FMCSA grants trucking company’s exemption from HOS provision

August 28, 2019

Mark Schremmer

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Two years after having an exemption request denied by FMCSA, a Temple, Texas-based trucking company had a similar petition granted.

FMCSA on Wednesday, Aug. 28 announced its decision to grant Transco’s request for exemption from the 30-minute break requirement within the agency’s hours-of-service regulations.

Transco is an affiliate of McLane Co. Inc., Temple.

The exemption, which is effective until Aug. 28, 2024, will enable Transco’s drivers to comply with the 30-minute break requirement while performing on-duty not-driving tasks. According to FMCSA, the exemption applies to all Transco drivers in its grocery division who make wholesale deliveries to grocery and convenience stores.

The exemption would fall in line with FMCSA’s recent notice of proposed rulemaking regarding hours of service.

FMCSA’s plan would include five changes.

  • The limits for short-haul operations would increase from 12 to 14 hours and from 100 air miles to 150.
  • The adverse driving provision would allow a driver up to a 16-hour window within which to complete up to 13 hours of driving if the driver encounters adverse conditions.
  • The 30-minute break requirement would be modified, prohibiting driving for more than eight consecutive hours without at least one 30-minute change in duty status. This would allow 30 minutes of on-duty, not driving time, off-duty time, or sleeper-berth time to qualify as a break.”
  • In addition to splits of 10/0 and 8/2, drivers would be allowed a split-sleeper option of 7/3.
  • Drivers would have the option of stopping the clock a minimum of 30 minutes and up to three hours consecutively once per duty period.

In October 2018, Transco requested an exemption from FMCSA that would allow its 3,580 drivers to take a 30-minute on-duty, nondriving break in place of the 30-minute off-duty rest break currently required.

Transco relies mostly on team drivers who alternate during shift deliveries. The total trip time averages 17.2 hours, but the total driving time for both drivers combined averages 9.1 hours. Transco said its grocery division operations are similar to short haul in that they are low mileage exposure and have multiple deliveries.

For those reasons, Transco said the 30-minute rest break requirement does not increase safety when applied to its drivers.

FMCSA previously denied Transco’s request for an exemption from the 30-minute break in 2017.

Mark Schremmer

Mark Schremmer, staff writer, joined Land Line in 2015. An award-winning journalist and former assistant news editor at The Topeka Capital-Journal, he brings fresh ideas, solid reporting skills, and nearly two decades of journalism experience to our staff.