Originally written in 1976 and previously revised in 1983, The Maintenance Council (TMC) Recommended Practice RP-404B is intended to enhance the safety of motor carrier employees by providing guidance regarding the purchase and use of access systems on heavy truck and truck tractors. Compliance with the recommended practice is intended to permit anyone entering or exiting a cab to have three limbs in contact with the truck or truck-tractor at arty time. The scope of the recommended practice covers access systems to the cab and rear of cab areas of all types of heavy trucks and truck tractors, in contrast to Bureau of Motor Carrier Safety (BMCS) regulations which applies only to Cab Over Engine (COE) tractors. The Maintenance Council recommended practice also varies from the BMCS requirements in that it remains a design oriented document. This paper discusses the history and technical content of the recommended practice, and also discusses the rationale for the most recent changes to the document. Finally, specific needs for further research are discussed.