243 FW 2
Special Purpose Trucks

Supersedes 243 FW 2, FWM 444, 04/01/04

Date:  December 21, 2012

Series: Occupational Safety and Health

Part 243: Motor Vehicle and Motor Equipment Safety

Originating Office: Division of Safety and Health



PDF Version

2.1 What is the purpose of this chapter?


A. This chapter describes the safety requirements for special purpose trucks. Special purpose trucks include fish distribution, fire, and dump trucks.


B. Use this chapter in conjunction with the other chapters in Part 243.


2.2 What is the scope of this chapter? See 243 FW 1 for information about the applicability of all the chapters in Part 243.


2.3 What are the safety requirements for fish distribution trucks?


A. The tank on fish distribution trucks must be securely fastened to the frame of the vehicle. The tank's capacity must match the truck’s capacity and together must not exceed the total rated gross vehicle weight. Fish distribution trucks must have a cargo barrier between the tank and vehicle cab/operator compartment unless the tank is designed and integrated as part of the truck’s body and securely fastened to the chassis.


B. The oxygen cylinders carried on fish distribution trucks must be securely fastened in a vertical mode, if possible. If they have to be horizontal, they must be in a reinforced cradle.


(1) The valves, gauges, and injection lines must be protected from damage and located far enough away from any source of heat, sparks, flames, grease, or oil to prevent accidental fires or explosions.


(2) Do not run the oxygen lines to remote gauges in or through the cab. For gauges that are inside the cab, you should use audible or electric systems.


(3) If you are not using a cylinder, cover its valves with protective caps.


(4) Store oxygen cylinders in accordance with the provisions of 29 CFR 1910.104 and Department of Transportation (DOT) guidelines.


C. All fish distribution trucks must be equipped with:


(1) Adequate steps, handholds, and nonskid walks;


(2) Tank lids that lock open with a positive safety catch (lids heavy enough to be hazardous must be equipped with torsion counter balance springs to reduce the potential for hand injuries); and


(3) An adequate backup warning system (see 243 FW 3).


2.4 What are the safety requirements for fire trucks/engines?


A. No one may ride outside the passenger compartment on Service fire trucks/engines.


B. All fire trucks/engines used in prescribed burning and wildfire suppression should conform to the design requirements in National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1906, Standard for Wildland Fire Apparatus. Because Service fire management personnel are prohibited from participating in structural firefighting, they must not acquire equipment (including engines) designed exclusively for structural firefighting.


C. All fire trucks/engines must have an adequate backup warning system (see 243 FW 3).


D. Supervisors must ensure that operators of fire equipment are thoroughly trained in the use of the equipment that they may operate.


(1) When practical, supervisors should ensure there are written instructions in or on the equipment or vehicle to improve the safety of their operation.


(2) They should also ensure there is adequate lighting on control panels for low-light operations.


E. Operators must conform to the latest version of the Interagency Standards for Fire and Fire Aviation Operations when using fire trucks/engines in fire operations.


2.5 What are the safety requirements for dump trucks?


A. Dump trucks must be equipped with:


(1) Adequate cab shields made of heavy gauge steel in lieu of roll bars and cargo barriers, and


(2) An adequate backup warning system (see 243 FW 3).


B. Vehicle operators must adhere to highway limits concerning height, width, length, and weight.


C. Lower the dump bed when you park a dump truck for storage.


D. All dump trucks must have a way to cover material if they may be used on public roads. If the loaded material presents a hazard to following vehicles, the operator must ensure that the load is covered or otherwise secured.




For more information about this policy, contact the Division of Safety and Health. For more 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  |  | About the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  | Accessibility  | Privacy  | Notices  | Disclaimer  | FOIA