Group seeks HOS exemption for oversize loads

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Updated Nov 26, 2014
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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.

Click here to make a public comment.