[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 209 (Monday, October 29, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 65497-65498]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-26550]



Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

49 CFR Parts 383 and 390

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

Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR); Definition

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

ACTION: Withdrawal of direct final rule.


SUMMARY: FMCSA withdraws its August 27, 2012, direct final rule (DFR) 
amending the definition of ``gross combination weight rating'' (GCWR) 
in 49 CFR parts 383 and 390. The DFR would have taken effect on October 
26, 2012. However, the Agency received several adverse comments in 
response to the DFR and will, therefore develop a notice of proposed 
rulemaking to request public comments on proposed changes to the GCWR 

DATES: The direct final rule published August 27, 2012 (77 FR 51706) is 
withdrawn effective October 26, 2012.

[[Page 65498]]

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


I. Public Participation and Request for Comments

A. Viewing Comments and Documents

    To view comments, go to http://www.regulations.gov, FMCSA-2012-
0156. If you do not have access to the internet, you may also view the 
docket online by visiting the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-
140 on the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West 
Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

B. Privacy Act

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

II. Background

    On August 27, 2012, FMCSA published a DFR to amend the definition 
of ``gross combination weight rating'' (GCWR) in 49 CFR parts 383 and 
390. The DFR provided that the rule would be effective October 26, 
2012, if no adverse comments were received by September 26, 2012. In 
view of three adverse comments submitted to the docket, FMCSA withdraws 
the DFR through this notice.
    Commenter John F. Nowak stated that the definition of GCWR should 
not be amended until the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 
(NHTSA) changes its regulations to require manufacturers to include a 
vehicle's GCWR in addition to its gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) on 
the certification label. He argued that it was difficult at this time 
for drivers, motor carriers, and law enforcement officers to obtain 
GCWR information quickly. Mr. Nowak claimed that currently only the 
second half of the existing definition of GCWR is readily available for 
use by carrier and enforcement personnel. This commenter went on to say 
that because FMCSA must be aware of the difficulty in obtaining the 
manufacturer's GCWR for any particular vehicle, the second sentence of 
the existing definition must be retained.
    Currently, the definitions in 49 CFR 383.5 and 390.5 both define 
Gross combination weight rating (GCWR) as the value specified by the 
manufacturer as the loaded weight of a combination (articulated) 
vehicle. In the absence of a value specified by the manufacturer, GCWR 
will be determined by adding the GVWR \1\ of the power unit and the 
total weight of the towed unit and any load thereon.

    \1\ GVWR stands for gross vehicle weight rating.

    Mr. Nowak agrees with FMCSA that the definition of GCWR should 
ultimately be changed to reflect NHTSA's definition of that term. Prior 
to this change, however, he suggests that the FMCSA place the 
responsibility for obtaining GCWR information on law enforcement 
officers and refrain from taking adverse action against drivers or 
carriers for failure to have this information.
    Commenter Bryce Baker indicates that manufacturers do not list the 
GCWR on the vehicle. Even if such a value is available from the 
manufacturer, he states, the time needed to obtain the information 
would make enforcement fruitless. Although commenter David S. McQueen 
also opposes the change included in the DFR, his position seems to be 
based on a misunderstanding of the GCWR definition used by the National 
Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
    FMCSA Response: The comments submitted by these three individuals 
qualify as adverse. Therefore, under 49 CFR 389.39(d), FMCSA withdraws 
the direct final rule of August 27, 2012 (77 FR 51706).

    Issued on: October 22, 2012.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator, Office of Policy, Federal Motor Carrier Safety 
[FR Doc. 2012-26550 Filed 10-26-12; 8:45 am]