Tag Archives: FMCSA

FMCSA Publishes Final Hours of Service Rule

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published the final Drivers Hours of Service Rule last Thursday.

The final rule allows truckers who drive short distances to drive up to 14 hours instead of 12 hours. In February 2019, ACPA successfully advocated for an exemption for concrete paving operations. Leif Wathne worked with ACPA contractors and led an effort to collect and report comments during the rulemaking period.

“Under the final rule, time spent loading and unloading a truck will be counted as breaks from driving,” says Jerry Voigt.

“Broadly speaking, we are very happy with the final rule as announced,” he says, adding, “While it did not create a uniform construction industry exemption that a coalition of industry groups—including ACPA—would have liked to see, the rule has essentially made permanent the 5-year exemptions ACPA was granted in February 2019.” Jerry’s commented on the rule in this week’s “3 Minutes on Monday,” our weekly video report to members.

Click here to see the video report for Monday, May 18. Click here to see the final HOS rule.

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Follow this link to see ACPA’s government affairs repository.

ACPA and Construction Groups Weigh in on HOS Regs

In a recent move aimed at representing the construction industry’s interests on the issue of hours-of-service (HOS) regulations, ACPA and other leading  industry associations have communicated  important perspectives to inform and influence the HOS rulemaking process.   

The “Construction Coalition,” comprised of 15 construction associations, submitted comments to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Administrator Raymond P. Martinez earlier this week.  Click here to see the coalition’s comments.

ACPA emphasized the points that the concrete pavement operations — from trasnport from central-mix plants to finals saw cutting — are extremely time-sensitive, as the concrete is extremely perishable.  Noting that state agency specs typically limit time betweeen mixing and discharge at the paving site to less than 60 min. “As a  result, all of these operations must be carefully managed to ensure the quality of the pavement.”

ACPA staff and members have been actively involved in presented comments aimed at informing officials of concrete pavement industry specific needs related to hours of service regulations.  

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* The Construction Coalition is comprised of the following organizations:  American Concrete Pavement Association, American Pipeline Contractors Association, American Road & Transportation Builders Association, Associated Equipment Distributors: Associated General Contractors of America: Distribution Contractors Association: FP2 (which counts among its contributors ACPA and IGGA): National Asphalt Pavement Association: National Electrical Contractors Association: National Ready Mixed Concrete Association: National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association; National Utility Contractors Association; Pipe Line Contractors Association; Portland Cement Association; and Power and Communication Contractors Association.

Follow this link to see ACPA’s government affairs repository.  To see additional articles about ACPA’s responses to HOS rulemaking and regulations, type “Hours of Service” in the search feature on our home page.

 

FMCSA Amends HOS Requirements

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) last week formally amended some outdated hours-of-service (HOS) requirements, removing provisions that required 34-hour restart, which included two periods between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. The requirement also limited the use of a restart to once every 168 hours.

In a series of appropriations acts, Congress suspended the provisions, pending completion of a naturalistic study.  Completed in 2017, the study found no statistically significant benefits from the restart rule. A 2017 appropriations act voided the restart rules, but the provisions remained in the Code of Federal Regulations until last week. The FMCSA’s action on September 12 was intended to avoid confusion. 

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Follow this link to see ACPA’s government affairs repository.

ACPA Contractors Respond to Proposed HOS Changes

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is advancing a proposal that “modernizes current hours of service (HOS) regulations,” according to Ray Martinez, FMCSA Administrator.  He adds these changes were based on feedback from stakeholders and advanced by the U.S. DOT and the Trump Administration.  Five proposed modifications, he says, are aimed at improving safety and providing commercial drivers with greater flexibility.

Here’s what ACPA contractors had to say about the proposed modifications:

“This proposed rule changes continue the common-sense rule changes championed last year by the ACPA for trucks hauling batched concrete from the plant,” says David Howard, P.E., President & CEO of Koss Construction Co. (and 2nd Vice Chairman of the ACPA Board of Directors).  “In construction, and in the paving business in particular, interruptions in production happen and rule changes–like the proposed 30-minute break requirement being modified to qualify the drivers using on-duty, not driving status, rather than off duty status, for break times–help our people tremendously.”

Northern Improvement Co. adds, “The most exciting thing is the 100 miles to 150 air miles while crossing state lines.  Right now, we can only go 150 air miles if we stay in state. It is good that [the FMCSA is] looking at the 14 hour day–that is huge!  I hope they continue with the ‘short haul exemption’ with the proviso that no e-logs will be required.” 

FMCSA on Monday formally published the notice of rulemaking, which signals the beginning of an open comment period.  ACPA encourages members who may be impacted by the proposed modifications to comment. Comments may be added online at: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FMCSA-2018-0248-5400

The five proposed modifications include:

  • A change to the short-haul exception available to certain commercial drivers by lengthening the drivers’ maximum on‑duty period from 12 to 14 hours and extending the distance limit within which the driver may operate from 100 air miles to 150 air miles.
  • Modifying the adverse driving conditions exception by extending by 2 hours the maximum window during which driving is permitted.
  • Increasing flexibility for the 30-minute break rule by tying the break requirement to 8 hours of driving time without an interruption for at least 30 minutes. The change also would allow the break to be satisfied by a driver using on-duty, not driving status, rather than off-duty. 
  • Modifying the sleeper-berth exception to allow drivers to split their required 10-hours off duty into two periods: one period of at least 7 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth and the other period of not less than 2 consecutive hours, either off duty or in the sleeper berth. Neither period would count against the driver’s 14‑hour driving window.
  • Allowing one off-duty break of at least 30 minutes, but not more than 3 hours; this would pause a truck driver’s 14-hour driving window, as long as the driver takes 10 consecutive hours off-duty at the end of the work shift.

For more information, please click here to view HOS page prepared by the FMCA. 

As reported previously, ACPA previously requested exemptions to the HOS regulations.  The effort was led by ACPA staff, along the support of Association members, non-members, and AGC and ARTBA.  FMCSA granted two exemptions based on that request.  Click here to read the story (ACPA TODAY, Feb. 5).
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Follow this link to see ACPA’s government affairs repository.

FMCSA Approves HOS Exemptions

ACPA received notice yesterday that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has approved our request for two exemptions to the agency’s hours of service (HOS) regulations.

The two exemptions are related to the 30-minute break requirement and the 12 hour daily on-duty limit on the short-haul exception. More specifically, the exemptions:

  • Enable drivers transporting ready mixed concrete and related materials and equipment in vehicles other than those outfitted with rotating mixer drums, to use 30 minutes or more of on-duty ‘‘waiting time’’ to satisfy the requirement for the 30- minute rest break, provided they do not perform any other work during the break.
  • Allow drivers to use the short-haul exception but return to their work reporting location within 14 hours instead of the prescribed 12 hours.

Please note that drivers must keep a copy of the Fed. Reg. notice in their truck cabs at all times to give to enforcement officials to preclude any confusion about what rules apply.  The exemptions also preempt any state or local HOS regulations to the contrary. Finally, drivers must return to the work reporting location and be released from work within 14 consecutive hours.

The exemptions are applicable starting today, February 6, and expire on February 6, 2024. Please click here to view the FMCSA’s notice of final disposition and grant of the application for exemptions, as published in the Federal Register.

As reported previously in ACPA TODAY, ACPA last year formed an Hours of Service (HOS) task group, which crafted and submitted the petition for proposed exemptions to FMCSA’s HOS requirements. FMCSA published ACPA’s exemption request and invited comments. ACPA members and affiliates posted comments in support of the petition, as did AGC & ARTBA officials, at ACPA’s request. 

ACPA thanks the HOS task group members, along with Association members and non-members. We also extend thanks to officials from AGC and ARTBA for their support of this effort.

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Interested in other government affairs news?   Follow this link to see ACPA’s government affairs repository.

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