Owner-operator asks FMCSA for exemption from HOS

Updated Jun 9, 2022

Trucking news and briefs for Wednesday, June 8, 2022:

Owner-op petitions FMCSA for HOS exemptions

An individual owner-operator, Leland Schmitt Jr., is asking the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for an exemption from five provisions of the hours of service regulations.

According to a notice set to publish in the Federal Register Thursday, June 9, Schmitt is requesting the exemption solely for himself for a five-year period and believes his safe driving record and experience demonstrate an equivalent level of safety as the regulations.

Specifically, Schmitt is requesting an exemption from the 10 consecutive hour off-duty time requirement; the 14-hour on-duty window; the 30-minute break requirement; and the 60 hours in 7 days and the 70 hours in 8 days limits.

FMCSA says Schmitt said the mandatory 10-hour off-duty break “goes against his natural sleep patterns, as his normal nighttime sleep while in the CMV is between five to seven hours.”

The notice says Schmitt is currently leased to Clearwater, Minnesota-based D&E Transport and has been driving trucks for more than 30 years.

Once published Thursday, FMCSA will accept comments on Schmitt’s request for 30 days at www.regulations.gov by searching Docket No. FMCSA-2022-0099.

[Related: One owner-operator's journey to get to paid after One20 ELD provider's demise]

Senators intro bill to ease TWIC, Hazmat endorsement process

In legislation that mirrors a bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives in February, Sens. Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi) and Deb Fischer (R-Nebraska) introduced on the TSA Security Threat Assessment Application Modernization Act in the Senate on May 24, which would standardize the enrollment process for individuals applying for multiple TSA security threat assessment programs.

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The legislation, if passed, would allow truck drivers to use one valid Transportation Security Administration background check to enroll in multiple TSA programs, including the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) and the hazmat endorsement.

The House bill has not seen any action since it was introduced in February and referred to the House Subcommittee on Transportation and Maritime Security. The Senate bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.