Description: http://www.fws.gov/policy/321fw1_files/image001.gif

321 FW 1
Operator Requirements and Responsibilities

Supersedes 321 FW 1, FWM 447, 04/30/04

Date: April 4, 2011

Series: Occupational Safety and Health

Part 321: Motor Vehicle and Equipment Operator Program

Originating Office: Division of Safety and Health

 

 

PDF Version

 

 


1.1 What is the purpose of this chapter? This chapter establishes minimum requirements for the operation of motor vehicles and motor equipment for the Service.

 

1.2 What is the scope of this chapter?

 

A. This chapter applies to:

 

(1) Service employees, volunteers, and others conducting official duties for the Service in motor vehicles and motor equipment, regardless of ownership;

 

(2) Managers and operators who are responsible for Service-owned, General Service Administration (GSA) provided, and commercially rented, leased, or loaned motor vehicles and motor equipment; and

 

(3) Operators identified in Service written agreements, such as Memorandums of Understanding and Agreement (MOUs and MOAs), Interagency Agreements, etc.

 

B. This chapter does not apply to:

 

(1) Contractors who operate or transport their own motorized vehicles and equipment within the scope of a contract or written agreement (e.g., cooperative farming agreements). Such contractors must comply with the specifics of the contract or agreement and applicable Federal, State, and local regulations.

 

(2) The operation of watercraft and aircraft. They are covered in Parts 241 and 330, respectively.

 

1.3 What are the authorities for this chapter?

A. Federal Property Management Regulations, Motor Vehicle Management (41 CFR 102, Part 102-34).

 

B. Reimbursement of Employee License Costs and Certification Fees (43 U.S.C. 1471e).

C. Commercial Driver's License Standards; Requirements and Penalties (49 CFR 383).

 

D. Safety and Health Regulations for Construction (29 CFR 1926).

 

E. Motor Vehicle Safety (485 DM 16).

 

F. Programs for Specific Positions and Examinations (Miscellaneous), Subpart A-Motor Vehicle Operators (5 CFR 930 [107-115]).

 

G. Federal Leadership on Reducing Text Messaging While Driving (Executive Order 13513).

 

H. American National Standards Institute (ANSI)/Recreational Off Highway Vehicle Association 1-2010.

 

I. ANSI/National Golf Cart Manufacturers Association (NGCMA) Z130.1.

 

J. ANSI/NGCMA Z135.

 

1.4 Who is responsible for management of motor vehicles and motor equipment?

A. The Assistant Director – Business Management and Operations:

 

(1) Establishes overall policy and guidance for the proper and safe management of motor vehicles throughout the Service, and

 

(2) Implements the requirements of this chapter in Headquarters.

 

B. Regional Directors and Regional Special Agents-In-Charge (SACs) implement the requirements of this chapter within their areas of responsibility.

 

C. Regional Heavy Equipment Coordinators:

 

(1) Coordinate the required training and logistics for heavy duty motor equipment, designate trainers for the Region, and document the training on FWS Form 3-2268;

 

(2) Coordinate required training for Off-Road Utility Vehicles (ORUVs) and designate trainers for the Region; and

 

(3) May request that a supervisor suspend or revoke authorization to operate heavy equipment or ORUVs based on operational concerns or accident history. The Coordinator must adequately document the basis for such a request in writing for an employee’s supervisor or line manager to suspend or revoke the authorization.

 

D. Regional Safety Managers:

 

(1) Help supervisors and Heavy Equipment Coordinators interpret program requirements;

 

(2) Coordinate with supervisors and Regional Heavy Equipment Coordinators about accident history and analysis; and

 

(3) Request that a supervisor suspend or revoke authorization to operate motor vehicles or motor equipment based on operational concerns or accident history (with adequate written justification and supervisory coordination with the servicing Human Resources office).

 

E. Regional Property Administrators must manage the Regional motor vehicle program in accordance with 320 FW 1-10.

 

F. Supervisors:

 

(1) Ensure that employees, volunteers, and partners are qualified, competent, and authorized to operate motor vehicles, ORUVs, and motor equipment and must:

 

(a) Document employee/volunteer authorization using FWS Form 3-2267 (Authorization for Operation of Motor Vehicles and/or Equipment) when they assign employees/volunteers to operate vehicles or equipment,

 

(b) Review FWS Form 3-2267 with the employees/volunteers/partners if additional training is needed, and

 

(c) Update FWS Form 3-2267 when they add new vehicles or equipment to an employee’s, volunteer’s, or partner’s job requirements.

 

(2) Follow authorization suspension or revocation requirements in section 1.22 and 1.23 and amend FWS Form 3-2267 to indicate the action taken.

 

(3) Ensure employees and volunteers complete the mandatory training required in this and Regional policy.

 

(4) Ensure that employees acquire, use, equip, maintain, and dispose of motor vehicles, ORUVs, and motor equipment as required in 320 FW 1-10 and 243 FW 1-6.

 

(5) Ensure that motor vehicle operators understand and follow the requirements for reporting motor vehicle accidents as described in 320 FW 8.

 

(6) Ensure that we develop MOUs if we share or loan Service motor vehicles or equipment to partners. An MOU must protect the Service by assigning liability for damage to Service vehicles or motor equipment to that of the partner or agency operating the vehicle or equipment. The MOUs must include Service training that is required by this and Regional policy (see section 1.7D).

 

G. Employees, volunteers, and others on official business:

 

(1) Operators must:

 

(a) Obtain proper authorization before operating vehicles and equipment (see section 1.4F(1)(a));

 

(b) Comply and ensure passengers comply with these and other Service requirements and applicable Federal, State, and local laws.

 

(c) Transport authorized passengers only (employees, volunteers, invitational travelers, etc).

 

(d) Report accidents and damage to Service motor vehicles and motor equipment. Report motor vehicle accidents as described in 320 FW 8.

 

(e) Report to their supervisor traffic violations while operating a Service motor vehicle and suspensions and restrictions affecting their State operator’s license (see section 1.17).

 

(f) Advise their supervisor of temporary physical condition(s) or any prescribed medication(s) that may affect their ability to safely operate vehicles or motor equipment.

 

(2) Passengers must comply with these and other Service requirements and applicable Federal, State, and local laws.

 

1.5 What terms do you need to know to understand this chapter?

 

A. Motor Vehicle. A motor vehicle is any self-propelled or mechanically drawn conveyance that is designed to operate on highways to transport property or passengers.

 

(1) Motor vehicles include:

 

(a) Sedans,

 

(b) Station wagons,

 

(c) Sport Utility Vehicles (SUV),

 

(d) Vans (including minivans),

 

(e) Recreational vehicles,

 

(f) Ambulances,

 

(g) Buses,

 

(h) Motorcycles, and

 

(i) Trucks (including trucks with specialized mounted equipment, such as fish distribution trucks, fire engines, and garbage trucks).

 

(2) Our use of the term ‘motor vehicle’ in this chapter does not include:

 

(a) Off-Road Utility Vehicles (ORUVs) (see 243 FW 6),

 

(b) Motor equipment, and

 

(c) Trailers.

 

(3) The Department of Transportation categorizes motor vehicles as:

 

(a) Sedans and Station Wagons:

 

(i) Class I: Subcompact sedans and station wagons.

 

(ii) Class II: Compact sedans and station wagons.

 

(iii) Class III: Midsize sedans and station wagons.

 

(iv) Class IV: Large sedans and station wagons.

 

(b) Trucks: There are three general subcategories of trucks:

 

(i) Light Trucks: Pickup trucks, SUVs, and vans (including minivans) that have a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 8,500 pounds (lbs) or less.

 

(ii) Medium-duty trucks: Trucks with conventional cabs, van bodies, dump trucks, and stake side trucks that have a GVWR of 8,501 - 35,000 lbs.

 

(iii) Heavy-duty trucks: Trucks with conventional cabs, van bodies, dump trucks, stake side trucks, and tractor trucks that have a GVWR of 35,001 lbs and greater.

 

(c) Commercial Motor Vehicle. Only operators with a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) may operate commercial motor vehicles. Commercial motor vehicles may be medium or heavy-duty trucks used to transport passengers or property if the vehicle:

 

(i) Has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 or more pounds;

 

(ii) Has a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds. This GCWR includes a towed unit with a GVWR rating of more than 10,000 pounds (see Table 1-1 for examples of combination weights requiring a CDL); or

 

Table 1-1: Calculating the Gross Combination Weight

Truck GVWR

+

Trailer GVWR

=

Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR)

16,000 lbs.

+

10,200 lbs.

=

26,200 lbs.

22,000 lbs

+

12,000 lbs.

=

34,000 lbs.

 

(iii) Is designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver. This includes vans, buses, shuttles, passenger-carrying trams, tram trailers, or trolleys.

 

B. Motor equipment. Any item of equipment that is self-propelled or drawn by mechanical power or designed principally for operators to use off highways. The term includes construction, maintenance, materials handling, forestry, and agricultural equipment. There are three categories of motor equipment:

(1) Light Duty Motor Equipment. Light duty motor equipment includes:

 

(a) Riding, zero turn, and front-mounted, self-propelled lawn mowers up to 35 horsepower (HP) and other equipment not required to have a rollover protective structure (ROPS) as defined in 29 CFR 1926, subpart W.

 

(b) Electric powered utility vehicles (e.g., golf carts, Cushmans, E-Z-GOs, Tigers, and similarly designed equipment).

 

(2) Heavy Duty Motor Equipment. Table 1-2 describes many of the types of heavy duty motor equipment.

 

Table 1-2: Heavy Duty Motor Equipment

Equipment

Comments/Examples (if applicable)

(a) Crawler-dozers and crawler-loaders

 

(b) Four-wheel-drive loaders

Articulating or straight frame

(c) Motor graders

Articulating or straight frame

(d) Draglines

 

(e) Power excavators

 

(f) Motor cranes

 

(g) Agricultural tractors that are:

 

·        Self-propelled,

·        2/4 wheel or track driven,

·        More than 20 engine HP,

·        Equipment designed to furnish power to agricultural/forestry/construction/ industrial tools or attachments,

·        Manufactured with a ROPS, and

·        Defined in 29 CFR 1928.51(b)(1).

(h) Amphibious/soft tracked equipment (wheeled or tracked) over 1,900 pounds curb weight including:

 

·        Weasels

·        Thiokols

·        Roligons

·        Marsh Masters

·        SnowCats

·        Muskegs

·        Gyro-Tracs

·        Geo-Boys

·        Hydro-Axes

 

(i) Self propelled scraper pans,

 

(j) Industrial tractors

Front-end loader/backhoes

(k) Skid steers,

 

(l) Forklifts

Classes 1-7

(m) Industrial powered lift trucks

 

 

(3) Off-Road Utility Vehicle (ORUV). ORUVs include:

 

(a) Off-road motorcycles;

 

(b) Amphibious vehicles (wheeled or tracked) with a curb weight of 1,900 pounds or less (e.g., an Argo);

 

(c) Utility vehicles (multi-tired or tracked), commonly called UTVs, with a curb weight of 1,900 pounds or less (see ANSI/ROHVA1-2010) (e.g., Gator, Mule, Ranger). This does not include electric golf carts (ANSI/NGCMA Z130.1) or personal transportation vehicles (ANSI/NGCMA Z135) (e.g., Cushman, CarryAll, E-Z-Go);

 

(d) Snowmobiles; and

 

(e) All-terrain vehicles (ATVs). ATVs are off-highway vehicles that have a seat that the operator straddles, handlebars for steering control, and are specifically designed to travel on four low pressure tires (see ANSI/SVIA-1-2001). ATVs include vehicles that are manufactured for use by a single operator and:

 

(i) No passenger, or

 

(ii) One passenger (called 2+ seating).

 

C. Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). The GVWR is the value that a manufacturer specifies as the maximum rated weight of a single motor vehicle.

D. Combined Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (CGVWR). The CGVWR is the maximum towing capacity for which manufacturers design and engineer Class 6, 7 and 8 trucks.

(1) You calculate the CGVRW by combining the scale weight of the truck, trailer, and cargo.

(2) To determine what the CGVWR for a truck is:

 

(a) Check the original purchase order documentation for the truck. Since the CGVWR is a selectable option under the GSA vehicle standards, it should be on the documentation; or

 

(b) Using the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), contact the truck manufacturer and ask for the CGVWR for that truck.

 

1.6 What are the requirements for motor vehicle and motor equipment operator programs? Regional Directors and Regional SACs ensure that all facilities responsible for the operation of motor vehicles and equipment establish and implement procedures to:

 

A. Ensure that supervisors and operators meet the requirements of this chapter and other applicable Service policies, such as 243 FW 1-6 and 320 FW 5.

 

B. Restrict motor vehicle and motor equipment operations to qualified and authorized personnel.

 

(1) Qualified means that, at a minimum, the operator:

 

(a) Has a valid State driver's license for the type and class of vehicle he or she operates, and

 

(b) Meets the requirements of this chapter.

 

(2) Authorized means that your supervisor has verified and documented your qualifications and provided written approval on FWS Form 3-2267 which allows you to operate Service motor vehicles or motor equipment. We may authorize Service partners and State agencies to operate motor vehicles (see section 1.7D).

 

C. Provide funding to pay for a CDL and associated costs, if the license is a requirement of an employee’s position description.

 

D. Examine and photocopy employees’ State driver’s licenses to ensure the licenses are valid for the class of vehicles they must operate.

 

1.7 Who may operate Service motor vehicles or motor equipment? All operators must be fully qualified, and their supervisor must authorize them in accordance with this chapter, before they operate any motor vehicles or motor equipment for the Service. Based on a safe driving record, operators must continue to demonstrate competence to operate the type of motor vehicle and equipment to which they are assigned.

 

A. Do not allow anyone other than those people described in this section to operate Service motor vehicles or motor equipment. For example, do not allow a Friends of Refuges member to operate Service motor vehicles or motor equipment unless he/she has a signed Volunteer Services Agreement (see section 1.7B).

 

B. Volunteers must have a signed Volunteer Services Agreement (Optional Form (OF) 301A) and a valid State driver’s license for the class and type of vehicle before operating any Service motor vehicle. Volunteers also must have completed the appropriate training to operate Service motor vehicles or motor equipment.

 

C. Contractors (including temporary office help hired through a private temporary service) and cooperative farmers may operate their own vehicles and equipment on Service lands when and where permitted. We do not allow them to operate Service vehicles or motor equipment unless we have a signed contract or agreement clause to cover issues of liability and insurance, including requirements in section D (1-4) below, (see FAR 45.3 and specifically 45.304). As required by 320 FW 5, Service managers must ensure contractors and cooperators only use the motor vehicles or motor equipment for the work authorized in the contract or agreement.

 

D. Service partners and State agencies who have co-purchased, share, or borrow Service motor vehicles or motor equipment for the benefit of the Service may operate it only:

 

(1) After the entity and the Service sign an MOU. The MOU must have language that limits the Service's responsibility for any damage, injury, or tort claims. Following is an example liability statement:

 

To the extent authorized by law, neither party will be required to hold the other party harmless from responsibility for damages or other liability arising from this MOU. Instead, each party is responsible for its own acts and their results and is not responsible for the acts of the other party and those results. Each party agrees to assume all risks and liability for itself, its agents or employees, and for any injury to people or property resulting from operations of its agents or employees under this MOU. Each party also agrees to assume risk and liability for any loss, cost, damage, or expense resulting from acts, negligence, or the failure to exercise proper precautions of or by itself or its agents to this agreement. If both parties are liable, the degree of each party’s financial responsibility is limited to its degree of culpability. Liability of the Federal Government is governed by the Federal Tort Claims Act (28 U.S.C. 2761 et seq.) and liability of the partner is governed by applicable Federal and State laws.

 

(2) After all operators of motor vehicles and motor equipment have completed Service safety training, e.g., heavy equipment and ORUV training (see section 1.19),

 

(3) By using all applicable safety equipment (see section 1.16), and

 

(4) By following the requirements in 243 FW 1-6.

 

1.8 Under what conditions/situations does the Service prohibit operation of motor vehicles or motor equipment?

 

A. Operators must refrain from operation of motor vehicles or equipment (also see 320 FW 5):

 

(1) When the operator is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and

 

(2) If a prescribed medication has the capacity to inhibit the operator’s response or ability to safely operate the motor vehicle or motor equipment.

 

B. See section 1.24 for prohibitions on cell phones and other electronic devices.

 

C. Operators must not operate motor vehicles and motor equipment if their State driver’s license or supervisor’s authorization has been revoked or suspended (see sections 1.11, 1.13, 1.22, and 1.23).

 

1.9 What age does an operator have to be? All operators of motor vehicles and equipment must be at least 18 years of age. All operators of commercial motor vehicles must be at least 21 years of age.

 

1.10 Does an operator need a State driver’s license? Yes.

 

A. All operators must have a valid State driver’s license with them for the State in which they reside for the class of vehicle they are operating. All operators must also have a valid agency identification card or document (e.g., Service-issued building access ID card, other Government credential, Volunteer Service Agreement (OF 301A), travel authorization, etc.) with them at all times while driving a Service-owned or leased motor vehicle (5 CFR 930). Law enforcement officers conducting undercover investigations are exempt from carrying a valid State driver’s license and agency identification card.

 

B. If the vehicle is a commercial vehicle (see section 1.5A(3)(c)), then the operator must have with him/her a valid State CDL with applicable endorsements for that class of vehicle.

 

C. Operators of off-road motorcycles must have a State-issued motorcycle-class or endorsed license (see 243 FW 6).

 

1.11 What must you do if your State-issued driver’s license has been suspended or revoked? Operators of Service motor vehicles or motor equipment must immediately notify their supervisor if their State driver’s license has been suspended or revoked.

 

1.12 Can commercial operators have more than one license? No. Individuals who operate commercial motor vehicles may only have one driver’s license (49 CFR 383.21).

 

1.13 What must a supervisor do before allowing someone to operate a motor vehicle or motor equipment?

 

A. Before a supervisor grants or renews authorization for you to operate motor vehicles or motor equipment for the Service, he or she must determine that you are qualified to operate motor vehicles or motor equipment. Your supervisor must also complete FWS Form 3-2267 to document that you are:

 

(1) Fully trained (basic and refresher training as described in section 1.19, Exhibit 1, 320 FW 5, and

243 FW 1-6),

 

(2) Properly licensed, and

 

(3) Able to demonstrate competence to operate the type of motor vehicle and motor equipment to which you are assigned based on a safe driving record.

 

B. Supervisors ensure that when an employee operates motor vehicles or motor equipment, the motor vehicle and motor equipment are specifically identified on FWS Form 3-2267 and for volunteers, the type and class of motor vehicles and motor equipment are specifically identified on the Volunteer Services Agreement (OF 301A).

 

C. Supervisors must follow suspension or revocation procedures (see sections 1.22 and 1.23) when an employee or volunteer fails to maintain their qualifications or demonstrates a lack of responsibility in operating motor vehicles or motor equipment.

 

1.14 Do supervisors need to do anything else for employees who hold a CDL? Yes. When a CDL is required, in addition to the requirements described in section 1.13, supervisors must:

 

A. Verify that the commercial motor vehicle operator is at least 21 years old.

 

B. Ensure that the operator has a valid, endorsed State CDL for the class of vehicle he/she will operate, regardless of location of operation.

 

C. Ensure that he/she is physically qualified to operate the vehicle and that he/she carries, or has readily available, an original or a copy of a current medical examiner’s certificate that they are physically qualified to drive a commercial motor vehicle (see 49 CFR 391).

 

D. Inform the operator of potential penalties for failure to use the assigned equipment in a safe and lawful manner.

 

E. Enroll the employee or volunteer in the Department of the Interior (DOI) Random Drug Testing Program.

 

1.15 Who pays for a CDL?

 

A. Except when holding a valid CDL is a condition of employment, an employee’s duty station is usually responsible for paying for the CDL and all associated costs, which includes medical exams.

 

(1) An individual is responsible for paying for the CDL and associated costs if an individual applies for the position, and the requirement for a CDL is a condition of employment.

 

(2) If holding a valid CDL becomes a condition of employment after the employee is hired, the duty station pays for the CDL and associated costs.

 

(3) Once an employee is in a position requiring a CDL, the duty station is responsible for all costs associated with maintaining the license, for as long as it is necessary for the employee to perform the duties of his/her position.

 

B. Once a new employee in a CDL-required position is on board, the duty station is responsible for paying for all costs associated with maintaining the license for as long as the license is required to comply with Federal and State law or Departmental or Service policy.

 

1.16 What safety equipment must operators use? In addition to the requirements below, see 243 FW 1-6, 241 FW 3, and 320 FW 5.

 

A. When seatbelts are provided, all drivers and passengers must wear them whenever the motor vehicle or motor equipment is in motion, on or off the highway. Drivers must not operate a motor vehicle or motor equipment unless all passengers are wearing their seatbelts (320 FW 5).

 

(1) Employees must not remove seatbelts from motor vehicles or motor equipment.

 

(2) If seatbelts are not part of the manufacturer’s original equipment for the particular model, but are installed on newer models of the same equipment, we recommend that the person responsible for maintenance purchase and install a retrofit kit, if it is available.

 

(3) Employees must use and maintain all manufacturer-installed secondary restraint systems (e.g., airbags) in compliance with the manufacturer’s design and recommendations.

 

B. Operators of ORUVs and motor equipment must wear prescribed personal protective equipment (PPE). If the ORUV is designed to carry passengers, then the passengers must wear the same PPE as the operator (see 243 FW 6).

 

C. In addition to required PPE (see 241 FW 3), operators of heavy duty motor equipment (section 1.5B(2)) must wear safety toed boots and head protection (e.g., hard hat) when operating equipment, even in an enclosed cab.

 

1.17 Do motor vehicle and motor equipment operators have to inform their supervisor of traffic violations? Yes.

 

A. By the end of the business day following the day a citation, conviction, or written notice is issued, the motor vehicle and/or motor equipment operator must notify his or her supervisor:  

 

(1) Of any moving traffic citation or conviction received during the performance of official duties,

 

(2) If their driver's license is suspended, revoked, or canceled, and

 

(3) If they have been disqualified from holding a State or international license.

 

B. Commercial motor vehicle operators must also notify their supervisor of any citations. They must also follow any notification procedures applicable to their State licensing authority or 49 CFR 383, whichever is stricter. 49 CFR 383 requires that the commercial motor vehicle operator notify the State licensing authority in writing within 30 days of an out-of-State conviction (other than a parking violation). The written notification must contain:

 

(1) Driver's full name;

 

(2) Driver's license number;

 

(3) Date of conviction;

 

(4) Specific criminal or other offense(s), serious traffic violation(s), and other violation(s) of State or local law relating to motor vehicle traffic control, for which the person was convicted and any suspension, revocation, or cancellation of driving privileges as a result of the conviction(s);

 

(5) Indication of whether the violation was in a commercial motor vehicle;

 

(6) Location of offense; and

 

(7) Driver's signature.

 

1.18 Are there special requirements for operating ORUVs? Yes.

 

A. Only individuals who have successfully completed ORUV training in accordance with the requirements of this chapter and 243 FW 1-6 may operate ORUVs.

 

B. Service owned or leased ORUVs may not be operated for recreational activities either apart from or in conjunction with official purposes.

 

C. Operators of ORUVs may not carry passengers unless the manufacturer’s model is designed for transportation of both operator and passenger. If a passenger is transported on an ORUV, the passenger must wear the same PPE as the operator (see 243 FW 6).

 

D. When not in operation, operators must secure or lock ORUVs to prevent unauthorized use or theft.

 

1.19 What are the training requirements for operators of motor vehicles and motor equipment? Service employees and volunteers must satisfactorily complete appropriate training (see Exhibit 1) and be otherwise qualified and authorized before operating motor vehicles or equipment. The operator must demonstrate competence to operate the type of motor vehicle and equipment to which he/she is assigned. A safe driving record or reauthorization through a refresher training program is evidence of competence to operate a motor vehicle and motor equipment. Supervisors must use FWS Form 3-2267 to document the type and extent of training each operator has successfully completed. The supervisor and the operator must keep a copy of training records and certificates at the field station.

 

A. Motor Vehicle Training.

 

(1) Motor vehicle training must follow the guideline of the State issuing the driver’s license.

 

(2) Motor vehicle operators must comply with Regional policies that may require additional training such as defensive driving training.

 

B. Heavy Duty Equipment Training.

 

(1) Initial 8 hour heavy equipment safety training must follow the guidelines of the Service Heavy Equipment Safety Training Handbook and should be documented on FWS Forms 3-2267 and 3-2268.

 

(2) Before an employee or volunteer may operate any category of heavy equipment they must successfully complete the following training:

 

(a) Pre-class study program available by contacting your Regional Heavy Equipment Coordinator,

 

(b) 4 hours of classroom instruction provided by a Service Heavy Equipment Safety Instructor, and

 

(c) 1 hour of actual equipment operation for each category of equipment he/she will operate.

 

(3) Employees must take heavy equipment safety training from a program provided by a Service Heavy Equipment Safety Instructor or take a Service-approved private heavy equipment safety training course. Contact your Regional Heavy Equipment Coordinator to schedule the training.

 

(4) The operator of heavy equipment must pass a written and operational examination that demonstrates satisfactory knowledge and application of the following:

 

(a) Proper methods for fueling, adding oil, adding coolant, servicing the battery, and lubricating the vehicle as required by the manufacturer.

 

(b) Pre-start procedures that include proper safety checks.

 

(c) Starting and warming up the engine.

 

(d) Proper operational procedures that include use of all controls and demonstration of travel maneuvers necessary for the types of terrain that the operator will encounter.

 

(e) Proper hookup and inspection of equipment and accessories (e.g., cables, slings, lifting hooks, clevises) which are, or may be used, with the equipment.

 

(f) Operation of the equipment with various attachments or accessories and the ability to identify appropriately rated and manufacturer-authorized attachments and accessories.

 

(g) Proper shut-down procedures.

 

(h) Proper transport and tiedown procedures (see 243 FW 5) and the ability to identify appropriately rated and manufacturer-authorized trailers, hitches, and tiedown components.

 

(i) Service policies relating to equipment operation, guarding, transportation, PPE (see 241 FW 3), and hearing loss prevention (see 242 FW 3).

 

(5) After completion of the initial 8 hour training requirement, the Service requires refresher training be successfully completed every 3 years for each category of equipment the employee/volunteer operates. Refresher training may be required sooner if you are involved in an accident, a near miss accident, or if your Project Leader/supervisor/facility manager observes poor operational practices. The Regional Heavy Equipment Coordinator manages the refresher training program. See the Service Heavy Equipment Safety Training Handbook for additional details.

 

(6) Motor crane (defined in 29 CFR 1926.550 and 29 CFR 1910.180, and include conventional and hydraulic mobile cranes, boom trucks, tower cranes, and overhead cranes) operators must:

 

(a) Complete a nationwide certification program meeting OSHA 29 CFR 1926.550 and ASME/ANSI B30.5-2000 or later standards, or

 

 

(b) Complete a State crane operator licensing program (if required), and

 

(c) Comply with Power Crane and Shovel Association Mobile Hydraulic Crane Standard (PCSA Standard #4).

 

C. Powered Industrial Trucks (PIT) Training.

 

(1) PIT (forklift) operators must receive sufficient training and be knowledgeable about PIT designations, hazardous locations/atmospheres, and other operational requirements in 29 CFR 1910.178, 243 FW 1, and 243 FW 4.

 

(2) Only employees meeting the training requirements in 29 CFR 1910.178 may operate a PIT within their scope of employment. Project Leaders/supervisors/facility managers and employees should determine training requirements by consulting their Regional Heavy Equipment Coordinator.

 

(3) Operators must take refresher training and be evaluated in accordance with OSHA standards:

 

(a) At least every 3 years,

 

(b) When the operator is assigned to operate a different type of PIT,

 

(c) When an operator is involved in a PIT-related accident, and

 

(d) When someone observes an operator operating a PIT in an unsafe manner.

 

(4) You can find the refresher training requirements in 29 CFR 1910.178(l)(4).

 

D. Light Duty Motor Equipment Training.

 

(1) Operators must successfully complete a course developed by the equipment manufacturer or other appropriate source of certified experienced instructors. See Exhibit 1 for the minimum course requirements.

 

(2) The operator of light duty motor equipment must demonstrate satisfactory knowledge and application of the following:

 

(a) Proper maintenance procedures for the equipment as required by the manufacturer.

 

(b) Pre-start procedures that include proper safety checks and selection of the proper PPE.

 

(c) Starting the engine.

 

(d) Proper operational procedures that include use of controls and demonstration of travel maneuvers necessary for the types of terrain that the operator will encounter.

 

(e) Proper hookup of equipment and accessories that are or may be used with the equipment.

 

(f) Operation of the equipment with various attachments and accessories and the ability to identify appropriately rated and manufacturer-authorized attachments and accessories.

 

(g) Proper shut-down procedures.

 

(h) Proper transport and tiedown procedures (see 243 FW 5) and the ability to identify appropriately rated and manufacturer-authorized trailers, hitches, and tiedown components.

 

(i) Service policies relating to equipment operation, guarding, transportation, PPE (see 241 FW 3), and hearing loss prevention (see 242 FW 3).

 

(3) We require refresher training every 3 years or as soon as possible after the Project Leader/supervisor/facility manager observes or becomes aware of poor operational practices or if the employee has an accident or near accident while operating the equipment.

 

(4) Before a supervisor may renew an operator's authorization to operate light duty motor equipment, he/she must determine that the employee or volunteer is fully trained and qualified.

 

E. Off-Road Utility Vehicle (ORUV) Training.

 

(1) Operators must complete an initial 6-hour training requirement for ORUV safety by either successfully completing a Service-provided training or by taking a Service-approved ORUV safety training course. Contact your Regional Heavy Equipment Coordinator to register for Service-provided training or for a list of Service-approved training courses.

 

(2) ORUV safety training must adhere to guidelines and the format described in the Service Off-Road Utility Vehicle Training Guide.

 

(3) We require refresher training every 3 years for ORUVs. Contact your Regional Heavy Equipment Coordinator for more information about the program. Current ORUV operators have 3 years from the date this policy is signed to obtain refresher training.

 

F. 15-Passenger Vans.

 

(1) Supervisors must ensure operators of 15-passenger vans are trained and experienced in the vans’ unique handling characteristics. Significant differences in the design and handling characteristics make them drive differently from other passenger vehicles. Fifteen-passenger vans are substantially longer and wider than a car, so they:

 

(a) Require more space and additional reliance on the side-view mirrors for changing lanes;

 

(b) Do not respond as well to abrupt steering maneuvers;

 

(c) Require additional braking time;

 

(d) When occupied by 10 or more passengers, have a rollover rate nearly three times the rate of vans that are lightly loaded. The vans become more difficult to control in emergency situations, such as unexpected evasive maneuvers at higher speeds; and

 

(e) Have tire wear and inflation issues that contribute to many rollover accidents with these vehicles.

 

(2) Supervisors:

 

(a) Should select one or two experienced drivers to drive passenger vans. These designated drivers will gain valuable experience from their continued use of the vans.

 

(b) Must provide a briefing on avoiding van rollover risks and the authorization requirements to operate the vehicle. You can find guidance on operation of passenger vans on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s and the Department of Transportation’s Web sites. Check with your Regional Safety Office for additional assistance.

 

(c) Must ensure drivers have a valid State driver’s license for transporting up to 16 passengers, including the driver, or a valid State CDL for transporting 16 or more passengers, including the driver. This includes both on-road and off-road operations.

 

(d) Must ensure compliance with 320 FW 5 and all State requirements for marking.

 

(e) Must not allow seasonal employees or volunteers to drive these vehicles unless they have substantial experience operating 15-passenger vans.

 

(3) Because of the hazards associated with these vehicles, drivers must:

 

(a) Inspect the vehicle before operation and pay special attention to tire wear and inflation; and

 

(b) When they drive the van on public roadways:

 

(i) If practical, limit the number of passengers to nine,

 

(ii) Not exceed posted speed limits,

 

(iii) Require passengers to sit in the front-most seats, and

 

(iv) Not allow storage or transportation of any item on the roof.

 

1.20 Do motor vehicle operators need to complete defensive driving training? The Service highly recommends defensive driving training, and your Region may require it. Check with your Regional Safety Manager for your Region’s requirements.

 

A. If defensive driving training is required, you:  

 

(1) Should successfully complete the National Safety Council’s (NSC) Defensive Driving course in accordance with your Regional policy to operate motor vehicles on official duty and take it again at least once every 3 years after that, or

 

(2) May substitute comparable training for the NSC Defensive Driving course with the approval of your Regional Safety Manager.

 

B. Supervisors:

 

(1) Should offer an operator the opportunity to acquire appropriate defensive driving training, including operators in Regions that do not require such training. The training must be appropriate to the types of vehicles and operating conditions for which the employee is expected to operate.

 

(2) May require employees/volunteers to successfully complete additional motor vehicle operator safety training, such as Driver Improvement Program courses, when their driving performance or accident history indicates the need for remedial or refresher training.

 

(3) May require additional training on operating in specific conditions (snow and ice, swamps, steep four-wheel drive roads, etc.) that an operator may encounter.

 

(4) Must provide employees the original and maintain copies of any driving training records and certificates in the Department of Interior’s learning management system (DOI Learn).

 

1.21 What credentials must a Heavy Equipment Safety and ORUV Safety Instructor have?

 

A. A Heavy Equipment Safety Instructor is a Service employee who provides safety training to our employees and volunteers. Instructors must coordinate all their training activities with the Regional Heavy Equipment Coordinator, including the required training elements described in section 1.19B and the Service Heavy Equipment Safety Training Handbook. The training for a Heavy Equipment Safety Instructor includes successful completion of, at minimum:

 

(1) The National Conservation Training Center’s (NCTC) “Delivering a Training Session” course or similar course,

 

(2) A 32-hour heavy equipment-related “Train-the Trainer” course, and

 

(3) Recertification consisting of 16 hours of additional training every 3 years, as outlined in the Service Heavy Equipment Safety Training Handbook.

 

B. An ORUV Safety Instructor is a Service employee who provides safety training to our employees and volunteers and coordinates training activities with the Regional Heavy Equipment Coordinator (see the Service Off-Road Utility Vehicle Training Guide). The training for an ORUV Safety Instructor includes completion of, at a minimum:

 

(1) The NCTC’s “Delivering a Training Session” course or similar course,

 

(2) A 32-hour Service-approved ORUV “Train-the-Trainer” course, and

 

(3) 16 hours of recertification training every 3 years (see the Service Off-Road Utility Vehicle Training Guide).

 

(4) Instructors have 3 years from the date of this policy to complete this required training.

 

1.22 May supervisors suspend or revoke operator privileges? Yes.

 

A. Supervisors must suspend or revoke operator privileges if operators fail to maintain their qualifications or if they demonstrate a careless disregard in operating either the Service’s or their own personal motor vehicles or motor equipment.

 

B. Supervisors must revoke or suspend heavy duty motor equipment, light duty motor equipment, or ORUV operators’ privileges if they do not complete refresher training and reauthorization within 3 years after the last training session and authorization.

 

C. Supervisors must document suspensions and revocations and any subsequent remedial actions on the operator’s FWS Form 3-2267.

 

1.23 What happens if operators continue to operate vehicles or equipment after their privileges have been suspended or revoked?

 

A. Employees who continue to operate Service motor vehicles or motor equipment after their privileges have been withdrawn or suspended are subject to disciplinary action and risk losing their protection against liability under the Federal Tort Claims Act. Volunteers who do the same also risk losing their protection against liability under the Federal Torts Claims Act.

 

B. Any adverse or disciplinary action taken against an employee must be in accordance with applicable laws and policies. Supervisors should contact their servicing Human Resources office for assistance (also see 5 CFR 930).

 

1.24 May operators use cell phones or other electronic devices while operating motor vehicles or motor equipment?

 

A. No.

 

(1) The operator must park the motor vehicle or motor equipment to use the device. This applies to employees driving Service-owned, leased, or rented vehicles or motor equipment, when driving privately-owned vehicles or motor equipment while on official Service business, and when using Service-supplied electronic equipment while driving, even when off-duty.

 

(2) Operators moving their vehicles to the road shoulder to use a cell phone, text a message, etc. must do so in a way that allows them to safely signal before leaving the roadway. They must park the vehicle as far as safely possible off the roadway and turn on the vehicle hazard lights while roadside.

 

(3) We strongly encourage employees to refrain from off-duty use of personal cell phones or other electronic devices while operating motor vehicles or motor equipment.

 

(4) Emergency communicators using a vehicle-based two-way radio are exempt from this prohibition. For non-emergency two-way radio communications, the operator should stop the vehicle to reduce the likelihood of an accident or near miss.

 

(5) Operators should pre-program electronic devices, such as Global Positioning System (GPS) units, to operate before moving the motor vehicle.

 

B. Personnel with specific needs associated with emergency operations during fire or other emergency activities are exempt from these requirements. Use of a cell phone or other electronic device during law enforcement operations is left to the discretion of the law enforcement officer.

 

1.25 May operators or passengers smoke or use smokeless tobacco while operating a Service-owned, leased, or rented motor vehicle or motor equipment? No.

 

 


 For information on the content of this chapter, contact the Division of Safety and Health. For information about this Web site, contact Krista Bibb in the Division of Policy and Directives Management.  


Directives Home

PDM Web sites: Centralized Library of Servicewide Policies | FWS Forms | PDM Services

Privacy, Disclaimer and Copyright Information | Information Quality Act

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Home Page | Department of the Interior | USA.gov | About the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service | Accessibility | Privacy | Notices | Disclaimer | FOIA