Several new Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) will affect new chassis and their upfitters in 2009.
Regarding trucks, buses, and multipurpose passenger vehicles (MVPs) with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 10,000 lbs. or less, the following FMVSS are effective this year and may affect body and equipment upfits.
Tire Pressure Monitoring
FMVSS 138: Tire Pressure Monitoring became effective in late 2008. Changing tires and wheels or performing wheelbase changes could affect the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), requiring the upfitter to recalibrate the TPMS module. The vehicle may need to be calibrated by the dealer.
Interior Occupant Protection
On Sept. 1, upper interior occupant protection changes in FMVSS 201U become effective for vehicles built in two or more stages. For most vehicles with completed occupant cabs, the chassis manufacturer may issue restrictions on equipment that can be mounted in specific in-cab areas. This standard affects the approximate area from the driver's elbows to the ceiling. For cutaway chassis, since the cab is not completed, the upfitter may need to install counter-measures in the passenger area, depending on the size of the cutaway cab. See the OEM incomplete vehicle document (IVD) or body builder book for guidance and restrictions.
Door Locks and Retention
On Sept. 1, a more stringent requirement in FMVSS 206 for door locks and door retention takes effect. This regulation primarily covers the passenger area of a vehicle and now applies to doors equipped with wheelchair lifts, which were previously excluded. Manufacturers of transit buses and other passenger-carrying vehicles 10,000 lbs. GVWR or less should review their door locks and door retention components to ensure they meet the new strength requirements.
Crash Test Requirements
Effective Sept. 1, all vehicles built in two or more stages must meet the stricter crash test requirement in FMVSS 301: Fuel System Integrity on vehicles 10,000 lbs. GVWR or less. This may require upfitters to follow specific chassis manufacturer guidelines when installing bodies on vehicles. Some manufacturers are installing additional bracing or rear crossmembers on the vehicle to meet these crash test requirements. The OEM may require the bracing or crossmember be retained or an equivalent structure be installed when mounting bodies and equipment on the vehicle. See the chassis manufacturer's IVD or body builder book for guidance and restrictions.
2010 Emissions Regulations
The new 2010 diesel emissions regulations become effective Jan. 1, 2010. These requirements will force diesel engine manufacturers to modify engines and exhaust systems to meet lower NOx emissions requirements. Two technologies are being deployed to meet this requirement: Enhanced Exhaust Gas Recirculation (Enhanced EGR) and Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR). Both will affect body and equipment upfits.
Enhanced EGR will require the engine to have greater cooling capacity and will include additional hardware and tubing between the engine and exhaust system. Equipment mounted in this area may be affected by the EGR system.
SCR systems use an additional tank for diesel exhaust fluid, which is injected into the exhaust system to reduce NOx emissions. This system adds components to trucks, such as tanks, pumps, heated lines, and hardware. Depending on the exhaust configuration, this system may affect body and equipment installation. As with the 2007 emissions requirements, vocational applications will have specific exhaust configurations.