Pitts Enterprises, Inc.
5734 Highway 431
P.O. Box 155
Pittsview, AL 36871
Dear Mr. Slaughter:
This responds to your inquiry about whether a logging trailer known as the "knuckle boom loader trailer" needs to comply with new regulations by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that require trailers manufactured after January 26, 1998, to be equipped with rear underride protection and that require medium and heavy-duty trucks and trailers manufactured after March 1, 1998 to be equipped with antilock brakes.
In a February 2, 1994 interpretation from me to you, I stated that it "appear[ed] that your trailer is not a "motor vehicle" within the meaning of the Safety Act." This opinion was based on the fact that your equipment spends extended periods of time at a single construction site and only uses the public roads infrequently to move between job sites. I have no new information to warrant changing this initial interpretation. Accordingly, since your trailer continues not to be a motor vehicle, it would not be subject to any Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, including standards requiring rear impact underride protection and antilock brakes.
I hope this information is helpful. If you have any further questions about NHTSA's safety standards, please feel free to contact Marvin Shaw of my staff at this address or by telephone at (202) 366-2992.
Acting Chief Counsel