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FMCSA grants rest exemption for fuel haulers

Under certain conditions, fuel trucks can operate for twelve hours a day without triggering the rest break requirement.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has granted an exemption from the 30-minute rest break requirement for trucks hauling petroleum products. Under certain conditions, fuel trucks can operate for twelve hours a day without triggering the rest break requirement, according to Monday's announcement.

With this exemption, FMCSA recognized that “these drivers receive several short ‘breaks’ each day when they unload…at service stations.” 

“This is a great development for our fuel haulers and a shining example of association partnership for trucking advocates,” said Daniel R. Furth, the National Tank Truck Carriers (NTTC) president. “We are thrilled that the agency agrees that this relief will lower costs for carriers and prices for consumers without compromising safety on our nation’s roadways.” 

The NTTC and the Trucking Association of Massachusetts (TAM) jointly applied for the exemption in August 2017. The two organizations requested that FMCSA exempt the drivers that would be on-duty more than twelve hours so long as their vehicles were carrying petroleum products and were equipped with an electronic logging device (ELD). FMCSA agreed that the time these drivers spend unloading provides rest that is equivalent to, and often great than, rest from the traditional 30-minute rest break. Accordingly, the exemption allows these drivers a 14-hour window to make their fuel runs.

“Today’s announcement will provide relief that allows our drivers to get more rest and creates flexibility that will provide improved customer service and greater efficiencies throughout the fleet,” former TAM chairman and NTTC member John Hamel, president of J&S Transport Co. of Lynn, MA, said on Monday. 

The agency’s full announcement was published in the April 9 issue of the Federal Register.

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