FMCSA Grants National Asphalt Pavement Association Inc HOS ELD 30-minute Rest Break and 12 Hours Rule Exemption

The FMCSA Decision

FMCSA announces its decision to grant the National Asphalt Pavement Association, (Inc.) (NAPA) request for exemptions from two requirements of the hours-of-service (HOS) regulations for all drivers of certain commercial motor vehicles (CMVs): (1) The 30-minute rest break provision and (2) the requirement that short-haul drivers utilizing the record of duty status (RODS) exception return to their work-reporting location within 12 hours of coming on duty. The first exemption will enable drivers engaged in the transportation of asphalt and related materials 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. The second exemption will allow these drivers to use the short-haul exception but return to their work-reporting location within 14 hours instead of the usual 12 hours.

National Asphalt Pavement Association Inc Request for 30-minute Rest Break and 12 Hours Rule Exemption

NAPA seeks two exemptions for all drivers transporting asphalt and related materials and equipment from the HOS 30-minute rest break provision in 49 CFR 395.3(a)(3)(ii) and the restriction of the RODS exception for short-haul operations available to drivers who return to their normal work-reporting location within 12 hours [49 CFR 395.1(e)(1)(ii)(A)].

NAPA requested the first exemption from the HOS rest break provision to allow drivers engaged in the transportation of asphalt and related materials 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. According to NAPA, asphalt is a highly perishable product. It is loaded into the delivery truck at 280-300 degrees Fahrenheit and begins to cool immediately. If the asphalt is not delivered and placed on the paving site within two hours, the product hardens and is no longer viscous enough to be useable. Drivers of asphalt delivery vehicles typically drive approximately one-third of their workday; the rest of their day is spent waiting to load or unload their vehicles and in other non-driving duties such as paperwork and cleaning their trucks after each load.

NAPA requested the second exemption to allow some drivers to use the short-haul RODS exception but with a 14-hour duty period instead of 12 hours. NAPA advises that while some short-haul drivers will be able to take advantange of the exception from the 30-minute break, other drivers are often required to be on duty more than 12 hours in a day and therefore are not eligible to use the short-haul exception.

NAPA mentioned that drivers of ready-mixed concrete delivery vehicles were granted an exemption from the minimum 30-minute rest break provision.[1]NAPA states that “the same reasoning supporting the exemptions from the 30-minute break time rule and allowing a 14-hour daily on duty-period for drivers of ready-mixed concrete vehicles applies to drivers engaged in the transportation of asphalt and related materials and equipment. Both are perishable products that are not useable if they are not dropped and spread within a brief delivery window. Because of this short delivery window, the routes from the production facility to the delivery site for both products are limited to less than 40 miles, and the time spent actually driving a CMV is typically only a few hours per day. Thus in both cases, the drivers do not face the same fatigue factors as drivers of long-haul trucks, and therefore do not pose the same risk of a fatigue-related accident as long-haul drivers.”

NAPA requested that the operation of certain vehicles and equipment (Water Truck, Tack (tar) Distributor, Equipment Hauler and Pick-Sweeper (Street Sweeper)) be included in the definition of “transportation of asphalt and related materials and equipment” for purposes of these exemptions.

NAPA stated in its application that drivers would remain subject to the HOS regulations and would receive sufficient rest due to the nature of their operations that limit driving to an average of six to seven hours per day or less during the paving season. NAPA believes that granting these exemptions would achieve the same level of safety provided by the two HOS rules. The requested exemptions are for 5 years with renewals. A copy of NAPA's application for exemptions is available for review in the docket for this notice.

Period of the Exemption

This exemption is applicable January 26, 2018 and expires January 25, 2023.

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