WASHINGTON (Nov. 10. 2016) — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has published a final rule amending federal tire safety standards to make it clear that specialty trailer (ST) tires are allowed on new trailers with a gross vehicle weight of 10,000 pounds or less.
Also, trailers installed with ST tires are exempt from a testing requirement that a tire must stay on its rim when subjected to a sudden loss of air pressure and brought to a controlled stop from 60 mph, the agency said.
NHTSA proposed this rule in March 2013. It emanates from the June 2003 final rule making the test requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 110 — which covers “tire selection and rims for passenger cars” — applicable to all tires installed on vehicles of 10,000 pounds or less.
Prior to this, tire and rim selection for trailers was covered under FMVSS No. 120: Tire selection and rims for motor vehicles other than passenger cars.
The Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) objected to the 2003 rule for two reasons.
First, a literal reading of FMVSS No. 110 would forbid the use of ST-type tires and tires with rim diameters of 12 inches or below on trailers weighing 10,000 pounds or less. A section of No. 110 stated that only tires compliant with FMVSS No. 139, covering pneumatic radial tires for light vehicles, would be permitted, the RVIA said.
The amended rule also allows the use of farm implement tires on light trailers, a proposal suggested by the Tire & Rim Association.
Second, the RVIA questioned the need for the rim-retention requirement at all for ST tires, and whether the test could even be conducted on trailers.
Besides the RVIA, the National Marine Manufacturers Association and the National Association of Trailer Manufacturers supported the proposal.
The final rule was published in the Nov. 9 Federal Register and becomes effective immediately. The notice can be found here.
Petitions for reconsideration of this final rule must be received by Dec. 27, NHTSA said.