The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced Friday it has granted the National Asphalt Pavement Association's (NAPA) request for exemptions from two requirements of the hours-of-service (HOS) regulations for all drivers transporting asphalt and related materials and equipment.
The first exemption requested by NAPA allows asphalt haulers to use 30 minutes or more of on-duty waiting time to satisfy the requirement for the 30-minute rest break, provided they do not perform any other work during the break.
According to NAPA, asphalt is a highly perishable product. It is loaded into the delivery truck at 280-300 degrees Fahrenheit and begins to cool immediately. If the asphalt is not delivered and placed on the paving site within two hours, the product hardens and is no longer viscous enough to be useable. Drivers of asphalt delivery vehicles typically drive approximately one-third of their workday; the rest of their day is spent waiting to load or unload their vehicles and in other non-driving duties such as paperwork and cleaning their trucks after each load.
NAPA also requested that some drivers be allowed use the short-haul record of duty status (RODS) exception but with a 14-hour duty period instead of 12 hours. NAPA advises that while some short-haul drivers will be able to take advantage of the exception from the 30-minute break, other drivers are often required to be on duty more than 12 hours in a day and therefore are not eligible to use the short-haul exception. In their request, NAPA noted that ready-mixed concrete drivers already are exempt from the minimum 30-minute rest break provision.
Both exemptions were granted by FMCSA, including the 14-hour duty increase. The exemptions are effective immediately and will expire January 25, 2023.
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