By Nick Goldstein, vice president of regulatory & legal issues, ARTBA

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Feb. 6 announced a five-year exemption from certain federal “hours of service” (HOS) requirements for “drivers transporting ready-mixed concrete and related materials and equipment in vehicles other than those outfitted with rotating mixer drums.”

The agency will allow operators of these vehicles to use on-duty “waiting time” where no work is performed to satisfy the HOS 30-minute rest break requirement. Drivers also will be allowed to use the rule’s “short-haul exemption,” but will have 14 hours to return to their work-reporting location instead of the usual 12 hours.

In their decision, FMCSA noted ARTBA’s comments supporting the exemption, which stated:

“Transportation construction industry drivers are not long haul operators who consistently spend many consecutive hours on the road in a given day. They are short-haul drivers who typically travel less than 20 miles one way.  Many of our drivers spend substantial amounts of time off the road during the work day, loading and unloading materials or equipment. Others may be responsible for positioning a piece of mobile equipment at the beginning of the work day, but may not be back behind the wheel until day’s end, so that their daily drive time is actually minimal.”

While this development is encouraging, ARTBA continues to advocate the entire transportation construction industry should receive an exemption from the federal HOS rules.