The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) this morning published a long-awaited proposed rulemaking to streamline a number of hours of service (HOS) regulations important to petroleum marketers. In doing so, the FMCSA handed petroleum marketers a significant victory by proposing key HOS changes requested by PMAA. The most important of the changes included in the FMCSA’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) would lengthen the maximum distance limit and increase on-duty time a CDL driver may travel each day while maintaining their short haul status and exception from recording daily HOS. PMAA made this an important issue during its DC Conference and “Day on the Hill” by working with Rep. Rick Crawford’s (R-AR) office in sending a letter to the FMCSA. Click here to read the letter.
Under the NPRM, the distance a driver could travel under the short haul exception would lengthen from 100 air-mile radius to 150 miles. In addition, the maximum daily on-duty status for short haul drivers would increase from 12 hours to 14 hours. PMAA requested these changes to expand the number of CDL HAZMAT drivers who qualify for short haul status, increase the availability of short haul drivers for longer shifts and provide marketers more driver scheduling flexibility. The changes would also eliminate the electronic HOS recording requirement for drivers who currently drive beyond a 100 air-miles radius but remain within 150 air-miles from their work reporting location at the start of their daily shift.
PMAA initially asked the FMCSA to make the changes to the short haul driver exception in 2017 as part of the administration’s regulatory streamlining initiative. The FMCSA was receptive to PMAA’s request. PMAA then successfully worked with the office of Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AR) to send a letter supporting PMAA’s request to the FMCSA.
The ANPRM also proposes additional changes to the HOS supported by PMAA including:
- Extend the 14-hour maximum on duty time for up to three consecutive hours to allow a single off-duty time break ranging from 30 minutes to no more than 3 consecutive hours provided the driver has at least 10 consecutive hours off duty before the start of his or her next duty period. This means wait times at terminals for up to three hours would not count towards the 14- hour maximum on duty time provided the driver goes off-duty.
- Modify the adverse driving conditions exception that currently allows up to 13 hours of driving time to also extend the maximum daily on-duty time from 14 to 16 hours.
- FMCSA’s proposed rule on hours of service regulations is estimated to provide $274 million in savings for the U.S. economy and will have no negative impact on safety. The public comment period is open for 45 days. PMAA will file comments supporting the changes in the proposed rule to ensure they become final regulations.
The FMCSA’s NPRM may be viewed here.