The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has retroactively adopted several regulations required by the FAST Act highway bill dealing mainly with exemptions.
The FAST Act requires FMCSA to make changes to its regulations “to ensure they are current and consistent with the statutory requirements” laid out in the bill. These regulations are retroactively effective as of Oct. 1, 2015.
FMCSA’s newly-adopted regulations that affect the trucking industry are as follows:
- Exemptions granted by FMCSA will now be effective for five years instead of the previous two years. Exemption renewals will also be granted for five years. The new regulation also allows exemption applicants who have been denied to resubmit the application addressing the reason for denial.
- The FAST Act made permanent three existing exemptions from 30-minute break requirements. The first was granted to the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, which allows drivers of ready-mixed concrete trucks to use the time spent waiting at job sites or terminals to meet the requirements for the break. The second was granted to the California Farm Bureau Federation, which allows drivers transporting bees in interstate commerce to be exempt from the 30-minute break rule. The third exemption from the 30-minute break rule made permanent was for the Agricultural and Food Transporters Conference of the American Trucking Associations, exempting livestock haulers from the rule while transporting livestock.
- Motor carriers transporting a motor home or recreational vehicle trailer in a driveaway-towaway operation can use either paper logs or electronic logging devices.
- Drivers of ready-mixed concrete vehicles are exempt from keeping records of duty status if the driver is operating within a 100-mile radius of the normal work reporting location; working no more than 14 hours; having at least 10 consecutive hours off-duty after each 14 hours on-duty; and not exceeding 11 hours of driving time following 10 consecutive hours off-duty. The motor carrier that employs the driver is required to keep accurate time records in these situations.
- States now have the authority to waive the hazmat endorsement requirement for drivers who transport 1,000 gallons or less of diesel fuel. The states can make this waiver if the driver is an employee of a custom harvester operation, agrichemical business, farm retail outlet and supplier or livestock feeder; and is hauling less than 1,000 gallons of diesel in a container that is marked with flammable or combustible placards.
The full Federal Register notice can be seen here.