On January 26th, following a request from the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA), the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published two exemptions to hours of service requirements (HOS) in order to accommodate those carriers engaged in the transportation of asphalt.
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. Practically, this means that drivers for asphalt carriers no longer need to change their status to off-duty in order to satisfy the 30-minute rest period requirement.
The second exemption, dealing with asphalt carriers using the short haul exemption, extends the period of time that a driver has to return to their work reporting location after beginning work from 12 hours to 14 hours. With respect to this exemption, NAPA successfully argued that drivers who are moving asphalt typically drive far less than an average truck driver and therefore are not subject to the same fatigue factors.
During the comment process, there were 66 comments received pertaining to the exemption request. Of the 66 comments, only four were opposed to the granting of the request with 58 in support. The remaining four comments were neither in support nor opposition.
In order for an asphalt carrier to take advantage of either of the new exemptions, it’s drivers must keep a copy of the official notice of the exemptions or an equivalent signed FMCSA exemption document in their possession to be presented to law enforcement officials on demand. The official notice can be found here: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/01/26/2018-01400/hours-of-service-of-drivers-national-asphalt-pavement-association-inc-application-for-exemptions.
Both exemptions are in effect for five years and expire January 25, 2023.
For any questions regarding the applicability of these exemptions or any HOS regulations to your business, please contact Kevin Coghill (804-377-1273).