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Short-haul intermodal fleet petitions FMCSA for logbook exemption

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California-based Rail Delivery Services is requesting a log-keeping exemption for its drivers who stay within a 100 air-mile radius of their work-reporting location that occasionally work longer than 12 hours per day.California-based Rail Delivery Services is requesting a log-keeping exemption for its drivers who stay within a 100 air-mile radius of their work-reporting location that occasionally work longer than 12 hours per day.

Rail Delivery Services, a California-based intermodal fleet that moves freight locally between railroads and ports, is seeking an exemption for its drivers from the requirement to complete records of duty status.

The company says all of its approximately 120 drivers operate within a 100 air-mile radius of their work-reporting location, but sometimes return to that location more than 12 hours after going on duty. Regulations require that drivers who work more than 12 hours keep logs, even if they work within a 100 air-mile radius of their reporting location.

RDS is seeking the exemption for the times the drivers work longer than 12 hours. The company says in the exemption request to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that approximately 15 percent of its drivers each week return to their work reporting location more than 12 hours after going on duty because of detention time at rail yards and shippers. The company adds, however, that these drivers rarely exceed the 14-hour limit.

The company states some of its drivers complete an “exempt” log, while others complete a grid log, even though they operate within a 100 air-mile radius. To ensure safety, RDS says it is using the Geotab 7 GPS to track its vehicles to ensure drivers don’t falsify their logs. By using this system, RDS states it can track its drivers in real time, whereas the paper logs the drivers had been keeping did not allow for this.

In its exemption request, RDS says that if the exemption is granted, it will allow FMCSA and state enforcement officials to access its data as both a monitoring and training tool. The company adds it will maintain a “Satisfactory” CSA rating, drivers will carry a copy of the exemption in their trucks, and it will hold a minimum of four safety meetings each year.

FMCSA is seeking public comment on the exemption request, which can be made at www.regulations.gov by searching Docket No. FMCSA-2017-0175. The comment period will be open for 30 days once the notice is published in the Federal Register on Friday, July 7.

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