RM producer provides lawmakers sharp critique of FMCSA Hours proposal

Sources: National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, Silver Spring, Md.; U.S. House Committee on Small Business, Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations; CP staff

In Capitol Hill testimony on behalf of NRMCA, Pennsylvania producer Rusty Rader detailed industry concerns over increased costs, fuel consumption and paperwork surrounding six changes the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration proposes in Hours of Service regulations: requiring off-duty time immediately following the end of the driving window; possibly reducing driving time from 11 to 10 hours; mandating a 30-minute break every seven hours; limiting restarts of the 60/70 hour clock to once in seven days; including at least two periods between 6 a.m. and midnight within a 34-hour restart period; and, limiting on-duty time to 13 hours in a driving window.

As the co-owner of J.J. Kennedy Inc., with a 32-mixer fleet across six plants north and west of Pittsburgh, Rader told federal lawmakers that current regulations are not perfect, but are manageable and much more flexible for ready mixed concrete producers than a new HOS rule FMCSA outlined in December 2010.

“J.J. Kennedy and the ready mixed concrete industry believe a better approach to increasing safety on our nation’s roads and highways, and helping to foster better flow of commerce is to improve some of the [HOS] regulations already in place,” Rader explained. A change from 12-hour to 14-hour in the Record of Duty Status threshold applicable to short-haul conditions, he noted, would enable ready mixed producers to take full advantage of the 100-mile, air-radius log exemption and reduce present paperwork requirements.

“The less time ready mixed producers spend with ‘bureaucratic overhead,’ the more time they can spend pouring concrete, employing more people and building America’s economy,” concluded Rader, who joined business owners or executives testifying for the American Trucking Associations, American Moving and Storage Association, and Petroleum Marketers Association of America. The June 14 hearing, “Do Not Enter: How Proposed Hours of Service Trucking Rules are a Dead End for Small Businesses,” was called by House Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO).