The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is proposing several changes to hours of service regulations including changes to the short-haul operation exemption, which has been a top priority for NPGA. FMCSA proposes to improve the short-haul operation exemption by extending the maximum on-duty time from 12 to 14 hours, and expanding the maximum air-mile radius from 100 to 150 air-miles. These changes could save the industry $11 million annually in paperwork costs and give bobtail drivers more time to serve customers during deliveries.
The current short-haul operation exemption detailed at 49 C.F.R. 395.1(e) relieves drivers from the requirement to maintain a Record Of Duty Status (including use of an electronic logging device) and supporting documentation.
- The driver operates within a 100 air-mile radius of the normal work reporting location;
- The driver returns to the work reporting location;
- The driver is released from work within 12 consecutive hours;
- The driver has at least 10 consecutive hours off-duty separating each 12 hours on-duty;
- The driver does not drive for more than a total of 11 hours during a 14-hour period.
The Regulatory Task Force of NPGA’s Governmental Affairs Committee initially identified potential changes to the short-haul exemption as an opportunity for the association to proactively address and reduce regulatory burdens. NPGA engaged FMCSA and the Office of the Secretary of the Department of Transportation through multiple discussions as well as formal outreach in response to rulemaking actions and presidential executive orders. NPGA will continue to advocate for changes to the short-haul operation exemption that enable drivers to serve their customers with greater flexibility.
- extending the maximum adverse driving conditions exception by two hours;
- altering when a 30-minute rest break is required for long-haul drivers;
- adding flexibility to how long-haul drivers may split the sleeper berth break;
- increasing the pause window for an off-duty break for long-haul drivers.
FMCSA’s proposal also solicits feedback on a series of information and data requests. A pre-publication version of the regulatory proposal is available here. NPGA is reviewing the entirety of the proposal package to maximize the opportunities for the propane industry.
Please direct any questions or comments to NPGA’s Sarah Reboli, Deputy Counsel, Regulatory Affairs.