FMCSA Grants Fuel Tank Drivers 5-Year Rest-Break Exemption


Transport Topics --- The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has granted a five-year exemption from the 30-minute rest-break requirement for trucks hauling petroleum products and will allow fuel trucks to operate 12 hours a day without triggering the requirement under certain conditions.

FMCSA said that the exemption from the rest break was granted because fuel-truck drivers “receive several short breaks each day when they unload” at service stations.

Federal regulations require a 30-minute rest break for drivers once they reach eight consecutive hours.

NTTC and the Trucking Association of Massachusetts jointly applied for the exemption in September.

The organizations requested that FMCSA exempt the fuel-truck drivers who would be on duty more than 12 hours as long as their vehicles were carrying petroleum products and were equipped with an electronic logging device.

FMCSA agreed that the time these drivers spend unloading provides rest that is equivalent to, and often greater than, rest from the traditional 30-minute rest break. For that reason, the exemption allows the drivers a 14-hour window to make their fuel runs.

In the exemption request, the groups said that tank trucks normally are loaded with products in the morning and deliver them to three or more service stations during the rest of the duty day.