UPDATED--The ready-mix concrete industry is asking for an exemption from the 30-minute break requirement in the new hours-of-service rule.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is seeking comments on the request by the National Ready Mix Concrete Association.

The rule requires a driver to take the half-hour break within 8 hours of an off-duty or sleeper berth break.

Compliance with this is extremely difficult for ready-mix drivers, the association told the agency. For instance, weather, customer readiness and traffic can disrupt delivery of a perishable product, particularly during peak demand, the association said.

Most ready-mix drivers spend less than half of their time actually driving, the association said. On average, a typical driver will carry four loads per day, each about two hours round-trip, driving an average of 14 miles one-way.

Moreover, most of these drivers routinely get shorter breaks throughout the day and often have longer breaks due to unforeseen delays. The association says this pattern helps keep drivers alert.

Because they cover short distances, ready-mix drivers fall under the short-haul exemption to the hours of service rule, said Robert Garbini, president of the National Ready Mix Concrete Association.

“The difficulty comes if a ready-mixed concrete driver’s day exceeds 12 hours clock-in to clock-out, which they often do,” Garbini said in an email response to a query.

“In that case, a ready mixed concrete driver is also required to take a 30-minute break and enter the log for the entire day.”

He said the association will pursuing the exemption with FMCSA, and will seek a legislative remedy in the coming year.

Comments on the association’s request are due in a month.

Update adds comments from the National Ready Mix Concrete Association.