Proposals by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to shorten heavy-truck stopping distances could require more expensive brakes on construction rigs. They would affect only truck-tractors for now.
NHTSA would like to see heavy truck-tractors stop in 20 to 30 percent shorter distances. Most tractor/trailer combinations could probably meet shorter stopping distances with larger S-cam drum brakes now available as options. But heavy haul tractors like those that transport massive machinery might need more costly air disc brakes.
The federal agency will issue a final rule after taking comment from the industry. Anyone wishing to comment on this Notice of Proposed Rule Making, published in the Dec. 15 Federal Register, must do so by April 14. First, download a copy of it at NHTSA's website, www.nhtsa.dot.gov/, and then find the instructions for commenting on page 74279. The agency requests that any objections to its proposals be accompanied by practical alternatives. In commenting, refer to Docket NHTSA-2005-21462.
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