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This exemption states that auto carriers operating stinger-steered transport equipment are not required to place warning flags on oversize loads.

Recently, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced the provisional renewal of an exemption granted in 2019. This exemption states that auto carriers operating stinger-steered transport equipment are not required to place warning flags on overhanging loads of both new and used vehicles.

The decision to renew this exemption was jointly requested by the Conference of Automotive Transporters of the American Trucking Associations and the American Car Haulers Association.

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Current regulations mandate that any commercial vehicle transporting a load that extends more than 4 feet beyond the rear must be marked with one or two warning flags, depending on the width of the load. The initial five-year exemption was sought for carriers operating stinger-steered auto transport equipment, arguing that no safety-related incidents have been reported.

Provisional Renewal by the FMCSA for oversize loads

The FMCSA has not found evidence suggesting the need to continue the requirement of placing warning flags on overhanging loads of both new and used motor vehicles, as per established regulations. Therefore, a provisional renewal for six months has been granted.

The following conditions are cited in the provisional renewal:

  • The exemption does not extend to other types of transport equipment or oversize loads of other types.
  • Carriers operating under this exemption must report to the FMCSA any rear-end accidents involving stinger-steered auto transport equipment within seven business days.
  • Vehicles overhanging the transporter must have all required lights and reflective devices as mandated by current regulations.
  • Carriers and commercial vehicles must comply with all other applicable regulations unless specifically exempted from a requirement.

In their renewal request, ACC and AHAA requested clarification from the FMCSA that the exemption applies to both new and used vehicle transport. This renewed exemption is effective from February 15, 2024, until August 9, 2024, unless revoked earlier. The FMCSA will receive public comments on the request before deciding on granting another five-year exemption.

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