The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has denied a 30-minute break exemption request from a carrier that wanted its drivers to be able to use unloading time to meet the requirements for the mandated break.
Transco Inc., which operates through McLane Company, has 4,000 drivers that deliver freight from distribution centers to grocery stores and restaurants throughout the country. In the company’s exemption request, it stated its drivers make an average of nine stops each day, off-loading the freight themselves. The company said the deliveries break up driving time with physical activity, which it said is healthier than 30 minutes free of work.
In its denial, FMCSA says when the 30-minute break provision was proposed, it was based on research that stated periods free from work were followed by improved work performance. The agency says the break benefits drivers and improves safety.
The agency adds the 30-minute break is “especially important” for Transco drivers because they accumulate fatigue both from unloading freight and from driving.