In 2009, the state of Alabama began requiring truckers who hauled steel coils in the state to have Alabama Metal Coil Certification. However, on March 5, 2013, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced that they determined that federal law overrides the state law. Truckers no longer need certification to haul steel coils in Alabama.
Metal Coil Securement Act
Alabama's Metal Coil Securement Act, passed in 2009, required certification for all truckers hauling steel coils that originated or ended in Alabama. Truckers had to present a copy of certification upon request. Failure to comply resulted in harsh penalties including jail time, fines of $5,000 to $10,000, or a court order prohibiting the driver from hauling steel coils in the state.
American Trucking Association Appeal
The American Trucking Association filed an appeal with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to have the Act preempted by federal law. The appeal was granted on the basis that the stringent requirements did not have demonstrated safety benefits and caused an unreasonable burden on interstate commerce. The decision went into effect on April 4, 2013. Alabama may no longer enforce the certification requirements.
Federal Steel Coil Requirements
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires drivers hauling steel coils weighing more than 5,000 pounds to meet specific securement requirements. Regulations require specific tie-down methods based on the number and arrangement of coils. If a driver is hauling a single coil, for instance, and the eye of the coil is placed vertically on the truck bed, the coil must be secured with at least three tie-downs. Two tie-downs should cross the coil making an "x." The third tie-down should be tied straight across the bed, crossing the eye of the coil. In addition, the driver must use bracing, blocking or friction mats to prevent the coil from moving forward or backward.
Alabama Metal Coil Certification
Although Alabama no longer enforces the certification requirement, drivers may still take the official certification course through AdvanceOnline Solutions for $25, as of 2014. The course includes 45 minutes of online training covering the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations for securement of metal coils.