FMCSA Grants HOS Exemption to Certain Haz-Mat Loads

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) last week announced its decision to grant motor carriers transporting security-sensitive hazardous materials requiring a security plan an exemption from the county’s hours-of-service (HOS) regulations that prohibit truckers from driving more than eight consecutive hours since the driver’s last off-duty or sleeper-berth period of 30 minutes or more.

The American Trucking Associations requested the exemption on behalf of all motor carriers that transport certain hazardous materials shipments, such as explosives, weapons, or radioactive materials, requiring security plans under regulations of the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).

These plans normally require a driver to attend such cargo while the truck is stopped, which is an on-duty activity under the HOS rules, according to the agency.

Exempt drivers may now count their on-duty attendance of hazardous material cargo toward the required 30-minute rest break requirement provided they perform no other on-duty activity.

This exemption parallels Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations allowing drivers who are attending loads of certain explosives to count on-duty this time toward their rest break so long as they engage in no other on-duty activity.

The exemption is effective Aug. 21 and expires two years later.

You can read the full details in the U.S. Federal Register.

Have your say

This is a moderated forum. Comments will no longer be published unless they are accompanied by a first and last name and a verifiable email address. (Today's Trucking will not publish or share the email address.) Profane language and content deemed to be libelous, racist, or threatening in nature will not be published under any circumstances.