Flood of HOS exemption requests indicates displeasure with reg

December 2018/January 2019

Jami Jones

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As if the parade of truck drivers at the listening sessions wasn’t a hint, a flurry of recent hours-of-service exemption requests makes it pretty clear that almost no one is happy with the regulations.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration published four applications for exemption on various aspects of the hours of service regulations in the Federal Register on Oct. 18. For good measure, a fifth exemption request also was published asking for a free pass from the electronic logging mandate.

The agency set a Nov. 19 deadline to receive comments.

The hours of service exemption requests included:

  • RJR Transportation asked to expand the short-haul exemption from 100 miles to 150 miles for its drivers, allowing them to use time cards instead of tracking the hours of service.
  • Rota-Mill Inc. wants to use waiting time for its drivers’ 30-minute break and to be able to extend the 12-hour short-haul exception to 14 hours.
  • Transco Inc. asked to use on-duty, not-driving time for the 30-minute break.
  • Wolfe House Movers of Indiana wants truckers hauling steel beams and dollies for lifting and moving buildings to use the 70-hour, eight-day rule, even though they do not operate seven days per week. The rule is normally reserved for seven-day-a-week operations.

The exemption request from the electronic logging mandate comes from Fiat Chrysler, which wants a free pass from equipping test drives with the monitoring devices.

The requests follow the closure of the open comment period on FMCSA’s advance notice of proposed rulemaking. The agency presented a variety of potential changes to the regulations after prompting by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association’s February petition for rulemaking. A second petition filed much later in the year, from Trucker Nation, also was presented for comment. LL

Jami Jones

Jami Jones has been in journalism since 1991 – focused on the trucking industry since 2000. Whether judging Shell SuperRigs or writing hard-hitting analyses, she covers trucking from lug nuts to legislation – always with the trucker in mind.