49 CFR § 393.48 - Brakes to be operative.

§ 393.48 Brakes to be operative.

(a) General rule. Except as provided in paragraphs (b), (c), and (d) of this section, all brakes with which a motor vehicle is equipped must at all times be capable of operating.

(b) Devices to reduce or remove front-wheel braking effort. A commercial motor vehicle may be equipped with a device to reduce the front wheel braking effort (or in the case of a three-axle truck or truck tractor manufactured before March 1, 1975, a device to remove the front-wheel braking effort) if that device meets the applicable requirements of paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) of this section.

(1) Manually operated devices. Manually operated devices to reduce or remove front-wheel braking effort may only be used on buses, trucks, and truck tractors manufactured before March 1, 1975. Such devices must not be used unless the vehicle is being operated under adverse conditions such as wet, snowy, or icy roads.

(2) Automatic devices. Automatic devices must not reduce the front-wheel braking force by more than 50 percent of the braking force available when the automatic device is disconnected (regardless of whether or not an antilock system failure has occurred on any axle). The device must not be operable by the driver except upon application of the control that activates the braking system. The device must not be operable when the brake control application pressure exceeds 85 psig (for vehicles equipped with air brakes) or 85 percent of the maximum system pressure (for vehicles which are not equipped with air brakes).

(c) Exception. Paragraph (a) of this section does not apply to -

(1) A towed vehicle with disabling damage as defined in § 390.5;

(2) A vehicle which is towed in a driveaway-towaway operation and is included in the exemption to the requirement for brakes on all wheels, § 393.42(b);

(3) Unladen converter dollies with a gross weight of 1,361 kg (3,000 lbs) or less, and manufactured prior to March 1, 1998;

(4) The steering axle of a three-axle dolly which is steered by a co-driver;

(5) Loaded house moving dollies, specialized trailers and dollies used to transport industrial furnaces, reactors, and similar motor vehicles provided the speed at which the combination of vehicles will be operated does not exceed 32 km/hour (20 mph) and brakes on the combination of vehicles are capable of stopping the combination within 12.2 meters (40 feet) from the speed at which the vehicle is being operated or 32 km/hour (20 mph), whichever is less.

(6) Raised lift axles. Brakes on lift axles need not be capable of being operated while the lift axle is raised. However, brakes on lift axles must be capable of being applied whenever the lift axle is lowered and the tires contact the roadway.

(d) Surge brakes.

(1) Surge brakes are allowed on:

(i) Any trailer with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 12,000 pounds or less, when its GVWR does not exceed 1.75 times the GVWR of the towing vehicle; and

(ii) Any trailer with a GVWR greater than 12,000 pounds, but less than 20,001 pounds, when its GVWR does not exceed 1.25 times the GVWR of the towing vehicle.

(2) The gross vehicle weight (GVW) of a trailer equipped with surge brakes may be used instead of its GVWR to calculate compliance with the weight ratios specified in paragraph (d)(1) of this section when the trailer manufacturer's GVWR label is missing.

(3) The GVW of a trailer equipped with surge brakes must be used to calculate compliance with the weight ratios specified in paragraph (d)(1) of this section when the trailer's GVW exceeds its GVWR.

(4) The surge brakes must meet the requirements of § 393.40.

[70 FR 48051, Aug. 15, 2005, as amended at 72 FR 9870, Mar. 6, 2007]

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