FAST highway bill tempers FMCSA regulatory burdens for mixer drivers

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Zonar Systems equips drivers for ELD rule compliance with the ZLogs platform, a standard 2020 tablet feature.

The FAST (Fixing America’s Surface Transportation) Act signed into law late last year contains language for which the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association lobbied on behalf of ready mixed concrete producers. Government Affairs staff helped secure within the five-year funding program three important provisions tied to Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA) Hours of Service (HOS) regulations:

  • The first makes permanent a two-year exemption, issued in April 2015, relieving ready mixed concrete truck drivers of the HOS 30-minute break rule. The provision includes reforms to the petitions’ process to apply for and receive exemptions from FMCSA, which will benefit all sectors of the construction and transportation industries.
  • The second creates a ready mixed concrete industry-specific logbook exemption that increases a Code of Federal Regulations 12-hour on-duty logging threshold to 14 hours, matching HOS regulations’ driving window.
  • The third increases from 50 to 75 air-miles the radius for construction materials and equipment transportation and delivery in order to satisfy the HOS rules’ current 24-hour restart.

“These provisions are a resounding victory for the ready mixed concrete industry in that they will provide much needed regulatory relief and certainty,” affirms NRMCA Senior Vice President of Government and Political Affairs Kerri Leininger. “Our producer members have long emphasized the need for clarification on these issues and we are gratified [the FAST Act] passed with such large bipartisan support.”

The highway bill has other attributes NRMCA helped advance in ready mixed producers’ interests, including a) Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program reforms requiring the FMCSA administrator to commission a study of its safety measurement system and remove certain CSA scores from public view; and, b) a provision on minimum financial responsibility for commercial motor vehicles requiring the Transportation Secretary to consider cost-benefit criteria and conduct a study before issuing a final rulemaking to determine whether to increase the minimum level of financial responsibility.

  • Short-haul drivers who are able to take advantage of a 100 air-mile logging exemption are not required to deploy ELD.
  • A driver who exceeds the exemption thresholds—working past 12 hours or driving beyond 100 air miles from a plant—at least eight days in any 30-day period will need ELD-based recordkeeping until the rolling 30-day period is reset. Mixer truck drivers are likely to trip the threshold during large pours or at peak construction season.
  • Effective 60 days after FMCSA publishes it the Federal Register, the final rule will afford fleets two years to deploy ELD in trucks manufactured in 2000 or later. The rule includes new paperwork retention and specific device configuration requirements.