FMCSA Grants American Concrete Pumping Association HOS ELD 12 Hours Short-haul Exemption
The FMCSA Decision
FMCSA announces its decision to grant the American Concrete Pumping Association (ACPA) request for exemption from the requirement that short-haul drivers utilizing the records of duty status (RODS) exception return to their normal work-reporting location within 12 hours of coming on duty. The exemption enables all concrete pump operators, concrete pumping companies, and drivers who operate concrete pumps to use the short-haul exception but return to their work-reporting location within 14 hours instead of the usual 12 hours. FMCSA has analyzed the exemption application and the public comments and has determined that the exemption, subject to the terms and conditions imposed, will achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved absent such exemption.
American Concrete Pumping Association Request for 12 Hour Short-haul Exemption
ACPA seeks an exemption from the restriction of the RODS exception for short-haul drivers who return to their normal work reporting location and are released from work within 12 hours [49 CFR 395.1(e)(1)(ii)(A)]. Specifically, ACPA requests that concrete pump operators be treated the same as drivers operating ready-mixed concrete delivery vehicles as provided in 49 CFR 395.1(e)(1)(ii)(B). Section 395.1(e)(1)(ii)(B) allows drivers of ready-mixed concrete delivery vehicles to rely on the short-haul exception provided they return to their work-reporting locations and are released from work within 14 consecutive hours. The requested exemption would apply industry-wide to all concrete pump operators, concrete pumping companies, and drivers who deliver, set-up, and operate concrete pumps across the United States.
ACPA currently represents more than 600 member companies employing over 7,000 workers nationwide. The exemption would be applied to all interstate concrete pumper trucks and their operators. Although many of the trucks operate intrastate and would therefore not be covered by an FMCSA exemption, an unknown number of the pumping trucks are operated in metropolitan areas and do routinely cross State lines.
ACPA explained that, like ready-mixed concrete delivery trucks and asphalt pavement delivery trucks, concrete pumps work with a perishable product delivered on a just-in-time basis. Timing and scheduling are critical to ensure a high-quality result. Allowing concrete pump drivers to use the short-haul exception, but return to their reporting location within 14 hours instead of 12 hours, would harmonize the hours-of-service rules for drivers of concrete pumps with the rules for drivers of the vehicles that supply the concrete.
ACPA explained that only a small percentage of the concrete pump operator's time is spent driving. On average, concrete pump operators spend between 25-32% of their time driving during a shift, and average daily driving distances are 20-25 miles. A pump operator has plenty of rest time with breaks ranging from 33%-55% of their total time pumping. The majority of an operator's time is spent waiting on ready-mixed concrete for them to pump.
ACPA further explained that a concrete pump cannot operate without concrete supplied by a ready-mixed truck. Having conflicting requirements creates confusion on job sites. Clear and consistent requirements between the concrete pumps and the ready-mixed trucks will help ensure an equivalent level of safety on the job site. ACPA adds that concrete pumping and placement companies work in collaboration with ready-mixed companies. Scheduling local business contracts in compliance with State and Federal regulations is complicated, given that some concrete companies operate under different FMCSA rules.
ACPA asserts that the concrete pumping industry has a solid safety record. Break periods, spent waiting for the ready-mixed truck deliveries, provide opportunity for concrete pump operators to rest and relax. The ACPA Operator Certification Program ensures, encourages, and educates the concrete pump operators on safe concrete pumping and placement procedures. These safety practices allow concrete operators to maintain their safety record through careful training and well-developed safety guidelines. Because of the concrete pump operators' training and preparation and numerous rest breaks, providing the additional 2 duty hours to concrete pump operators will have no impact on the level of safety provided under the short-haul exception. The requested exemption is for 5 years. A copy of the ACPA's application for exemption is available for review in the docket for this notice.
The exemption is applicable from November 1, 2018 and expires October 31, 2023.