NBIS Submits White Paper to SC&RA Addressing Mobile Cranes' Designation as CMVs

Last August, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) determined that mobile cranes operating in interstate commerce are commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) subject to FMCSA Regulations (FMCSRs). During the September meeting of SC&RA’s Crane & Rigging Group Safety Education Committee, the new determination’s impact on insurance coverage was discussed. In an effort to assist members, NBIS submitted a white paper to help answer questions about mobile crane operations and compliance with FMCSRs, and crane insurance coverage under Commercial General Liability and Business Auto policies.  

The NBIS report addresses five recordkeeping areas a company needs to follow to be in compliance with FMCSRs: Driver Qualification Files; Controlled Substance and Alcohol Testing; Hours of Service of Commercial Vehicle Drivers; Vehicle Inspection, Repair and Maintenance; and Administrative Considerations.

"In addition to the new operations/compliance requirements with the FMCSRs for mobile cranes operating in interstate commerce, a more perplexing question has arisen to whether mobile cranes operating in interstate commerce as commercial motor vehicles are still considered 'mobile equipment' and covered under the Commercial General Liability (CGL) policy, or are now 'autos' covered under the Business Auto policy," noted the report.

After reviewing a number of factors, the report concluded that, although there are steps necessary to attain compliance, "it does not appear that the [FMCSA’s] designation has any effect on coverage of mobile cranes as 'mobile equipment' under the current 2001 ISO CGL policy, or even the ISO 2004 CGL policy." However, the report pointed out that State requirements on financial responsibility may affect mobile cranes in terms of coverage beginning with the ISO 2004 CGL policy, depending on the carrier policy and definitions.

The complete 21-page report may be downloaded from the SC&RA website.