The rule did not change the methods used to perform roadside inspections, but it did change how some information is recorded.
In highway intermodal operations, different entities are usually responsible for the inspection, repair, and maintenance of the power unit (tractor) and the trailing unit (IME). In most situations, a motor carrier is responsible for the tractor, but an intermodal equipment provider (IEP) is responsible for the intermodal equipment (IME) used to transport intermodal containers. For that reason, FMCSA has changed the Aspen software to include separate fields to record the identification of the power unit and the trailing unit. An inspection official will enter the USDOT numbers and equipment identification numbers for both the tractor and IME trailer.
There are some motor carriers that operate their own IME. For those carriers, enter the USDOT number for the carrier in both fields, and enter the tractor and trailer identification numbers for each unit.
In some situations, motor carriers use a flatbed trailer to transport intermodal containers. In most cases, the flatbed trailer is not an item of IME, and it should be identified as the motor carrier’s unit.
An intermodal container is cargo – it is not part of the IME.