Food hauler asks FMCSA to allow counting unloading time as 30-minute break

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Transco Inc. recently applied for an exemption asking for drivers in its grocery and other food-related divisions to be exempt from the 30-minute rest break requirement.Transco Inc. recently applied for an exemption asking for drivers in its grocery and other food-related divisions to be exempt from the 30-minute rest break requirement.

Another trucking company has asked that some of its drivers be waived of the 30-minute rest break requirement in federal hours of service regulations.

Transco Inc. recently applied for an exemption with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, asking for drivers in its grocery and other food-related divisions to be exempt from the requirement, which calls for drivers to take a 30-minute break within their first eight hours of drive time.

Transco asked FMCSA to allow its drivers to count time performing on-duty, non-driving tasks toward the 30-minute break requirement. Transco, which operates through McLane Company, has distribution centers across the country, employing between 100 and 300 drivers each.

The exemption request states McLane’s drivers provide just-in-time deliveries to convenience stores, mass merchants and various restaurants. Transco says its drivers are different than normal long-haul truckers, as they stop nine times a day and return to a distribution center after each load. They are required to offload their grocery loads themselves and the deliveries break up driving time with physical activity.

Transco says with the nature of its drivers’ work, they are already taking multiple driving breaks per day that include physical exercise and contends that the 30-minute break encourages the drivers to stop physical activity. The company says it already uses on-board visual monitoring systems, automatic on-board recording devices, driver training, weekly safety inspections, full compliance assessments and periodic safety committee meetings to ensure its drivers’ safety.

FMCSA is seeking public comment on the exemption request, which can be made here through Oct. 28.

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