The Oregon Trucking Association is asking for a limited exemption from the 30-minute break requirement for timber haulers in that state.
Oregon lumber mills need regular shipments to stay in business but haulers cannot provide that service at times during the fire season, the association said in a petition to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Environmental restrictions limit the number of trees that can be harvested, and during periods of increased fire risk the state further limits logging operations, OTA said.
The fire season runs from July to October, and at times during that period logging operators are barred from the forests at 1 p.m. If the operators have to leave by then, they need all of the time before then on-duty, with no rest breaks.
The association says that the 30-minute break requirement in the hours-of-service rule makes it impossible for log trucks to supply the mills with the timber they need during fire restriction periods.
Log carriers are willing to restrict their duty day to 12 hours rather than 14, if the break exemption is granted, the association said.
In a notice scheduled to be published Tuesday, the agency asks for comments on the association’s request.