They’d Help First Responders to Heavy AFV Incidents,
Ballots Are Out, TMC Wants the Votes in by September 2
Larger and more specifically placed placards denoting the motive fuel used by vehicles are being developed by the American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council, which wants to institute them as a new Recommended Practice.
As alternative fuels achieve significant numbers, TMC is suggesting “guidelines for standardizing the symbolology and label locations alerting first responders to the type of fuel and/or energy source used as motive power for Class 3-8 commercial vehicles.”
The new placards, while similarly shaped, would be larger (5.7 inches wide for large trucks), more numerous (three per truck), and placed in specific locations (both sides of the cab and the rear of the cab or straight truck) as compared with today small alt fuel diamonds, which primarily address compressed natural gas as a single label on the rear.
‘Hazards that May Not Be Apparent’
“The increasing use of electrification and other alternative fuels on modern commercial vehicles now presents additional hazards that may not be apparent when first approaching the vehicle,” ATA/TMC states.
Today’s small diamonds on the rear of compressed natural gas trucks follow a recommended practice under the National Fire Protection Association’s NFPA 52, explains Roger Lackore, director of product safety at Oshkosh Trucks. He chaired the ATA/TMC task force that drafted RP 1431 (T), the proposed Recommended Practice for Fuels and Motive Energy Identification Labels.
If the new RP is approved by TMC this autumn, a next step could be to push for a regulation, Lackore says. He told F&F that he’ll enlist the support of firefighters and other officials concerned about first responders’ ability to deal with alt fuel vehicles that get into accidents.
A National Requirement?
“I’d really like to turn this into law,” Lackore says.
The large RP 1431 placards would make plain that a truck is powered by diesel, gasoline, CNG, LNG/liquefied natural gas, LPG/propane, DME/dimethyl ether, high-voltage electricity, or gaseous or liquid hydrogen.
TMC has circulated ballots on the new fuel placards and other Recommended Practices, and wants them returned by September 2. Comments may also be presented on September 22 at TMC’s Fall Meeting & Transportation Technology Exhibition at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin in Orlando, Fla. TMC Fall 2014 runs September 22-25.
(MC&E 2014, the ATA Management Conference & Exhibition, takes place October 4-7 at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, Calif.)
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Source: ATA/TMC with Fleets & Fuels follow-up