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America Outdoors E-Bulletin
June 30, 2006

Flooding Disrupts River Outfitters in Mid-Atlantic States 15 Passenger Vans Towing Trailers May Be Subject to Higher Level of Regulation

Flooding Disrupts River Outfitters in Mid-Atlantic States
  Heading into the 4th of July 2006 weekend heavy rains have suspended outfitting and guiding operations on several rivers in Mid-Atlantic States. The National Park Service shut down the Delaware River along the border of New York and Pennsylvania with the river expected to crest 10 feet over flood stage. Kittatinny Canoes' headquarters in Dingmans Ferry, Pennsylvania was flooded. In West Virginia rafting on the lower New River was suspended due to high flows, but the Gauley River and upper New were still available. Raft trips on the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers in the DC area were suspended mid-week after the area was flooded. The rain had stopped and the sun was out by Thursday afternoon and the waters will begin to recede in most areas. Normal operations will resume buoyed by ample flows.
15 Passenger Vans Towing Trailers May Be Subject to Higher Level of Regulation
Outfitters with 15 passenger vans towing trailers may find themselves subject to a higher level of regulation if the gross combination weight rating of the vehicles exceed 10,000 pounds and they are traveling across state lines, or operating in a state that defines a commercial motor vehicle as 10,001 pounds or more (i.e. Colorado, Utah, Washington, Oregon, and others). Two outfitters have been advised by a federal Department of Transportation investigator that the exemption for 15-passenger vans from commercial vehicle regulations does not apply when the gross weight rating of the van plus the gross weight rating of the trailer exceeds 10,000 pounds and they are involved in interstate commerce or operate in states like those listed above. The increased regulatory requirements include:
  • Operating authority and motor carrier authority from USDOT
  • Driver logs must be maintained in addition to accident registers
  • Driver qualification requirements apply
  • Medical certificate
  • Van and trailer maintenance records, including annual inspections and daily post trip inspections.

These requirements are in addition to the requirements for DOT numbers and accident registers.

For a full summary of these requirements go to the FMCSA web site, www.fmcsa.dot.gov, and look for the link "How to Comply (ETA Package), or contact your state division office of FMCSA. A list of FMCSA field offices is available at the same web site; click on the link "Who to Contact for Assistance".

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