Dept. of Energy, Oregon log haulers get hours-of-service exemptions

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Oregon log haulers have received some slight relief from federal hours-of-service rules.Oregon log haulers have received some slight relief from federal hours-of-service rules.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in recent weeks announced it has granted the Oregon Trucking Association and the Department of Energy their requested exemptions from the 30-minute break requirement of the 2013 hours-of-service rule.

The Oregon exemption is limited to drivers hauling timber in the state. The agency granted the waiver due to the state’s restrictions on when logging operations can be performed. Oregon’s Department of Forestry limits logging operations to certain hours of the day to reduce risk of fires.

OTA’s request for the exemption to the 30-minute break rule says the restrictions usually are in place from July to late October. Timber haulers “need all the remaining time each day to cut and remove the volume of timber needed to sustain the lumber mills,” OTA said in its application.

FMCSA concurred, granting the log haulers their request. The exemption is good for all drivers operating “when engaged in interstate logging transportation originating in forestlands” in the state during periods of restricted access. The agency, however, says the exemption comes with the condition that truck operators not drive after their 12th on-duty hour.

The DOE’s exemption covers carriers and drivers hauling “security-sensitive radioactive materials,” according to the application for exemption.

The exemption applies to carriers contracted by the DOE to carry such materials, granted to the department every two years.

FMCSA renewed the exemption based on the DOE’s security concerns.

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