Jun 19, 2003

Proper lighting

Updated chart helps trucking industry understand illuminating requirements

The National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA) recently
published an updated U.S. Federal Lighting Chart that provides the commercial
truck and transportation equipment industry with information for determining
compliance with the lighting requirements in Federal Motor Vehicle Safety
Standard (FMVSS) 108.

The U.S. Federal Lighting Chart was updated to reflect
changes, help alleviate confusion and clarify the federal requirements. These
requirements are found in Title 49, Part 571.108--Lamps, Reflective Devices,
and Associated Equipment of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 108
(FMVSS 108). The changes to the lighting chart illustrations are summarized

Poster-size changes

Lamps and reflectors are now shown as separate items. The
standard did not change, but the NTEA has found that users of the chart were
only looking at the illustrations and not reading the tables, notes or
standard. This eliminates the chance of installing lamps without reflectors. A
lamp and reflex reflector may be combined, as allowed by the standard, so long
as the requirements for both are met.

Also, they do not have to be located at exactly the same
height. For example, the height requirements for side reflectors is 15-60 in.
from the ground to the center of the lamp at curb weight, while the side marker
lamps are to be located at a height of not less than 15 in.

Intermediate side marker lamps and reflectors are only required
on vehicles with an overall length of 30 ft or more and are to be positioned in
the middle of the vehicle (or as close as practicable), equal distance between
the front and rear-side marker lamps. For example, on a straight truck this
means that the intermediate side marker lamp and reflector would not
necessarily go on the foremost side corner of the truck body, but more rearward
of that edge as this is where the midpoint between would measure out.

Stop, turn, tail and hazard lamps are required in numbers of
two or more. FMVSS 108 also requires that they are to be located on each side
of the vehicle centerline, at the same height, and as far apart as practicable.

The new lighting wall chart is a component of the new NTEA
U.S. Federal Lighting Guide Kit. The new kit includes a laminated wall chart
and a comprehensive guidebook to help the user understand the U.S. Federal
Lighting Requirements and how to apply them in the vehicle certification
process. The guidebook includes: FMVSS 108, 49 CFR 393 Subpart B of the Federal
Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, numerous articles published by the NTEA that
are related to lighting and website links to the National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration lighting interpretations and other compliance aides.

The new NTEA U.S. Federal Lighting Guide Kit is available
for $35 members; $70 nonmembers. Posters are available for $15 members; $30
nonmembers. Quantity discounts for posters are available.

About the author

Spata is technical services manager for NTEA, Farmington Hills, Mich.
The NTEA was established in 1964 and currently represents nearly 1,600 companies that manufacture, distribute, install, sell and repair commercial trucks, truck bodies, truck equipment, trailers and accessories. Buyers of work trucks and the major commercial truck chassis manufacturers also belong to the NTEA. The association maintains its administrative headquarters in suburban Detroit and a government relations office in Washington, D.C. Its website (www.ntea.com) provides an interactive listing of members and their products and services as well as important industry news and resources. Contact the NTEA at 800/441-NTEA; e-mail [email protected].