Concrete operations seek to harmonize HOS rules across the industry
June 20, 2018
•Land Line Staff
Taking aim at conflicting hours-of-service requirements that complicate concrete operations, a national association of concrete pumping operations is seeking an exemption to extend on-duty time to 14 hours for short-haul operations.
The American Concrete Pumping Association filed a request for exemption with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The petition, which will publish in the Federal Register on June 21, seeks to extend the short-haul work day for concrete operations from 12 to 14 hours. FMCSA will accept comments for 30 days on the request.
The request applies to the concrete industry as a whole, including concrete pump operators, concrete pumping companies and drivers who operate concrete pumps.
The concrete association requests that concrete pump operators be treated the same as drivers operating ready-mixed concrete delivery vehicles as provided in 395.1(e)(1)(ii)(B). That section of the regulations allows drivers of ready-mixed delivery vehicles to rely on the short-haul exception provided they return to their work reporting locations and are relieved of duty within 14 consecutive hours. Currently concrete pumpers are required to return to the work reporting location within 12 hours.
The group explains that like the ready-mixed concrete and asphalt delivery trucks, concrete pumps work with a “perishable product” delivered in a just-in-time operation. The group says allowing the concrete operations to work under the same short-haul exception that allows a 14-hour work day would harmonize the hours-of-service rules.
The ultimate catch is that a concrete pump cannot operate without a ready-mixed truck, the group explained. Having conflicting requirements of 12- and 14-hour work days creates confusion on job sites.
In its request, the group explained that a small percentage of a concrete pump operator’s time is spent driving. The group estimates that, on average, operators only drive 20 to 25 miles using up only about 25 to 32 percent of their on-duty time driving.
The group continued to build its case by saying concrete pump operators get plenty of opportunities to rest during the work shift, estimating that 33 to 55 percent of their total on-duty hours are spent pumping concrete.