Evans & Evans
113 West Taylor Street
Griffin, GA 30223
Re: Ox Bodies, Inc.; Fayette, Alabama
Dear Mr. Evans:
This is in reply to your letter of October 9, 1996, with reference to the lighting design on the rear of a dump truck manufactured by Ox Bodies, Inc. Although you did not ask for a reply, I assume that you are interested in our comments regarding several observations you have made.
Your understanding of the pertinent requirements of 49 CFR 571.108 Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108 Lamps, Reflective Devices and Associated Equipment is essentially correct. A truck whose overall width is 80 inches or more must have two red clearance lamps mounted on the rear. Rear side marker lamps and rear clearance lamps may be combined providing that the minimum photometric candela requirements for each are met. Compliance of rear clearance lamps, combination or otherwise, with the photometric minimum candela requirements of SAE Standard J592e, Clearance, Side Marker and Identification Lamps, July 1972 (incorporated by reference into Standard No. 108) is determined with the H-V axis of the lamp taken as parallel with the longitudinal axis of the vehicle. Ox Bodies is correct insofar as it states that the lamp must meet the minimum requirements when tested in the laboratory, but incorrect when it states that "there is no requirement that the light meet any requirements as installed on the vehicle." While Section S5.3 Location of required equipment does not specifically state that photometric requirements must be met when the clearance lamp is installed on a vehicle, compliance upon installation is implicit in paragraph S18.104.22.168. This paragraph specifies that "no part of the vehicle shall prevent . . . any other lamp [e.g. a clearance lamp] from meeting the photometric output at any test point specified in any applicable SAE
Standard. . . ." However, the issue in this case is whether a clearance lamp has been supplied in the first instance.
The photographs you enclosed clearly show that the side marker lamps on the truck in question are recessed in a side panel and cannot be seen from the rear. In our opinion, the truck has not been equipped with clearance lamps as required by Standard No. 108.
I note that you have furnished a copy of this letter to one of our standards enforcement engineers. The agency's Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance will give this matter the consideration it deserves, and we thank you for calling it to our attention.
Acting Chief Counsel