, and (3) require that pushrod travel be less than the values 
specified in those tables, the NPRM would eliminate certain 
discrepancies between the brake adjustment values derived using the 
``80 percent of rated stroke'' criterion under Sec.  393.47(e) and the 
values specified in the SAE J1817 tables. In addition, these changes 
would make Sec.  393.47(e) consistent with Appendix G, eliminating 
confusion in the enforcement community and the industry.
    Although substituting the readjustment-limits tables for the cross-
reference to SAE J1817 in Sec.  393.47(e) would resolve discrepancies 
that the cross-reference introduced, these differences are in many 
cases quite small. The differences vary according to the type (size) of 
brake chamber. Using the ``80 percent of rated stroke'' criterion may 
produce a value that is either more stringent or less stringent than 
the value specified in SAE J1817. For these reasons, FMCSA anticipates 
that certain brake adjustments that comply with the current rule would 
be out of compliance with the proposed standard--while the reverse 
could just as often be true. On the other hand, the proposed Appendix G 
amendment mirroring the proposed Sec.  393.47(e) requirement that 
pushrod travel be less than the values specified in the readjustment-
limits tables would have no effect on the rate of OOS violations for 
brake adjustment--because roadside inspection procedures do not 
reference the readjustment limits in Appendix G.
    In summary, although FMCSA is unable to estimate the net economic 
and safety impacts of the changes proposed in this NPRM, these impacts 
clearly would be minimal.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) requires 
Federal agencies to determine whether proposed rules could have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
FMCSA estimates that the economic impact of this rule would be minimal. 
Consequently, I certify that this proposed action would not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    This rulemaking does 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 $141.3 
million (which is the value of $100 million in 2010 after adjusting for 
inflation) or more in any 1 year.

Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform)

    This proposed action meets applicable standards in sections 3(a) 
and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform, to minimize 
litigation, eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden.

Executive Order 13045 (Protection of Children)

    FMCSA analyzed this action under Executive Order 13045, Protection 
of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks. The 
Agency determined that this rulemaking does not pose an environmental 
risk to health or safety that may disproportionately affect children.

Executive Order 12630 (Taking of Private Property)

    This rulemaking does not effect a taking of private property or 
otherwise have takings implications under Executive Order 12630, 
Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected 
Property Rights.

Executive Order 13132 (Federalism)

    A rulemaking has implications for Federalism under Executive Order 
13132, Federalism, if it 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 them. FMCSA analyzed this 
proposed action in accordance with Executive Order 13132. The proposal 
would not have a substantial direct effect on States, nor would it 
limit the policymaking discretion of States. Nothing in this rulemaking 
would preempt any State law or regulation.

Executive Order 12372 (Intergovernmental Review)

    The regulations implementing Executive Order 12372 regarding 
intergovernmental consultation on Federal programs and activities do 
not apply to this action.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507(d)) requires 
that FMCSA consider the impact of paperwork and other information 
collection burdens imposed on the public. The Agency determined that no 
new information collection requirements are associated with this 
proposed rule.

National Environmental Policy Act

    FMCSA analyzed this NPRM for the purpose of the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and 
determined under our environmental procedures Order 5610.1, published 
in the Federal Register on March 1, 2004 (69 FR 9680), that this 
proposed action does not have any effect on the quality of the 
environment.

[[Page 54726]]

Therefore, this NPRM is categorically excluded from further analysis 
and documentation in an environmental assessment or environmental 
impact statement under FMCSA Order 5610.1, paragraph 6(bb) of Appendix 
2. The Categorical Exclusion under paragraph 6(bb) relates to 
``regulations concerning vehicle operation safety standards,'' such as 
the amended brake inspection standards proposed in this rulemaking. A 
Categorical Exclusion determination is available for inspection or 
copying in the Regulations.gov Web site listed under ADDRESSES.
    FMCSA also analyzed this proposal under section 176(c) of the Clean 
Air Act (CAA), as amended (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.

Executive Order 13211 (Energy Effects)

    FMCSA analyzed this action under Executive Order 13211, Actions 
Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, 
Distribution, or Use. The Agency has determined that it is not a 
``significant energy action'' under that Executive Order because it is 
not economically significant and is not likely to have an adverse 
effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy.

List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 393

    Highways and roads, Motor carriers, Motor vehicle equipment, Motor 
vehicle safety.

    In consideration of the foregoing, FMCSA proposes to amend title 
49, Code of Federal Regulations, subchapter B, chapter III, as follows:

PART 393--[AMENDED]

    1. The authority citation for part 393 is revised to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 31136, 31151, and 31502; Sec. 1041(b) of 
Pub. L. 102-240, 105 Stat. 1914, 1993 (1991); and 49 CFR 1.73.

    2. In Sec.  393.7, remove paragraph (b)(15) and redesignate 
paragraphs (b)(16) through (b)(22) as paragraphs (b)(15) through 
(b)(21), respectively.
    3. Amend Sec.  393.47 by revising paragraph (e) to read as follows:


Sec.  393.47  Brake actuators, slack adjusters, linings/pads, and 
drums/rotors.

* * * * *
    (e) Clamp, Bendix DD-3, bolt-type, and rotochamber brake actuator 
readjustment limits. The pushrod travel for clamp- and rotochamber-type 
actuators must be less than the values specified in the following 
tables:

                                            Clamp-Type Brake Chambers
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                  Brake adjustment
        Type              Outside diameter         limit: Standard        Brake adjustment limit: Long  stroke
                                                   stroke chamber                       chamber
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
6...................  4 \1/2\ in. (114 mm)...  1 \1/4\ in. (32 mm).    .........................................
9...................  5 \1/4\ in. (133 mm)...  1 \3/8\ in. (35 mm).    .........................................
12..................  5 \11/16\ in. (145 mm).  1 \3/8\ in. (35 mm)...  1 \3/4\ in. (45 mm)
16..................  6 \3/8\ in. (162 mm)...  1 \3/4\ in. (45 mm)...  2 in. (51 mm)
20..................  6 \25/32\ in. (172 mm).  1 \3/4\ in. (45 mm)...  2 in. (51 mm)
                                                                       2 \1/2\ in. (64 mm)*
24..................  7 \7/32\ in. (184 mm)..  1 \3/4\ in. (45 mm)...  2 in. (51 mm)
                                                                       2 \1/2\ in. (64 mm)**
30..................  8 \3/32\ in. (206 mm)..  2 in. (51 mm).........  2 \1/2\ in. (64 mm)
36..................  9 in. (229 mm).........  2 \1/4\ in. (57 mm).    .........................................
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* For type 20 chambers with a 3-inch (76 mm) rated stroke.
** For type 24 chambers with a 3-inch (76 mm) rated stroke.


                       Bendix DD-3 Brake Chambers
------------------------------------------------------------------------
       Type             Outside  diameter        Brake adjustment limit
------------------------------------------------------------------------
30...............  8 \1/8\ in. (206 mm)......  2 \1/4\ in. (57 mm)
------------------------------------------------------------------------


                        Bolt-Type Brake Chambers
------------------------------------------------------------------------
       Type             Outside  diameter        Brake adjustment limit
------------------------------------------------------------------------
A................  6 \5/16\ in. (176 mm).....  1 \3/8\ in. (35 mm)
B................  9 \3/16\ in. (234 mm).....  1 \3/4\ in. (45 mm)
C................  8 \1/16\ in. (205 mm).....  1 \3/4\ in. (45 mm)
D................  5 \1/4\ in. (133 mm)......  1 \1/4\ in. (32 mm)
E................  6 \3/16\ in. (157 mm).....  1 \3/8\ in. (35 mm)
F................  11 in. (279 mm)...........  2 \1/4\ in. (57 mm)
G................  9 \7/8\ in. (251 mm)......  2 in. (51 mm)
------------------------------------------------------------------------


                     Rotochamber-Type Brake Chambers
------------------------------------------------------------------------
       Type             Outside  diameter        Brake adjustment limit
------------------------------------------------------------------------
9................  4 \9/32\ in. (109 mm).....  1 \1/2\ in. (38 mm)
12...............  4 \13/16\ in. (122 mm)....  1 \1/2\ in. (38 mm)
16...............  5 \13/32\ in. (138 mm)....  2 in. (51 mm)
20...............  5 \15/16\ in. (151 mm)....  2 in. (51 mm)
24...............  6 \13/32\ in. (163 mm)....  2 in. (51 mm)
30...............  7 \1/16\ in. (180 mm).....  2 \1/4\ in. (57 mm)
36...............  7 \5/8\ in. (194 mm)......  2 \3/4\ in. (70 mm)
50...............  8 \7/8\ in. (226 mm)......  3 in. (76 mm)
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    For actuator types not listed in these tables, the pushrod stroke 
must be less than 80 percent of the rated stroke marked on the actuator 
by the actuator manufacturer, or less than the readjustment limit 
marked on the actuator by the actuator manufacturer.
* * * * *
    4. Amend Sec.  393.53 by revising paragraphs (b) and (c) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  393.53  Automatic brake adjusters and brake adjustment 
indicators.

* * * * *
    (b) Automatic brake adjusters (air brake systems). Each commercial 
motor vehicle manufactured on or after October 20, 1994, and equipped 
with an air brake system must meet the automatic brake adjustment 
system requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 121 
(49 CFR 571.121, S5.1.8 or S5.2.2) applicable to the vehicle at the 
time it was manufactured.
    (c) Brake adjustment indicator (air brake systems). On each 
commercial motor vehicle manufactured on or after October 20, 1994, and 
equipped with an air brake system which contains an external automatic 
adjustment mechanism and an exposed pushrod, the condition of service 
brake under-adjustment must be displayed by a brake adjustment 
indicator conforming to the requirements of Federal Motor

[[Page 54727]]

Vehicle Safety Standard No. 121 (49 CFR 571.121, S5.1.8 or S5.2.2) 
applicable to the vehicle at the time it was manufactured.
    5. Amend Appendix G to Subchapter B by revising paragraph (1)(a)(5) 
to read as follows:

Appendix G to Subchapter B of Chapter III--Minimum Periodic Inspection 
Standards

* * * * *
    (1) * * *
    (a) * * *
    (5) Readjustment limits. The maximum pushrod travel or stroke 
must be less than the values given in the tables below and at Sec.  
393.47(e). Any brake \1/4\'' or more past the readjustment limit, or 
any two brakes less than \1/4\'' past the readjustment limit, will 
be rejected. Stroke must be measured with engine off and reservoir 
pressure of 80 to 90 psi with brakes fully applied.

                        Clamp-Type Brake Chambers
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                     Brake adjustment   Brake adjustment
      Type        Outside diameter   limit: Standard      limit: Long
                                      stroke chamber     stroke chamber
------------------------------------------------------------------------
6..............  4\1/2\ in. (114    1\1/4\ in. (32     .................
                  mm).               mm).
9..............  5\1/4\ in. (133    1\3/8\ in. (35     .................
                  mm).               mm).
12.............  5\11/16\ in. (145  1\3/8\ in. (35     1\3/4\ in. (45
                  mm).               mm).               mm)
16.............  6\3/8\ in. (162    1\3/4\ in. (45     2 in. (51 mm)
                  mm).               mm).
20.............  6\25/32\ in. (172  1\3/4\ in. (45     2 in. (51 mm);
                  mm).               mm).               2\1/2\ in. (64
                                                        mm) *
24.............  7\7/32\ in. (184   1\3/4\ in. (45     2 in. (51 mm);
                  mm).               mm).               2\1/2\ in. (64
                                                        mm) **
30.............  8\3/32\ in. (206   2 in. (51 mm)....  2\1/2\ in. (64
                  mm).                                  mm)
36.............  9 in. (229 mm)...  2 \1/4\ in. (57    .................
                                     mm).
------------------------------------------------------------------------
* For type 20 chambers with a 3-inch (76 mm) rated stroke.
** For type 24 chambers with a 3-inch (76 mm) rated stroke.


                       Bendix DD-3 Brake Chambers
------------------------------------------------------------------------
       Type             Outside  diameter        Brake adjustment limit
------------------------------------------------------------------------
30...............  8\1/8\ in. (206 mm).......  2\1/4\ in. (57 mm)
------------------------------------------------------------------------


                        Bolt-Type Brake Chambers
------------------------------------------------------------------------
       Type             Outside  diameter        Brake adjustment limit
------------------------------------------------------------------------
A................  6\5/16\ in. (176 mm)......  1\3/8\ in. (35 mm)
B................  9\3/16\ in. (234 mm)......  1\3/4\ in. (45 mm)
C................  8\1/16\ in. (205 mm)......  1\3/4\ in. (45 mm)
D................  5\1/4\ in. (133 mm).......  1\1/4\ in. (32 mm)
E................  6\3/16\ in. (157 mm)......  1\3/8\ in. (35 mm)
F................  11 in. (279 mm)...........  2\1/4\ in. (57 mm)
G................  9\7/8\ in. (251 mm).......  2 in. (51 mm)
------------------------------------------------------------------------


                     Rotochamber-Type Brake Chambers
------------------------------------------------------------------------
       Type             Outside  diameter        Brake adjustment limit
------------------------------------------------------------------------
9................  4\9/32\ in. (109 mm)......  1\1/2\ in. (38 mm)
12...............  4\13/16\ in. (122 mm).....  1\1/2\ in. (38 mm)
16...............  5\13/32\ in. (138 mm).....  2 in. (51 mm)
20...............  5\15/16\ in. (151 mm).....  2 in. (51 mm)
24...............  6\13/32\ in. (163 mm).....  2 in. (51 mm)
30...............  7\1/16\ in. (180 mm)......  2\1/4\ in. (57 mm)
36...............  7\5/8\ in. (194 mm).......  2\3/4\ in. (70 mm)
50...............  8\7/8\ in. (226 mm).......  3 in. (76 mm)
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    For actuator types not listed in these tables, the pushrod 
stroke must be less than 80 percent of the rated stroke marked on 
the actuator by the actuator manufacturer, or less than the 
readjustment limit marked on the actuator by the actuator 
manufacturer.
* * * * *

Anne S. Ferro,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2011-22478 Filed 9-1-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P

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