Mr. Lane Francis
Rem Manufacturing Ltd.
2180 Oman Drive
Swift Current, SK S9H 3X4
Dear Mr. Francis:
This responds to your e-mail letter dated April 23, 2003, and phone conversations with Mr. Chris Calamita of my staff, in which you ask if a diesel-powered grain vacuum (the Grain Vac) manufactured by your company would be classified as a "motor vehicle." As explained below, based on the information you provided us, we would not consider the Grain Vac a "motor vehicle" for the purposes of our regulations.
I am pleased to have this opportunity to explain our laws and regulations. Title 49 U. S. Code (U.S.C) Chapter 301 authorizes the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to prescribe Federal motor vehicle safety standards (FMVSS) applicable to new motor vehicles and new items of motor vehicle equipment. Section 30102(a)(6) defines "motor vehicle" as:
[A] vehicle driven or drawn by mechanical power and manufactured primarily for use on the public streets, roads, and highways, but does not include a vehicle operated only on a rail line.
In your letter you stated that the Grain Vac is manufactured primarily for use in agricultural operations, and that it "will occasionally be towed on highways and roads between its actual operation at agricultural venues." You described the Grain Vac as being permanently mounted to an undercarriage, "which is essentially a guarded hollow frame."
Based on the information you provided, including the pictures enclosed with your letter, it is our opinion that the Grain Vac is not a motor vehicle within the statutory definition. The Grain Vac is manufactured primarily for agricultural operations, and is intended for use on public roadways only to move between job sites. Contrast this with a
grain trailer, which may be used to transport grain to market. Because the Grain Vac is not a Motor vehicle, it is not subject to any of our regulations including the FMVSSs. While our initial determination is that the Grain Vac is not a "motor vehicle" for purposes of our regulations, we may revisit this conclusion if additional information becomes available that would warrant further examination.
I hope you find this information helpful. If you have any other questions please contact Mr. Chris Calamita of my staff at (202) 366-2992.