Do’s and Don’ts of Retro-Reflective Sheeting

Fleet Products, Safety & Environment
February 21, 2012

Written by Ryder Fleet Products

With the introduction of CSA, there has been an increased focus on Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation 571.108 Standard No. 108, which covers lamps and reflective devices, with a specific emphasis on retro-reflective sheeting. The purpose of retro-reflective sheeting (conspicuity tape or plastic reflective material) is to reduce traffic accidents, injuries and deaths by enhancing the visual presence of commercial motor vehicles.

Regulatory Review: Rear of the Tractor (Mud-Flap Area)

  • Two strips of sheeting (whether the conspicuity tape or plastic reflective material) in alternating colors (red/white), each not less than 600mm (23.6 in) in length. Located as close as practicable to
    • Edges of the rear fenders OR
    • Mudflaps or mudflap support brackets
    • Strips on the mudflaps should not be mounted lower than 300mm (11.8 in) below the upper edge of the mudflap
  • If the tractor is not equipped with mudflaps, the strips may be mounted:
    • On brackets behind the rear axle
    • Ahead of the rear axle (above the top of tires)
    • To the back of the cab as close to the outer edges as practicable (not more than 60 inches above the road)

Regulatory Review: Rear of the Tractor Cab

  • Two pairs of white strips of sheeting, each pair consisting of strips 300mm (11.8 in) in length
  • Applied horizontally and vertically as practicable to the right and left upper contours of the cab
  • Close to the top of the cab and as far apart as practicable
  • No more than 25% of the area may be obscured by the vehicle equipment
  • If the rear window is very large as to occupy the space, you may attach the strips to the window itself
Tractor Retro-Reflective Sheeting Do’s and Don’ts

Non-compliance could result in a DOT violation, a fine and impact your Vehicle Maintenance rating. The violation would go under your DOT number and you would be responsible for paying the fine if you are operating the vehicle. The violations for no reflective sheeting on mud flaps / back of the cab include:

  • Violation 393.11TL / 393.11TT
  • Violation severity weight = 3 for each violation (combined with other variables, this violation weight rating could be severe)
Recommended Retro-Reflective Products

For more information on Retro-Reflective products, please visit Ryder Fleet Products or browse some of our top recommendations:

What are some best practices you follow when using retro-reflective sheeting?


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