The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has announced that the American Concrete Pumping Association has applied for an exemption from the requirement that short-haul drivers using the records of duty status (RODS) exception of the hours-of-service rule return to their normal work-reporting location within 12 hours of coming on duty.
ACPA is requesting that concrete pump operators be allowed to use the short-haul exception but return to their work-reporting location within 14 hours instead of the usual 12 hours. The requested exemption would apply industry-wide to all concrete pump operators, concrete pumping companies, and drivers who operate concrete pumps.
Specifically, ACPA requests that concrete pump operators be treated the same as drivers operating ready-mixed concrete delivery vehicles are per federal law. Drivers of ready-mixed trucks may rely on the short-haul exception if they return to their work-reporting locations and are released from work within 14 consecutive hours.
According to FMCSA, in its petition, ACPA explained that:
- Like ready-mixed concrete delivery trucks and asphalt pavement delivery trucks, concrete pumps work with a perishable product delivered on a just-in-time basis. Timing and scheduling are critical to ensure a high-quality result. Allowing concrete pump drivers to use the short-haul exception, but return to their reporting location within 14 hours instead of 12 hours, would harmonize the hours-of-service rules for drivers of concrete pumps with the rules for drivers of the vehicles that supply the concrete.
- Only a small percentage of the concrete pump operator's time is spent driving. On average, concrete pump operators spend between 25-32% of their time driving during a shift, and average daily driving distances are 20-25 miles. A pump operator has plenty of rest time with breaks ranging from 33%-55% of their total time pumping. The majority of an operator's time is spent waiting on ready-mixed concrete.
- A concrete pump cannot operate without a ready-mixed truck. Having conflicting requirements creates confusion on job sites. Clear and consistent requirements between the concrete pumps and the ready-mixed trucks will help ensure an equivalent level of safety on the job site. ACPA adds that concrete pumping and placement companies work in collaboration with ready-mixed companies. Scheduling local business contracts in compliance with State and Federal regulations is complicated, given that some concrete companies operate under different FMCSA rules.
FMCSA noted that ACPA contends that because of the concrete pump operators' training and preparation and numerous rest breaks, providing the additional two duty hours to concrete pump operators will have “no impact on the level of safety provided under the short-haul exception.”
The requested exemption is for five years, with opportunity for renewals.
Public comment on ACPA's application for exemption must be received on or before July 23, 2018.
Comments may be identified by Federal Docket Management System Number FMCSA-2018-0175 by any of the following methods:
- Online: Federal eRulemaking Portal
- Fax: 1-202-493-2251
- Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001
- Hand Delivery: West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. E.T., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays
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