FMCSA grants HOS exemption, denies another

May 18, 2020

Land Line Staff


A pair of requests for exemption to certain aspects of the hours-of-service rules appear in Monday’s edition of the Federal Register.

In an item that appeared on the Federal Register on Monday, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has decided to grant Extreme Logistics an exemption from the requirement that all driving be completed within 14 hours of the beginning of a work shift.

Extreme Logistics is a company that specializes in hauling fireworks, and this is an annual exemption granted for the Fourth of July season. It is effective only from June 28 through July 8. It allows drivers for the company to exclude off-duty and sleeper-berth time from the calculation of the 14-hour driving window.

In a separate item, the FMCSA has denied a request from PTS Worldwide for an exemption to the split-sleeper berth rule.

The company – which transports highly sensitive cargo for the Department of Defense – was asking for its team drivers to be allowed to split the 10-hour sleeper berth requirement into segments of either 4 and 6, 5 and 5, or 6 and 4 hours.

In its denial of the request, the FMCSA said that PTS did not provide an analysis of the safety impacts of the exemption, nor did it demonstrate how it would ensure that the exemption would achieve a level of safety equal to the existing regulations. The agency said that the most recent research shows that the longer sleeper berth period needs to be at least seven hours.

In its recently released hours-of-service rulemaking on May 14, the agency added a split-sleeper option of 7/3 to the 10/0 and 8/2 splits. FMCSA says the new HOS rules are designed to offer drivers more flexibility. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association began the push for HOS reform with a formal petition to the agency in 2018.

News Anchor Terry Scruton contributed to this report.