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Fuel hauling group seeks reprieve from 30-minute break requirement for some drivers

Tanker Truck Hauling Fuel

National Tank Truck Carriers is seeking an exemption from the 30-minute break requirement that would allow certain drivers to count load attendance time toward the break.

A group representing petroleum fuel haulers is petitioning the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for an exemption from the agency’s 30-minute rest break provision for some of its member truckers.

The exemption requested by the National Tank Truck Carriers would allow drivers hauling petroleum-based fuels to use 30 minutes of time attending the load to satisfy the 30-minute break requirement. NTTC says many of the 38,000-plus tractors that perform these duties daily qualify for the 100 air-mile radius short-haul exemption, but there are “rare occasions” in which a driver doesn’t qualify for that  exception. In these cases, drivers sometimes exceed the daily 12-hour on-duty limit of the exception, NTTC says.

NTTC adds that when drivers do exceed the 12-hour limit and take their 30-minute break, they are still required to attend the load because it is hazmat, therefore they cannot be considered off-duty for those 30 minutes.

The group is asking FMCSA to allow the drivers to not observe the 30-minute break, as long as those 30 minutes are spent attending the load. Additionally, NTTC says most stops these drivers make to deliver fuel take more than 30 minutes, and the driver is only attending the load during the stops.

FMCSA will accept public comments on the exemption request for 30 days after it is published in the Federal Register on Tuesday, Sept. 26. Comments can be made at by searching Docket No. FMCSA-2017-0270.

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Matt Cole is an Associate Editor for CCJ and Overdrive. Reach him at