Starting from April 9, certain fuel truck drivers need not take the federally required 30-minute break if their shift goes beyond 12 hours. The exemption from hours-of-service regulations was announced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration last week.
The FMCSA said fuel tanker drivers go on break many times during the day when unloading at service stations and that those breaks meet the 30-minute break requirement.
The FMCSA, however, reminded that drivers of trucks hauling petroleum-based fuels operating under the 100-mile short-haul exemption must complete their workday within the 14-hour on-duty window and keep a record of the days they fail to meet the exception.
Ethanol, gasoline, diesel fuel, aviation fuel are considered petroleum-based fuels.
The FMCSA’s exemption will be valid for five years, until April 9, 2023.
The exemption went into effect after its publication in the U.S. Federal Register on April 9, just a few days after the full enforcement of the ELD rule started.
The National Tank Truck Carriers (NTTC) said that more than 38,000 trucks are operating under the short-haul exception every day and qualify for the hours-of-service waiver.
Under the exception requested by the NTTC back in September 2017, fuel tank drivers would be allowed to use the 30 minutes attending the cargo to meet the federally mandated 30-minute break requirement.
According to the NTTC, their drivers mostly qualify for the short-haul exception. However, there are “rare instances” when they exceed the daily 12-hour on-duty limit and don’t qualify for the exception. Because of that, they have to take the 30-minute break, as per federal regulations.
However, when a gas tanker driver goes beyond the 12-hour limit and takes his or her 30-minute break, he or she is still required to attend the load because it is hazmat and the drivers cannot be deemed off-duty during those 30 minutes.
It is for this reason that the NTTC asked that certain short-haul gas tank drivers be exempt from the mandated 30-minute break, provided that the 30 minutes are used for attending the load.
Also, the NTTC says most stops that drivers make to deliver fuel take more than 30 minutes, and the driver is only attending the load during those stops.
Certain short-haul fuel tanker drivers operating under the 100 air-mile exemption have been granted an HOS exemption by the FMCSA from the mandated 30-minute break.
The exemption does not affect the ELD mandate.
Fleets that have not yet purchased their ELDs can check our ELD price comparison tool to view how much different ELD providers are charging for their devices.