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FMCSA clarifies oilfield hours exceptions

| June 01, 2012

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on Friday, June 1, announced its revision of regulatory guidance to clarify the applicability of the oilfield operations exceptions to the hours-of-service regulations, and the agency has requested comments on the revision.

FMCSA said a significant increase in oil and gas drilling operations in many states has resulted in a major increase in commercial motor vehicle traffic to move the oilfield equipment, and to transport large quantities of supplies, such as water and sand, to the sites. The agency said operators of many of these vehicles have raised questions about the applicability of the hours-of-service oilfield operations exemptions to them.

FMCSA said in the case of specially trained drivers of CMVs that are constructed specially to service oil wells, on-duty time does not include waiting time at a natural gas or oil well site; this exception often is referred to as the “oilfield waiting time” provision. Examples of equipment that may qualify the operator/driver for the oilfield waiting time exception are heavy-coil vehicles, missile trailers, nitrogen pumps, wire-line trucks, sand storage trailers, cement pumps, “frac” pumps, blenders, hydration pumps and separators.

Operators of CMVs that are used to transport supplies, equipment and materials such as sand and water to and from the well sites do not qualify for the oilfield waiting time exception even if there have been some modifications to the vehicle to transport, load or unload the materials, and the driver required some minimal additional training in the operation of the vehicle, such as running pumps or controlling the unloading and loading processes.

To comment, go to; the docket number is FMCSA-2012-0183.

  • marty marsh

    Another special interest group,You need to give us this this and this and the hell with the rest of the trucking industry.Hey they ought to team up with the ATA and then they can get anything they want.
    Here is a unique idea 2 drivers per truck,12 and 12 comes out to 24 every time.
    Or do I have it wrong,they want 1 guy to work the whole 24.Which believe it or not I don’t have a problem with it if they are going to let me also.I say that not because I want to work 24 hours straight,it’s just that I want to drive when I want to drive and sleep when I want to sleep and not being told when I have to or should have been doing either.
    But then everything comes down to money,it’s costing them to much to operate like everyone else,and keep things the same for me so you can hope to find me inviolation so you can take my money.
    The more rules you make the more you cost the industry,which everyone thinks is a big money tree.
    And for all the brains in Washington they can’t figure out that you can’t regulate rest because they are blinded by green.The whole system is broke,and that is not just the trucking industry and all these idiots can do is make more rules,and let special interest find their way around them.
    I said 30 years ago,where does it all end?Washington isn’t going to be happy untill they break everyone and cause riots in the streets.The whole system has become more than a joke and no one is laughing. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.