Articles

    DOT Proposes New Requirements for Heavy-Duty CNG System Inspection

    Originally posted by Betsy Lillian | June 21, 2019 | NGTNews | Original Article

    The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has proposed an update to its heavy-duty natural gas vehicle (NGV) fuel system tank inspection labeling requirement.

    Specifically, the NHTSA is proposing to amend the visual inspection labeling requirement in Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 304, “Compressed natural gas fuel container integrity,” to state that compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel containers for heavy-duty vehicles “should be inspected at least once every 12 months,” according to a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    NHTSA says it is proposing the change because these types of vehicles are “typically used in high-mileage commercial fleet operations, and following the current mileage-based inspection interval on the label means conducting multiple visual inspections per year.”

    NGVAmerica is applauding the action, which would match recommended guidance the group previously developed after a collaborative review.

    “This announcement from NHTSA complements the updated, four-tiered inspection and review process NGVAmerica developed with comprehensive industry support and input from the American Trucking Associations,” explains NGVAmerica’s president, Daniel Gage. “Per industry recommended practices, full, detailed inspections should be performed annually or whenever cursory reviews uncover signs that a more detailed inspection is needed. Furthermore, recommended reviews and inspections are expanded to cover the entire fuel system and not just the CNG storage system.”

    In December 2017, NGVAmerica released its CNG Fuel System Inspection Guidance document. NGVAmerica’s Technology & Development Committee’s Fuel System Inspection Work Group created the new guidance after two years of discussion and review.

    After issuing the updated guidance, NGVAmerica petitioned the DOT to remove the mileage requirement and change the 36 months to 12 months for heavy-duty vehicles.

    The June 21 NPRM adds, “NHTSA has tentatively concluded multiple visual inspections per year based solely on mileage would not improve vehicle safety for these high-mileage CNG heavy vehicles and could potentially reduce safety. Because the current periodic visual inspection interval is intended for light vehicles and is consistent with the operation of these vehicles, no change is proposed to the periodic visual inspection interval for CNG fuel containers on light vehicles.”

    Read the full article on the NGTNews website!