The Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association (SCRA) has asked the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to grant drivers carrying loads that are oversize or overweight an exemption to the 30-minute break requirement of the 2013 hours of service rule.
The 30-minute break requirement was instituted in July of last year, when the latest hours of service rule took effect. It requires drivers to take a 30-minute break within the first eight hours of their on-duty time.
Compliance with this requirement is “extremely difficult” for specialty loads haulers, SC&RA says, due to state permit restrictions that often limit when and where oversized/overweight loads can be transported.
The exemption is requested for all permitted loads, according to SC&RA’s application for exemption.
Average oversize and overweight loads are 15-16 feet wide and longer than 100 feet, according to SC&RA. Finding parking for these loads is more difficult than with other loads, SC&RA says, and drivers of the specialty loads are often forced to park alongside highways or exit ramps during the required 30-minute break.
The SC&RA says it does not foresee any negative impact to safety from the requested exemption, and believes that granting the exemption would have a favorable impact on overall safety by reducing the frequency of drivers resorting to less than ideal parking options.
FMCSA is accepting public comment on the application for 30 days.