FMCSA grants limited ELD waiver to fireworks haulers for Independence Day season

June 21, 2018

Land Line Staff

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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is giving drivers employed by certain motor carriers that stage fireworks displays in conjunction with Independence Day celebrations a limited waiver that will allow them to use paper instead of electronic logs to record hours of service.

In a June 19 letter to the American Pyrotechnics Association, FMCSA administrator Ray Martinez says the limited wavier will apply while the agency completes its exemption application process on the group’s request for a five-year exemption from ELDs. FMCSA previously solicited public comments on the exemption request.

Drivers working for 53 APA-member companies are approved to use the waiver, which applies from June 28 to July 8. The waiver is also contingent upon each carrier maintaining its U.S. DOT registration, any applicable hazardous material safety permit, minimum levels of liability insurance, and not being subject to any “imminent hazard or other out-of-service order” issued by FMCSA.

APA member companies covered under the waiver are:

  • American Fireworks Company
  • 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 & Stage FX American
  • Fireworks by Grucci Inc.
  • Flashing Thunder Fireworks dba Legal Aluminum King Mtg.
  • 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 & 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 Corporation
  • 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

In a Dec. 4, 2017 letter to FMCSA, the APA requested a limited exemption allowing its members, who are currently exempted from hours-of-service requirements, to continue using paper logs to document record-of-duty status. The association cites the inability of ELDs to accurately account for drivers exempt from hours-of-service requirements.

“There is no basis to believe that continuing to allow paper record keeping for this limited subset of the regulated community, and for a limited period of time, would impact operational safety in any regard, particularly given FMCSA’s previous decision regarding the HOS exemption,” APA executive director Julie Heckman wrote in the letter.

FMCSA has previously granted an HOS exemption to the industry, which allows APA-member companies to exclude both off-duty and sleeper-berth time from the calculation of the 14-hour driving window.

The APA exemption request states that complying with the mandate would “impose a substantial financial burden” on its members. FMCSA used the economic hardship rationale in granting its 2015 hours-of-service exemption to the group, noting that fireworks haulers operate on a seasonal basis rather than maintaining full-time, year-round fleets.

According to information in the Federal Register, the fireworks industry relies heavily upon short-term rental trucks to transport and deliver 98 percent of the 16,000 Independence Day fireworks displays nationwide. The bulk of those deliveries are typically made within a two-week window around Independence Day. The mix of vehicles rented includes pickup trucks, cargo vans, city vans and straight trucks less than 26,000 GVW.

Lucas Oil