American Road and Transportation Builders support ELD exemption, stress 14-hour-rule issues as well

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Joe Tex Heavy Haul Goes Extra Mile Edit

Among the commenters on the Pipe Line Contractors Association’s request for an exemption to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s electronic logging device mandate was the 7,500-plus-member American Road and Transportation Builders Association, a sizable association of highway users in construction projects, operating mostly short haul. ARTBA “supports PLCA’s request for an exemption from the [ELD mandate] for all pipeline contractor vehicle drivers,” the association stated, adding that it continued “to believe that the transportation construction industry as a whole merits an exemption from the rule.”

ARTBA noted that it’s argued since the year 2000 against applying the hours of service to transport construction haulers as an industry — and not just the ELD mandate. “ARTBA still believes an industry-wide exemption from the entire rule is needed,” it said, citing chiefly the inflexibility of the 14-hour clock and how it impedes efficiency during some longer work days, often with very little driving done, on public projects. These projects, moreover, are placed at a high level of priority at federal and state levels, often, ARTBA added: “This is an example of two areas of federal policy — hours of service as administered by FMCSA and accelerated transportation project delivery as promoted by other agencies at USDOT — that are simply in direct conflict.”

Noting a variety of other hours exemptions broader than the new ELD rule, including the one truckers and others are reminded of in “mid-summer each year” when FMCSA exempts fireworks haulers ahead of the Fourth of July, ARTBA said, “one would think that, as a national public policy goal, the improved efficiency in the delivery of transportation improvement projects would rank at least as high as the successful staging of holiday fireworks displays.”

Those interested can read comments, which closed Aug. 9, on the entire federal docket for PLCA’s ELD mandate exemption request via this link. ARTBA’s full comments are available via this link.

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