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Movers seek limited relief from 14-hour rule

Sept. 8, 2014

The American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA) is seeking regulatory relief to allow its members to move their trucks to safer and more secure locations in situations when drivers exhaust on-duty time before a job is completed. On behalf of its 3,700 members, AMSA has requested an exemption from the 14-hour window for driving under the hours-of-service regulations so that members’ drivers can drive their commercial motor vehicles from a residential area to the nearest location offering safety and security. The driving beyond the regulatory limit would be capped at 75 miles or 90 minutes after the 14th hour.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will invite comments on AMSA’s request in a Federal Register notice to be published Sept. 9. 

Under AMSA’s plan, drivers would use the exemption only when they need to move trucks from a customer’s residence to a safe place for overnight parking when there are delays in completing the job. Doing so would offer safety for the driver and helpers and security for the truck and cargo and would avoid creating a hazard on local streets, AMSA said. Drivers would have to notify the motor carrier each time the extension is used, and records of the exemption’s use would be available during compliance reviews.

AMSA argued that its members’ operations were unique in trucking in terms of where and how its daily operations are conducted. And unlike most freight-hauling drivers, AMSA member drivers spend a large part of their 14-hour driving window not driving, and schedules are not as regular and predictable as those for drivers who work in a typical warehouse dock loading and unloading environment.

Use of the exemption would be rare, AMSA said. But in some cases the 14-hour rule forces drivers nearing the end of their 14-hour shifts to choose between halting the loading or unloading of a truck so that the truck can be moved to a safer and more secure location or completing the loading or unloading but then leaving the truck in the residential area for at least 10 hours. AMSA believes that an exemption would be comparable to the current regulations permitting certain short-haul drivers one or two extended duty periods each week.

About the Author

Avery Vise | Contributing editor

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