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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 19. Public Safety
Agency 30. Department of State Police
Chapter 70. Motor Vehicle Safety Inspection Regulations
4/20/2024

19VAC30-70-120. Frame, engine mounts, coupling devices and emergency chains.

Inspect for and reject if:

1. Frame or unitized (monocoque) body of any motor vehicle, trailer or semitrailer possesses one or more of the following defective characteristics: rust holes; any area of the frame or its components is broken, cracked, sagging, or bent; or damaged at any location to include any welded joint; the frame is corroded to the point where it is weakened; or any holes are drilled in the top or bottom rail flanges of the frame or the frame or cross-member (except as specified by the manufacturer).

NOTE: Any welded repair of the frame must be in accordance with the vehicle manufacturer's recommendations.

NOTE: All sections of a unitized frame are considered stress-bearing to include pinch and side rails, floors, and all support framework.

2. Engine or transmission mounts and hardware is broken or missing. This includes all hardware bolts and bushings used for mounting to the vehicle's frame, engine, or transmission. Any engine or transmission mount shall be rejected if they allow the power train to come in contact with the firewall or other body parts. Any body, truck bed, or bumper mounts or mounting hardware shall be rejected if they do not properly secure these components to the frame as originally designed.

3. Trailer hitch or pintle hook is not securely attached. Reject if the pintle eye or trailer drawbar has any cracks or if any welding repairs have been made to the pintle eye.

4. Chains, cables, etc., used to attach a towed vehicle are not securely attached or are broken, worn or abraded.

5. Fifth wheel does not lock in position or have a locking mechanism in proper working order.

6. Fifth wheel assembly system has any leak of fluid or air.

7. Fifth wheel has any broken, missing, or damaged parts; or is not securely attached to the frame.

8. Trailer king pin is not secure, or is broken or worn so as to prevent secure fit in fifth wheel.

9. Any movement is detected at any location where any device has been placed between the body and the chassis.

10. Trailer is not equipped with an emergency chain or steel cable.

NOTE: Fifth wheel assembly system does not require an emergency chain or cable. A fifth wheel is defined as a device which interfaces with and couples to the upper coupler assembly of a semitrailer. The upper coupler assembly is a structure consisting of an upper coupler plate, king pin and supporting framework which interfaces with and couples to a fifth wheel. Ball and socket connections also referred to as hitch and coupling connections are not fifth wheel assemblies and do require an emergency chain or steel cable.

Statutory Authority

§ 46.2-1165 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR545-01-07 § 12, eff. May 1, 1990; amended, Virginia Register Volume 10, Issue 8, eff. February 9, 1994; Volume 12, Issue 21, eff. August 7, 1996; Volume 24, Issue 8, eff. March 1, 2008; Volume 28, Issue 24, eff. August 1, 2012; Volume 32, Issue 24, eff. October 3, 2016; Volume 35, Issue 1, eff. October 4, 2018; Volume 35, Issue 25, eff. September 1, 2019.

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