Machinery haulers petition FMCSA for 14-hour short-haul exemption

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A group of heavy machinery distributors is petitioning the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to allow its drivers operating under the short-haul hours of service exemption to extend their day from 12 hours to 14 hours.

Kentucky Equipment Distributors, which is made up of seven large machinery distributors operating in several states, is requesting that its short-haul drivers be allowed to return to their work-reporting location after 14 hours instead of 12 hours because the drivers spend most of their shift doing non-driving duties, such as equipment repairs, maintenance and more. KED estimates that only 20% of its drivers’ daily duties involves driving.

The group says its companies currently own and operate 431 vehicles that fall under hours of service regulations, most of which are field service and parts delivery trucks.

KED notes its drivers usually meet the requirements of the short-haul log-keeping exemption, but they occasionally take more than 12 hours to return to their work-reporting location. The requested relief would ensure KED drivers meet the requirements of the short-haul exemption, the group says.

One of the key changes in FMCSA’s proposed hours of service overhaul would extend the on-duty period for short-haul drivers from 12 hours to 14 hours. Until the changes are made final, companies must seek exemptions to extend their day beyond 12 hours.

FMCSA is accepting comments on the request here through Nov. 22.