FMCSA issues rule allowing surge brakes

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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has amended federal safety regulations to allow the use of automatic hydraulic inertia brake systems — surge brakes — on trailers when the ratios of gross vehicle weight ratings for the towing vehicle and trailer are within certain limits.

The action is in response to a petition for rulemaking from the Surge Brake Coalition. The final rule takes effect April 5. For a copy of the rulemaking, go to and search Docket No. 21323.