FMCSA Announces Limited Hours of Service Exemptions

On July 22, 2016, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration published a final rule in the Federal Register that implements hours-of-service exemptions which were mandated by the 2015 Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act).  These exemptions, which can be viewed here, include:

  • Operators of pick-up style trucks, owned by a welder and equipped with a welding rig that is used in the construction or maintenance of pipelines will be exempted for requirements relating to registration as a motor carrier, CMV maintenance requirements, and CMV hours of service requirements.

  • Drivers of ready-mixed concrete trucks will be allowed to use time spent waiting with the vehicle at the job site or terminal to meet the FMCSA requirement for a 30-minute rest break (provided the driver does not perform any other work during the time spent waiting).

  • Drivers of ready-mixed concrete delivery trucks may be exempted from keeping records of duty status under certain circumstances.

  • Drivers of agricultural commercial motor vehicles will be exempted from the 30-minute rest break requirement provided they are transporting either livestock or bees in the vehicle as part of interstate commerce.

Because these exemptions were included in the statutory text of the FAST Act as passed by Congress, the Agency proceeded directly to a Final Rule without a public comment period.  Additional extensions of existing hours-of-service exemptions were made on Monday, July 25, 2016 when the Agency:

  • Extended an exemption from the 30-minute rest break requirement for contract carriers for the U.S. Department of Energy that transport radioactive materials. The exemption, which was initially granted on June 30, 2015, will now expire June 29, 2020.

  • Extended an exemption from the Agency’s 14-hour on-duty time rule for WestRock, formerly known as RockTenn, for short trips to visit loading docks.  The initial exemption, which was granted on April 17, 2014, is now extended until April 16, 2019.

For more information on these exemptions, or to learn more about the most important issues facing you and other TIA members, please contact TIA Government Affairs staff at or 703-299-5700.