ATA pushing for exemption to 14-hour rule for extraction site haulers

Jimmy Lessley, loading crudeThe American Trucking Associations is seeking an exemption of certain federal hours of service rules for drivers who service oil and natural gas extraction sites, and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is accepting public comment on the association’s request.

ATA filed an application last week asking the agency to renew and expand for two years an exemption already in place for drivers who service oil wells. The exemption allows “specially trained” drivers to exclude waiting time from the drivers’ 14-hour on-duty period.

ATA’s request would extend that exemption two years and cover drivers servicing both oil wells and natural gas extraction sites, as long as the drivers “are able to establish a method to adequately ensure a rest opportunity while waiting.”

Sleeper berths and on-site bunking or resting facilities “would satisfy the rest opportunity standard,” ATA’s request says. “ATA asserts that it proposed exemption would maintain or exceed the level of safety of the current waiting-time rule.”

FMCSA is accepting public comment until July 7. Comments on the request can be made at, using the docket number FMCSA-2013-0470.

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  • norman ott

    Why cant this work for everyone. what’s the difference between waiting at a dock or waiting at an oil well site.

  • SafetyMan

    I said the same thing on CCJ. I dont see a difference between my drivers and these guys.

    They get stuck…we get stuck but the big difference here is this is big oil and gas and by all accounts they pretty much get what they want or will throw enough money at the issue to ensure they get there way.

    My main issue is who’s policing these “specially trained” drivers? Where’s the written rule and are they really insuring that these drivers are in a resting area or in the bunk with no responsibility? ?

    I only want to see it because I think this a slap in the face to my very responsible drivers who the FMCSA feels are unable to make the same decision if they’re legitimatly held up.

  • Dave Nichols

    NO! the rule is for safety remember. if it’s not safe to go past 14 hours then why should it be safe for any drivers?
    we have regional drivers who spend time at various stops resting, so should this not apply to them also?
    Where is the line going to end up?
    Personally I say just give us back the split berth rule and be done with it. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.