Garbage hauler Republic Services seeks short haul exemption

December 2, 2019

Greg Grisolano

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America’s second-largest waste-hauling company is asking the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for a waiver from portions of the hours-of-service rules.

Republic Services of Phoenix is asking the FMCSA to allow its short-haul drivers to return to their original work reporting location within 14 instead of 12 hours. The company seeks a five-year exemption.

In addition to the short-haul exemption, Republic Services also is requesting an exemption to the ELD mandate for its 15,500 drivers. According to the request, the company claims that “ELDs were not designed for short-haul CMVs and that application of ELDs to CMVs that operate within a 100-mile radius and make multiple stops represents an inefficient use of ELD technology.

“The devices may work well for long-haul trucking because these drivers operate the controls of their CMVs for extended periods of time without need to stop multiple times during a single shift,” the request states. “Unlike sanitation truck drivers, long-haul drivers are not away from the controls of their CMVs for significant periods of time during a shift.”

Republic Services says its drivers “make numerous stops per shift and spend significant portions of their day performing a non-driving function.” On average, Republic estimates its drivers spend approximately 30-50% of their on-duty time servicing customer containers as opposed to driving.

Last month, the agency granted two similar exemptions to a pair of companies that deal in waste hauling.

FMCSA granted requests from Kimble Recycling & Disposal and from the National Waste & Recycling Association for short-haul exceptions. The NWRA noted that one of its member companies, Waste Management Holdings, had already been granted a similar exemption. The association argued that granting a broader exemption would create regulatory consistency across the entire waste and recycling industry.

The agency is also considering a blanket proposal that would extend short-haul drivers’ maximum on-duty period from 12 to 14 hours, and extending the air-mile radius from 100 to 150 miles as part of a proposed rulemaking to overhaul the hours-of-service.

Greg Grisolano

Greg Grisolano joined Land Line in 2013. He was formerly a reporter for the Joplin Globe. He brings business writing and photography skills to Land Line, and has a passion for finding and telling stories about the people who make up the trucking industry.