FMCSA dealing with two HOS exemption requests

CRST is proposing an exemption from the sleeper berth rule for its team drivers. (Associated Press)

WASHINGTON — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is granting motor carriers transporting security-sensitive hazardous materials requiring a security plan an exemption from the federal Hours of Service regulations that prohibit commercial motor vehicle drivers from driving a CMV if more than eight consecutive hours have passed since the driver’s last off-duty or sleeper-berth period of 30 minutes or more.

The American Trucking Associations requested the exemption on behalf of all motor carriers that transport certain hazmat shipments requiring security plans under regulations of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).

These plans normally require a driver to attend such cargo while the CMV is stopped, which is an on-duty activity under the HOS rules.

Exempt drivers may now count their on-duty attendance of hazmat cargo toward the required 30-minute rest break requirement provided they perform no other on-duty activity.

The agency said the exemption parallels Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) that allows drivers who are attending loads of certain explosives to count on-duty attendance time toward their rest break so long as they engage in no other on-duty activity.

In a related matter, the FMCSA said that it has received an application from CRST

Expedited for an exemption from certain provisions of the Hours of Service regulations.

CRST is proposing that its team drivers be granted an exemption from the HOS rules pertaining to use of a sleeper berth.

Current HOS rules require that all sleeper berth rest regimens include, in part, the regular use of a sleeper berth period for at least eight hours — combined with a separate period of at least two hours, either in the sleeper berth off duty or some combination of both  — to gain the equivalent of at least 10 consecutive hours off duty.

CRST proposes that its team drivers be allowed to take the equivalent of 10 consecutive hours off duty by splitting sleeper berth time into two periods totaling 10 hours, provided neither of the two periods is less than three hours.

Source: The Trucker