In 2011, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration changed the definition of a tank vehicle, and considerably expanded what is considered a tank truck, to include trailers containing bulk containers greater than 119 gallon capacity, with an aggregate capacity of 1,000 gallons or more. This shocked transporters and shippers alike, and impacts driver CDL endorsements and other shipper and carrier considerations, as well as capacity.
On September 25, 2013, FMCSA offered shippers, carriers and drivers some cause for hope, in the form of a notice of proposed rulemaking to revise its definition of a tank vehicle. Principally, they are amending the definition to exclude the requirement for tank vehicle endorsement, if the tanks are manifested as empty or as residue as part of the load. In other words, empty tanks, or tanks that only contain residue do not require the tank endorsement.