Following last Friday’s U.S. Court of Appeals ruling on the validity of the July 1st federal Hours of Service (HOS) regulations changes, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has just issued guidance concerning enforcement of the 30-minute break provision as it relates to short-haul drivers. Effective immediately, FMCSA will no longer enforce the 30-minute break provision (49 CFR 395.3(a)(3)(ii)) against any driver that qualifies for either of the “short haul operations” exceptions; 100 air-mile exception and 150 air-mile exemption (49 CFR 395.1(e)(1) or (2)).
→ For clarification, if a ready mixed concrete driver can take advantage of the 100 air-mile logging exemption (49 CFR 395.1(e)(1)), then that driver does not need to comply with the 30-minute break provision (49 CFR 395.3(a)(3)(ii)). However, should that driver drive beyond the 12-hour reporting limit outlined in the exemption, then that driver will be required to comply with the 30-minute break provision.
FMCSA’s guidance, which will be placed on FMCSA’s website later today, is attached. FMCSA will be issuing a rulemaking on their guidance at a later date to reflect the above changes in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).
Despite this positive news, as outlined above there is still a loophole that could require concrete mixer drivers, from time to time, to still have to comply with the 30-minute break provision and thus subject those drivers to noncompliance issues. Because of this, NRMCA will continue to push for an industry-wide exemption with FMCSA and a permanent legislative fix.