ATA pushing for exemption to 14-hour rule for extraction site haulers

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Jimmy Lessley, loading crudeThe American Trucking Associations is seeking an exemption of certain federal hours of service rules for drivers who service oil and natural gas extraction sites, and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is accepting public comment on the association’s request.

ATA filed an application last week asking the agency to renew and expand for two years an exemption already in place for drivers who service oil wells. The exemption allows “specially trained” drivers to exclude waiting time from the drivers’ 14-hour on-duty period.

ATA’s request would extend that exemption two years and cover drivers servicing both oil wells and natural gas extraction sites, as long as the drivers “are able to establish a method to adequately ensure a rest opportunity while waiting.”

Sleeper berths and on-site bunking or resting facilities “would satisfy the rest opportunity standard,” ATA’s request says. “ATA asserts that it proposed exemption would maintain or exceed the level of safety of the current waiting-time rule.”

FMCSA is accepting public comment until July 7. Comments on the request can be made at, using the docket number FMCSA-2013-0470.