FMCSA Grants McKee Foods Transportation LLC HOS ELD Split Sleeper Berth Exemption

The FMCSA Decision

FMCSA announces its decision to grant an exemption to McKee Foods Transportation, LLC (MFT) from certain provisions of the Agency's hours-of-service (HOS) regulations. MFT proposed that its team drivers be granted an exemption from the HOS rules pertaining to use of a sleeper berth (SB). Current HOS rules require that all SB rest regimens include, in part, the use of an SB for at least 8 hours—combined with a separate period of at least 2 hours, either in the SB, off-duty or some combination of both—to gain the equivalent of at least 10 consecutive hours off duty. The exemption will allow MFT's team drivers to take the equivalent of 10 consecutive hours off duty by splitting SB time into two periods totaling 10 hours, provided neither of the two periods is less than 3 hours.

McKee Foods Transportation Request for Split Sleeper Berth Exemption

MFT, a private motor carrier, applied for an exemption to eliminate the requirement that S/B time include a period of at least 8 but less than 10 consecutive hours in the S/B and a separate period of at least 2 but less than 10 consecutive hours either in the S/B or off duty, or any combination thereof [49 CFR 395.1(g)(1)(ii)(A)(1)]. The exemption is limited to team drivers, and these team drivers are allowed to split S/B time into two periods totaling at least 10 hours, provided neither of the two periods is less than 3 hours in length.

FMCSA reviewed MFT's application and the public comments and concluded that granting the exemption would likely achieve a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved by the current regulation. A Notice of Final Determination granting the MFT exemption was published on March 27, 2015 [80 FR 16503].

The substance of the exemption is not affected by this extension. The exemption covers only the split S/B requirement [49 CFR 395.1(g)(1)(ii)(A)(1-2)]. The exemption is restricted to MFT team drivers, who utilize electronic logging devices to track records of duty status; have a minimum 26-hour off-duty period, at home, from Friday night to Saturday night; and are limited to 10 hours of driving following their required 10 consecutive hours off duty, or the S/B equivalent.

The FMCSA does not believe the safety record of any driver operating under this exemption will deteriorate. However, should deterioration in safety occur, FMCSA will take all steps necessary to protect the public interest, including revocation of the exemption. The FMCSA has the authority to terminate the exemption at any time the Agency has the data/information to conclude that safety is being compromised.

Period of the Exemption

This limited exemption is effective from March 27, 2015, through March 27, 2020.

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