Though the 34-hour restart has become simpler for the time being, the rash of hours exemption requests from certain requirements of the hours of service rules holds the potential to further complicate things out on the road.
The latest such request yielded the comment of the week from Tom Strese, following the news that bee hive haulers have joined the oversize/overweight haulers, oil and gas extraction site haulers, household goods haulers, Oregon log haulers and livestock haulers (among others) who have requested exemptions from portions of the hours of service rules since changes put in place in July 2013. In the case of the hive haulers, it’s the 30-minute break that’s at issue. Here’s the news piece earlier this week on the subject, noting that the exemption request states…
…that bees must while in transit have “a flow of cool, fresh air to the hives” and any heat can place the bees in danger. If trucks transporting bee hives stop for 30 minutes in warm weather, “the risk of harm to the bees would be significant and possibly fatal,” California Farm Bureau Federation says in its application, scheduled to be published Thursday in the Federal Register.
And then here’s Strese, commenting on Overdrive‘s Facebook page:
Pretty soon our HOS rules are going to look like the tax code.
“And that,” Strese added, is “not a good thing.”
Thinking longer-term, noted Angel L. Pellot Jr., the hours of service may ultimately “depend on what you haul.”
Many operators have criticized the one-size-fits-all approach to hours in the past, though at once the complexity of the current rule (particularly before the recent restart reprieve) is also a common criticism. What do you think: Does the fact of so many requests simply reinforce the validity of the former?
Or: Is granting too many of these a slippery slope toward further unnecessary complication?
As for exemption requests themselves, maybe it’s time to start an exemption pool — who would you say is up next?
Sounds off in the comments.