[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 88 (Tuesday, May 7, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 26575-26581]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-10735]


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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; Definition

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

ACTION: Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), request for comments.

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SUMMARY: The FMCSA proposes to revise the definition of ``gross 
combination weight rating'' (or GCWR) to clarify that a GCWR is the 
greater of: the GCWR specified by the manufacturer of the power unit, 
if displayed on the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 
certification label required by the National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration (NHTSA), or the sum of the gross vehicle weight ratings 
(GVWRs) or gross vehicle weights (GVWs) of the power unit and towed 
unit(s), or any combination thereof, that produces the highest value.

DATES: You may submit comments by July 8, 2013.

ADDRESSES: Comments to the rulemaking docket should refer to Docket ID 
Number FMCSA-2012-0156 or RIN 2126-AB53, and be submitted to the 
Administrator, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration using any of 
the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.
     Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
     Mail: Docket Management Facility (M-30), U.S. Department 
of Transportation, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., 
Washington, DC 20590-0001.
     Hand Delivery: Ground Floor, Room W12-140, DOT Building, 
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 
p.m. e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    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

[[Page 26576]]

below for instructions on submitting comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Gary Siekmann, Office of 
Enforcement, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001, by telephone at (202) 
493-0442 or via email at Garry.Siekmann@dot.gov. FMCSA office hours are 
from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal 
holidays. If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to 
the docket, contact Barbara Hairston, Acting Program Manager, Docket 
Operations, telephone (202) 366-9826.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Table of Contents

I. Public Participation and Request for Comments
II. Executive Summary
III. Legal Basis for the Rulemaking
IV. Background
V. Discussion of Comments
VI. Discussion of the Proposed Rule
VII. Regulatory Analyses

I. Public Participation and Request for Comments

    FMCSA invites you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting 
comments and related materials.

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 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 email 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 
``Rules,'' insert ``FMCSA-2012-0156'' in the ``Keyword'' box, and click 
``Search.'' 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.

Viewing Comments and Documents

    To view comments, as well as any documents mentioned in this 
preamble, 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-2012-0156'' 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., e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

Privacy Act

    All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you 
provide. Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments 
received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual 
submitting the comment (or of the person signing the comment, if 
submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). 
You may review the DOT Privacy Act Statement for the Federal Docket 
Management System published in the Federal Register on January 17, 2008 
(73 FR 3316), or you may visit http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2008/pdf/E8-785.pdf.

II. Executive Summary

Purpose and Summary of the Major Provisions

    FMCSA proposes to clarify the applicability and enforceability of 
the safety regulations by redefining GCWR. This proposed rule would 
provide a uniform means for motor carriers, drivers, and enforcement 
officials to determine whether a driver operating a combination vehicle 
that does not display a GCWR is subject to the commercial driver's 
license (CDL) requirements (49 CFR part 383) or the general safety 
requirements (49 CFR part 390). This proposed rule also responds to 
adverse comments from the direct final rule (DFR) published on August 
27, 2012 (77 FR 51706). The DFR was initiated in reply to a petition 
filed by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) on February 12, 
2008, seeking changes in the definitions of ``commercial motor 
vehicle'' (CMV) and ``gross combination weight rating.''

Benefits and Costs

    While this rule may affect some carriers and drivers not currently 
subject to some or all of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations 
(FMCSRs), the Agency is unable to quantify this effect at this time. 
This rulemaking only clarifies the definition of GCWR to eliminate 
confusion surrounding the language of the existing definition and long-
standing enforcement practices. The rule will provide clear objective 
criteria for determining the applicability of the FMCSRs when the GCWR 
is the deciding factor. The cost, if any, would be borne by motor 
carriers and drivers that had previously determined by reference to the 
GCWR wording that their operations were not subject to certain safety 
regulations, but that would now be required to achieve compliance with 
the applicable rules.

III. Legal Basis for the Rulemaking

    This NPRM is based on the authority of the Motor Carrier Act of 
1935 (1935 Act) and the Motor Carrier Safety Act of 1984 (MCSA or 1984 
Act), both of which provide broad discretion to the Secretary of 
Transportation (Secretary) in implementing their provisions. In 
addition this NPRM is based on broad authority from the Commercial 
Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 (CMVSA) [49 U.S.C. Chapter 313].
    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 [49 U.S.C. 31502(b)(2)]. 
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 [49 U.S.C. 31136(a)]. 
Section 31136(a) requires the Secretary to publish regulations on CMV 
safety. Specifically, the Act sets forth minimum safety standards to 
ensure that (1) CMVs are maintained, equipped, loaded, and

[[Page 26577]]

operated safely [49 U.S.C. 31136(a)(1)]; (2) the responsibilities 
imposed on operators of CMVs do not impair their ability to operate the 
vehicles safely [49 U.S.C. 31136(a)(2)]; (3) the physical condition of 
CMV operators is adequate to enable them to operate the vehicles safely 
[49 U.S.C. 31136(a)(3)]; and (4) the operation of CMVs does not have a 
deleterious effect on the physical condition of the operators [49 
U.S.C. 31136(a)(4)]. Section 32911 of the Moving Ahead for Progress in 
the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) [Pub. L. 112-141, 126 Stat. 405, 818, 
July 6, 2012] enacted a fifth requirement, i.e., that the regulations 
ensure that ``(5) an operator of a commercial motor vehicle is not 
coerced by a motor carrier, shipper, receiver, or transportation 
intermediary to operate a commercial motor vehicle in violation of a 
regulation promulgated under this section, or chapter 51 
[Transportation of Hazardous Material] or chapter 313 [Commercial Motor 
Vehicle Operators] of this title'' [49 U.S.C. 31136(a)(5)].
    The proposed rule would clarify the applicability and 
enforceability of the safety regulations when the original equipment 
manufacturer does not provide the (optional) GCWR information on the 
(required) NHTSA certification label. This rulemaking would give motor 
carriers and the drivers they employ a practical means of determining 
whether a particular combination vehicle is subject to the Federal 
safety regulations concerning licensing, equipment, and inspection, 
repair and maintenance, consistent with 49 U.S.C. 31136(a)(1). The 
regulatory language would also result in consistent application of the 
rules by Federal and State enforcement personnel. The rule would not 
address the responsibilities or physical condition of drivers covered 
by 49 U.S.C. 31136(a)(2) and (3), respectively, and would deal with 49 
U.S.C. 31136(a)(4) only to the extent that a vehicle operated in 
accordance with the safety regulations 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)).
    With regard to 49 U.S.C. 31136(a)(5), this rulemaking would not 
change the long-standing prohibitions and penalties against operating a 
CMV, as defined either in 49 CFR 383.5 or 49 CFR 390.5, without 
complying with applicable requirements. Among other things, motor 
carriers are currently prohibited from using unqualified CMV drivers, 
and unqualified drivers are currently prohibited from operating CMVs. 
This rule would have only a limited effect on the risk of driver 
coercion by motor carriers, shippers, receivers, or transportation 
intermediaries. The rule would enable drivers and the entities that are 
in a position to coerce drivers into violating the FMCSRs, to determine 
with a greater degree of certainty whether particular vehicle 
configurations meet either of the CMV definitions under 49 CFR parts 
383 or 390. This rule would help eliminate differences of opinion 
between drivers and other entities regarding the applicability of the 
rules and previously published guidance. As a result, entities in a 
position to coerce drivers to operate in violation of the commercial 
driver's license (CDL) requirements (49 CFR part 383), or 
transportation that would be subject to the requirements under 49 CFR 
parts 390-399, would either ensure each of their decisions is 
consistent with the rules or be unable to avoid the fact that any 
decision inconsistent with the rules represents an act of coercion.
    This rulemaking is also based on the broad authority of the 
Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 (CMVSA) [49 U.S.C. chapter 
313]. The CMVSA required the Secretary of Transportation, after 
consultation with the States, to prescribe regulations on minimum 
uniform standards for the issuance of CDLs by the States and for 
information to be contained on each license (49 U.S.C. 31305, 31308). 
This proposed rule would provide a uniform means for motor carriers, 
drivers, and enforcement officials to determine whether a driver 
operating a combination vehicle that does not display a GCWR is subject 
to the CDL requirements.

IV. Background

    The term ``commercial motor vehicle'' (CMV) is defined differently 
in 49 CFR 383.5 and 390.5, as required by the underlying statutes (the 
CMVSA and the MCSA, respectively). Both regulatory definitions, 
however, like their statutory equivalents, depend (in part) on the GVWR 
or GVW, whichever is greater, to determine whether a single-unit 
vehicle is a CMV for purposes of the relevant safety regulations. 
Although neither the MCSA nor the CMVSA referred explicitly to 
combination vehicles, Congress clearly did not intend to exempt this 
huge population of vehicles from the safety regulations applicable to 
CMVs. FMCSA therefore adapted the statutory language used for single-
unit vehicles to combination vehicles, substituting GCWR or gross 
combination weight (GCW), whichever is greater, for GVWR or GVW.\1\ 
Because GVW and GCW are used in the regulatory definition of CMV in 
parts 383 and 390, enforcement officials and motor carriers may 
determine the applicability of the safety regulations simply by 
weighing the vehicles. In many situations, however, scales are not 
readily available. That deficiency increases the importance of 
correctly determining the GCWR as an alternate means of deciding 
whether a combination is a CMV. Drivers, carriers and enforcement 
officials should not have to search manufacturers' product literature 
for the GCWR or FMCSA's Web site or commercial publications for 
regulatory guidance. Instead, they should be able to rely on codified 
regulations that are accessible and easy to understand and implement.
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    \1\ 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 adding the GVWR of the 
power unit and the total weight of the towed unit and any load 
thereon. (49 CFR parts 383.5 and 390.5)
    Gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) means the value specified by 
the manufacturer as the loaded weight of a single vehicle. (49 CFR 
parts 383.5 and 390.5)
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    As FMCSA and its State partners increase their monitoring of 
drivers and motor carriers through roadside inspections and other 
enforcement interventions, industry officials and the enforcement 
community have raised questions about the inconsistency between the 
GCWR definitions used by FMCSA and NHTSA. The following sentence is 
part of the GCWR definition in 49 CFR 383.5 and 390.5, but not in 49 
CFR 571.3: ``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.'' This alternative 
means of determining GCWR is not practical when scales are not 
available, however.
    On February 12, 2008, the CVSA petitioned FMCSA to change the 
definitions of CMV and GCWR as these definitions are proving 
problematic for inspectors and industry when determining what is 
considered to be a CMV and when a CDL is required. The Agency granted 
the petition on August 18, 2011, and agreed to initiate a rulemaking. 
On August 27, 2012, FMCSA published a DFR, with a request for public 
comment, amending the definition of GCWR by removing the sentence 
mentioned above (77 FR 51706). The FMCSA received comments from: Bryce 
Baker; David S. McQueen; Dennis Eric Murphy; and, John F. Nowak.

[[Page 26578]]

V. Discussion of Comments

    In response to the DFR, Mr. Bryce Baker of the Illinois Truck 
Enforcement Association stated that the GCWR definition is relevant 
only for determining the applicability of Class-A CDLs. Mr. Baker noted 
that the current definition is problematic for two reasons. First, 
manufacturers do not list GCWR on the vehicle certification label 
required by NHTSA; instead, they list the vehicle's maximum towing 
capacity. Even under the DFR definition, he argued, this makes it 
impossible to determine whether a driver needs a Class-A CDL. Second, 
Mr. Baker indicated that only manufacturers have information on the 
GCWR, and that obtaining it requires significant time and makes 
enforcement ``fruitless.''
    Mr. John F. Nowak commented that the definition of GCWR should not 
be changed until GCWRs are readily available to law enforcement, motor 
carriers, and drivers. Mr. Nowak believes that NHTSA rules should be 
amended to require the manufacturer to include a GCWR in addition to 
the GVWR. Mr. Nowak believes it is unclear as to how citations are 
supposed to be issued when the GCWR cannot be established and how this 
fact will impact motor carriers' safety ratings or Safety Measurement 
System (SMS) scores. He suggested not citing carriers and/or drivers 
for failing to provide the GCWR and that the GCWR definition should not 
be changed until information on this rating is available and accessible 
to law enforcement.
    Mr. David S. McQueen questioned the benefit of the rule in the 
absence of a requirement for the GCWR to be displayed on the vehicle. 
In that regard, he suggested that manufacturers would not be able to 
predict what combinations would be used by motor carriers on any given 
day.
    Mr. Dennis Eric Murphy stated that he agreed with the other 
commenters' views that the GCWR should be marked on the truck in some 
manner. He also believes FMCSA should use the manufacturer's GCWR and 
prohibit motor carriers from operating vehicles loaded in excess of the 
GCWR. He suggests that the determination whether a vehicle meets the 
CMV definition should be made by adding the GVWR of the truck and 
trailer together.
    All of these comments were deemed to be adverse responses to the 
DFR. Therefore, as required by 49 CFR 389.39(d), the direct final rule 
was withdrawn on October 29, 2012 (77 FR 65497).

VI. Discussion of Proposed Rule

    FMCSA acknowledges the commenters' concerns but continues to 
believe that the revision outlined in the DFR has merit. The Agency 
therefore proposes that GCWR be re-defined as the greater of (1) the 
GCWR specified by the manufacturer of the power unit, if displayed on 
the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) certification label 
required by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 
or (2) the sum of the gross vehicle weight ratings (GVWRs) or gross 
vehicle weights (GVWs) of the power unit and towed unit(s), or any 
combination thereof, that produces the highest value. For instances in 
which the manufacturer's GCWR indicates that the vehicle should not be 
subject to the safety regulations, but the sum of the GVWRs, GVWs, or 
the highest combination of those values, is greater than the 
manufacturer's GCWR, the combination would be deemed to be a CMV 
subject to the Federal rules.
    The Agency believes this GCWR definition would provide motor 
carriers and enforcement officials with clear direction in determining 
whether a multiple-unit vehicle is a CMV when (1) the manufacturer of 
the power unit does not display a GCWR value on the FMVSS certification 
label, or (2) the GCWR is displayed but the sum of the power unit and 
trailer GVWRs, GVWs, or the highest combination thereof, exceeds the 
manufacturer's GCWR. Using the revised definition, motor carriers and 
enforcement officials could easily determine whether any type of 
single-unit or combination vehicle was a CMV. The Agency requests 
public comments on whether the proposed change would improve consistent 
application of the rules or whether other alternatives might better 
accomplish this objective.
    In consideration of the proposed revision of the definition of GCWR 
in 49 CFR 383.5 and 390.5, FMCSA would withdraw regulatory guidance 
concerning means of determining the applicability of the Federal safety 
regulations. Specifically, the guidance to be withdrawn are questions 3 
and 4 to 49 CFR 383.5 (April 4, 1997; 62 FR 16369, 16395), and 
questions 3, 4 and 11 to 49 CFR 390.5 (April 4, 1997; 62 FR 16406-
16407). The text of the guidance to be withdrawn is presented below. 
The Agency requests public comment whether the guidance would still be 
needed in view of the proposed revision to the GCWR definition.

Guidance to 49 CFR 383.5

    Question 3: If a vehicle's GVWR plate and/or vehicle identification 
number (VIN) number are missing but its actual gross weight is 26,001 
pounds or more, may an enforcement officer use the latter instead of 
GVWR to determine the applicability of the part 383?
    Guidance: Yes. The only apparent reason to remove the 
manufacturer's GVWR plate or VIN number is to make it impossible for 
roadside enforcement officers to determine the applicability of part 
383, which has a GVWR threshold of 26,001 pounds. In order to frustrate 
willful evasion of safety regulations, an officer may therefore presume 
that a vehicle which does not have a manufacturer's GVWR plate and/or 
does not have a VIN number has a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more if: (1) 
It has a size and configuration normally associated with vehicles that 
have a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more; and (2) It has an actual gross 
weight of 26,001 pounds or more.
    A motor carrier or driver may rebut the presumption by providing 
the enforcement officer the GVWR plate, the VIN number or other 
information of comparable reliability which demonstrates, or allows the 
officer to determine, that the GVWR of the vehicle is below the 
jurisdictional weight threshold.
    Question 4: If a vehicle with a manufacturer's GVWR of less than 
26,001 pounds has been structurally modified to carry a heavier load, 
may an enforcement officer use the higher actual gross weight of the 
vehicle, instead of the GVWR, to determine the applicability of part 
383?
    Guidance: Yes. The motor carrier's intent to increase the weight 
rating is shown by the structural modifications. When the vehicle is 
used to perform functions normally performed by a vehicle with a higher 
GVWR, Sec.  390.33 allows an enforcement officer to treat the actual 
gross weight as the GVWR of the modified vehicle.

Guidance to 49 CFR 390.5

    Question 3: If a vehicle's GVWR plate and/or VIN number are missing 
but its actual gross weight is 10,001 pounds or more, may an 
enforcement officer use the latter instead of GVWR to determine the 
applicability of the FMCSRs?
    Guidance: Yes. The only apparent reason to remove the 
manufacturer's GVWR plate or VIN number is to make it impossible for 
roadside enforcement officers to determine the applicability of the 
FMCSRs, which have a GVWR threshold of 10,001 pounds. Therefore, an 
officer may therefore presume that a

[[Page 26579]]

vehicle which does not have a manufacturer's GVWR plate and/or does not 
have a VIN number has a GVWR of 10,001 pounds or more if: (1) It has a 
size and configuration normally associated with vehicles that have a 
GVWR of 10,001 pounds or more; and/or (2) It has an actual gross weight 
of 10,001 pounds or more.
    Question 4: If a vehicle with a manufacturer's GVWR of less than 
10,001 pounds has been structurally modified to carry a heavier load, 
may an enforcement officer use the higher actual gross weight of the 
vehicle, instead of the GVWR, to determine the applicability of the 
FMCSRs?
    Guidance: Yes. The motor carrier's intent to increase the weight 
rating is shown by the structural modifications. When the vehicle is 
used to perform functions normally performed by a vehicle with a higher 
GVWR, Sec.  390.33 allows an enforcement officer to treat the actual 
gross weight as the GVWR of the modified vehicle.
    * * *
    Question 11: A company has a truck with a GVWR under 10,001 pounds 
towing a trailer with a GVWR under 10,001 pounds. However, the GVWR of 
the truck added to the GVWR of the trailer is greater than 10,001 
pounds. Would the company operating this vehicle in interstate commerce 
have to comply with the FMCSRs?
    Guidance: Section 390.5 of the FMCSRs includes in the definition of 
CMV a vehicle with a GVWR or GCWR of 10,001 or more pounds. The section 
further defines GCWR as the value specified by the manufacturer as the 
loaded weight of a combination (articulated) vehicle. Therefore, if the 
GVWR of the truck added to the GVWR of the trailer exceeds 10,001 
pounds, the driver and vehicle are subject to the FMCSRs.

VII. 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), or within 
the meaning of DOT regulatory policies and procedures (DOT Order 2100.5 
dated May 22, 1980; 44 FR 11034, February 2, 1979). While this rule may 
affect some carriers and drivers not currently subject to some or all 
of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs), the Agency is 
unable to quantify this effect at this time. This rulemaking only 
clarifies the definition of GCWR to eliminate confusion surrounding the 
language of the existing definition and long-standing enforcement 
practices. The rule will provide clear objective criteria for 
determining the applicability of the FMCSRs when the GCWR is the 
deciding factor. The cost, if any, would be borne by motor carriers and 
drivers that had previously determined by reference to the GCWR wording 
that their operations were not subject to certain safety regulations, 
but 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. Moreover, the 
Agency does not expect the rule to generate substantial congressional 
or public interest. This proposed rule therefore has not been formally 
reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) 
requires Federal agencies to consider the effects of the regulatory 
action on small business and other small entities and to minimize any 
significant economic impact. The term ``small entities'' comprises 
small businesses and not-for-profit organizations that are 
independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields 
and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000. 
Accordingly, DOT policy requires an analysis of the impact of all 
regulations on small entities and mandates that agencies strive to 
lessen any adverse effects on these businesses.
    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act, as amended by the Small 
Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Title II, Pub. L. 
104-121, 110 Stat. 857, March 29, 1996), the proposed rule is not 
expected to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number 
of small entities because the proposed rule would only clarify existing 
rules by providing clear objective criteria for determining the 
applicability of the FMCSRs when the GCWR is not included on the FMVSS 
certification label required by NHTSA.

Assistance for Small Entities

    Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement 
Fairness Act of 1996, FMCSA wants to assist small entities in 
understanding this proposed rule so that they can better evaluate its 
effects on them and participate in the rulemaking initiative. If the 
proposed 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 
personnel listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of the 
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 ensuring 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 would 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 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 the States. FMCSA 
has analyzed this proposed rule under E.O. 13132 and determined that it 
does not have Federalism implications.

E.O. 12988 (Civil Justice Reform)

    This proposed 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 proposed rule will not create an environmental risk to health 
or safety

[[Page 26580]]

that may disproportionately affect children.

E.O. 12630 (Taking of Private Property)

    FMCSA reviewed this NPRM 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 that receives records contained in a system 
of records from a Federal agency for use in a matching program. FMCSA 
has determined this proposed 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 
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 NPRM.

National Environmental Policy Act and Clean Air Act

    FMCSA analyzed this proposed 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 NPRM 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 proposed 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 proposed 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 proposed rule does not have tribal implications under E.O. 
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 proposed 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.

    For the reasons stated above, FMCSA proposes to amend title 49, 
Code of Federal Regulations, chapter III, subchapter B, parts 383 and 
390, 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 of Pub. L. 106-159, 113 Stat. 1748, 1766, 1767; sec. 
1012(b) of Pub. L. 107-56, 115 Stat. 272, 297, sec. 4140, Pub. L. 
109-59, 119 Stat. 1144, 1746; and 49 CFR 1.87.

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) is the greater of:
    (1) A value specified by the manufacturer of the power unit if 
displayed on the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 
certification label required by the National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration; or
    (2) The sum of the gross vehicle weight ratings (GVWRs) or the 
gross vehicle weights (GVWs) of the power unit and the towed unit(s), 
or any combination thereof, that produces the highest value.
* * * * *

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. 4114 
and amended by secs. 4130-4132, Pub. L. 109-59, 119 Stat. 1144, 
1726, 1743-1744); sec. 4136, Pub. L. 109-59, 119 Stat. 114,

[[Page 26581]]

1745; sections 32101(d) and 34934, Pub. L. 112-141, 126 Stat. 405, 
778, 830; and 49 CFR 1.87.

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) is the greater of:
    (1) A value specified by the manufacturer of the power unit if 
displayed on the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 
certification label required by the National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration; or
    (2) The sum of the gross vehicle weight ratings (GVWRs) or the 
gross vehicle weights (GVWs) of the power unit and the towed unit(s), 
or any combination thereof, that produces the highest value.
* * * * *

    Issued under the authority of delegation in 49 CFR 1.87 on: 
April 19, 2013.
Anne S. Ferro,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2013-10735 Filed 5-6-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P