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  • Henry Seaton

Comment sought on HOS, equipment exemption requests

FMCSA in March published for comment several requests for new and renewed exemptions related to the agency's hours-of-service regulations and rules governing necessary equipment. The agency also rejected a requested HOS exemption on behalf of U.S. mail contract carriers.

The exemption requests, comment dates and links to Federal Register notice are as follows:

  • Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association (SC&RA) asks that motor carriers and drivers operating mobile cranes with a rated lifting capacity of greater than 30 tons be exempted from the 30-minute break requirement and the 14-hour rule. Comments are due April 15.

  • Illumination Fireworks, LLC and ACE Pyro, LLC seek renewal of their exemption from the 14-hour rule as it applies to the period of Jun 28 to July 8 for the next five years. The exemption, which is subject to further conditions, would apply solely to the 50 CMV drivers used by the applicants to state fireworks shows celebrating Independence Day. Comments are due April 15.

  • Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association (GLTPA) seeks to to allow GLTPA motor carriers in Wisconsin to use cargo securement methods that do not comply with the FMCSRs but were tested by GLTPA and the Wisconsin State Patrol Motor Carrier Enforcement Section. Comments are due April 15.

  • ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor, LLC (ArcelorMittal) is seeking two exemptions from federal regulations. First, the company wants its employee-drivers with commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs) who transport steel coils between their production and shipping locations on public roads to be able to work up to 16 hours per day and be allowed to return to work with less than the mandatory 10 consecutive hours off duty. Also, ArcelorMittal requests exemptions in parts of FMCSA regulations for its coil carriers that do not meet all of the vehicle requirements in the regulations. Comments are due April 21.

Meanwhile, FMCSA has rejected the National Star Route Mail Contractors Association’s application to exempt its contract carrier members from the 14-hour rule of the hours-of-service (HOS) regulations. NSRMCA had asked that a driver of a CMV transporting U.S. mail be allowed to follow an alternate HOS regimen consisting of no more than 10 hours of driving following 8 consecutive hours off duty. The driver also would be prohibited from driving after having been on duty for 15 non-consecutive hours following 8 consecutive hours off duty.

FMCSA said it could not conclude that the proposed exemption would achieve a level of safety at least equivalent to that under the regulation. For more information, see the March 16 Federal Register notice.

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