FMCSA Denies SB R Kreider and Son Inc HOS ELD 12-Hour Limit on the Duty Day for Short-Haul Drivers
The FMCSA Decision
FMCSA announces its denial of the application of B.R. Kreider & Son, Inc., (Kreider) for an exemption from the requirement that drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) be released from work within 12 hours in order to take advantage of the short-haul exception to part of the hours of service (HOS) rules. Drivers qualifying for the short-haul exception are subject to the HOS limits but are not required to maintain a record of duty status (RODS) during the duty day. FMCSA concluded that Kreider has not demonstrated how its CMV operations under such an exemption would be likely to achieve a level of safety equivalent to or greater than the level of safety that would be obtained in the absence of the exemption.
SB. R. Kreider & Sons, Inc. Request for 12 Hours Rule Exemption
Kreider is an interstate motor carrier engaged in the short-haul transportation of materials such as topsoil, fill, and stone. Kreider drivers do not go beyond a 100 air-mile radius of their normal work-reporting location during their duty day. Kreider states that its drivers make frequent deliveries during their duty day, and thus are “in and out of the truck all day long.” Kreider states that it is often not possible for its CMV drivers to complete their duty day within the 12-hour limit. The applicant believes that it is impractical to require these drivers to prepare a RODS when this occurs. Kreider states that the 12-hour requirement “affects the driver's pay, production rates and makes for a very sloppy log book with so many lines between driving and on duty.” It believes that the same level of safety would be achieved with this exemption in place as would be achieved in the absence of the exemption. A copy of the applicants' application for exemption is available for review in the docket for this notice.
On November 5, 2014, FMCSA published notice of this application and asked for public comment (79 FR 65757). Twenty-one comments were received and are available for review in the docket. Kreider indicates that its drivers are spending 10 minutes making a RODS entry for a 5-minute stop. However, Agency guidance states that short periods of time (less than 15 minutes) may be identified on the RODS by drawing a line from the appropriate on-duty (not driving) or driving line to the “remarks” section and entering the amount of time and the geographic location of the change in duty status (Guidance Statement 1, § 395.8). This should take less than one minute. In addition, the FMCSA believes that while it is appropriate to relieve drivers of the task of maintaining a RODS if they limit their duty day to 12 hours, enforcement of the 11-hour and 14-hour rules would be severely hampered if roadside officials were deprived of the RODS of drivers whose duty days have exceeded 12 hours.
The Agency reviewed Kreider's application and the public comments. By letter dated May 21, 2015, FMCSA denied the application because the Agency concluded that Kreider's operations were not likely to achieve a level of safety equivalent to or greater than the level of safety that would be achieved in the absence of the exemption [49 CFR 381.310(c)(5)]. A copy of the denial letter is in the docket of this matter.