The American Concrete Pavement Association is requesting exemptions from hours-of-service regulations for drivers who haul ready-mixed concrete in vehicles without a rotating mixer drum.
The exemption requests involve the 30-minute rest break provision, and the requirement that short-haul drivers who are already utilizing a record of duty status exemption must return to their work-reporting location within 12 hours of coming on duty.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is seeking public comment on the ACPA’s request, which was published in today’s issue of the Federal Register. Comments must be received on or before Oct. 9.
ACPA is requesting an exemption that would allow drivers to use the short-haul exemption with a 14-hour duty period instead of 12 hours, since drivers are often required to be on duty for more than 12 hours per day.
According to the ACPA’s request, the exemption from the 30-minute rest break would allow drivers to use 30 minutes or more of on-duty “waiting time” to satisfy the requirement for the rest break, provided the driver performs no other work during that period. ACPA says that mainline paving projects such as highways, airports, streets and large industrial facilities typically involve mixing concrete at a central location within 3 to 10 miles from the paving site, and then transporting the material to a jobsite via end-dump trucks. The group says the time-sensitive nature of the paving process means that issues that could delay drivers can then result in time and cost overruns for the paving projects.
ACPA’s request also notes that ready-mixed concrete delivery vehicles – defined as those which have a mechanism powered by the vehicle’s engine that agitates and mixes the concrete in a mixer drum – have previously been granted an exemption from both the 30-minute rest break and the 12-hour rule. In January, FMCSA also granted similar exemptions to drivers on behalf of the National Asphalt Pavement Association. ACPA’s request states that “the same reasoning supporting the exemptions” for those other operations applies to its drivers.
“These are all perishable products that are not useable if they are not dropped and spread within a brief delivery window,” ACPA’s request states. “Because of this short delivery window, the routes from the production facility to the delivery site for both products are limited, usually between 3-10 miles, and the time spent actually driving a commercial motor vehicle is typically only a few hours per day. Thus, the drivers do not face the same fatigue factors as drivers of long-haul trucks, and therefore do not pose the same risk of a fatigue-related accident as long-haul drivers.”
To file comments, click here.
To view the docket, click here.
In June, the American Concrete Pumping Association, a group representing concrete pump operators and drivers, filed a request with FMCSA asking for a similar exemption to go from 12- to 14-hour days in order to harmonize requirements with ready-mixed drivers.
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