FMCSA grants ELD exemption to fireworks haulers for July 4 2019, 2020 seasons

By Land Line staff | 2/18/2019

Fireworks and pyrotechnic haulers who already hold an exemption to the 14-hour rule during the Independence Day season will not have to install an electronic logging device to record a driver’s hours of service during the 2019 or 2020 holiday seasons.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is expected to publish a notice in the Feb. 19 edition of the Federal Register in which the agency will grant an ELD exemption to 53 motor carriers that are members of the American Pyrotechnic Association.

The APA is a national safety and trade association with over 250 member companies in the U.S. fireworks industry, representing manufacturers, importers, distributors, wholesalers, retailers, suppliers and professional display companies. APA members and their subsidiaries are responsible for nearly 90 percent of the fireworks manufactured, imported, distributed and professionally displayed in the United States, according to the group.

APA’s exemption application was first published on April 24, 2018, as the group sought a limited exemption from the ELD requirements to allow member companies currently holding an exemption from the 14-hour rule to continue to maintain paper RODs in lieu of ELDs.

“FMCSA has determined that granting an ELD exemption to APA for a limited period of 11 days during Independence Day celebrations will achieve a level of safety equivalent to or greater than the level that compliance with the ELD rule would ensure,” the notice states.

As part of its initial request, APA noted that fireworks haulers are a unique segment of the trucking industry, in that it rents or leases approximately 90 percent of its vehicles for less than 30 days at a time. The industry relies heavily upon short-term rental trucks to transport and deliver 98 percent of the 16,000 Independence Day fireworks displays nationwide.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association filed comments in favor of APA’s exemption request. The comments noted that “the current ELD marketplace does not adequately support the needs of the entire trucking industry.”

“Since the December 2017 implementation, professional drivers have shared the real-world problems they have experienced because of malfunctioning devices, lack of connectivity in rural areas, and false claims made by ELD vendors,” the Association wrote. “For these reasons, along with APA’s prior exemption history, FMCSA should grant the exemption request.”

As part of this process, FMCSA reviewed its Motor Carrier Management Information System safety records, including inspection and accident reports submitted to FMCSA by state agencies.

With regard to safety statistics, none of the carriers was under an imminent hazard or OOS order, had any alerts in the Safety Management System (SMS), or was under investigation by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. All had “satisfactory” safety ratings based on compliance reviews, and all had valid Hazardous Materials Safety Permits, according to the agency.

APA member companies covered under the waiver are:

  • American Fireworks Co.
  • American Fireworks Display LLC 
  • AM Pyrotechnics LLC 
  • Arthur Rozzi Pyrotechnics 
  • Artisan Pyrotechnics Inc. 
  • Atlas PyroVision Entertainment Group Inc. 
  • Central States Fireworks Inc. 
  • East Coast Pyrotechnics Inc. 
  • Entertainment Fireworks Inc. 
  • Falcon Fireworks
  • Fireworks and Stage FX American 
  • Fireworks by Grucci Inc. 
  • Flashing Thunder Fireworks, dba Legal Aluminum King Mfg.
  • Gateway Fireworks Displays 
  • Great Lakes Fireworks 
  • Hamburg Fireworks Display Inc. 
  • Hawaii Explosives & Pyrotechnics Inc. 
  • Hollywood Pyrotechnics Inc. 
  • Homeland Fireworks Inc. 
  • J&J Computing dba Fireworks Extravaganza 
  • J&M Displays Inc. 
  • Lantis Fireworks Inc. 
  • Legion Fireworks Co. Inc. 
  • Miand Inc., dba Planet Productions (Mad Bomber) 
  • Martin & Ware Inc., dba Pyro City Maine and Central Maine Pyrotechnics 
  • Melrose Pyrotechnics Inc. 
  • Montana Display Fireworks Inc. 
  • Precocious Pyrotechnics Inc. 
  • Pyro Shows Inc. 
  • Pyro Shows of Alabama Inc. 
  • Pyro Shows of Texas Inc. 
  • Pyro Engineering Inc., dba Bay Fireworks 
  • Pyro Spectaculars Inc. 
  • Pyro Spectaculars North Inc. 
  • Pyrotechnic Display Inc. 
  • Pyrotecnico (S. Vitale Pyrotechnic Industries Inc.) 
  • Pyrotecnico FX 
  • Rainbow Fireworks Inc. 
  • RES Specialty Pyrotechnics 
  • Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks Inc. 
  • Sky Wonder Pyrotechnics LLC 
  • Skyworks Ltd. 
  • Sorgi American Fireworks Michigan LLC 
  • Spielbauer Fireworks Co. Inc. 
  • Spirit of 76 
  • Starfire Corp. 
  • Vermont Fireworks Co. Inc./Northstar Fireworks Co. Inc. 
  • Western Display Fireworks Ltd. 
  • Western Enterprises Inc. 
  • Wolverine Fireworks Display Inc. 
  • Young Explosives Corp. 
  • Zambelli Firworks MFG Co. Inc. 
  • ZY Pyrotechnics LLC, dba Skyshooter Displays 



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