FMCSA replicates mixer driver exemption for concrete pump peers

American Concrete Pumping Association members have secured a five-year exemption from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requirement that short-haul drivers utilizing the records of duty status exception return to their normal work reporting location within 12 hours of clocking in. It enables all concrete pump operators, pumping companies, and truck drivers who run concrete pumps to use the short-haul exception but return to their work-reporting location within 14 hours.

PHOTO: Concrete Products

ACPA requested the agency treat concrete pump operators the same as mixer truck drivers, who attained the exemption in 2015 after a concerted National Ready Mixed Concrete Association effort to educate FMCSA on the significant differences between conventional heavy-duty truck driving and ready mixed delivery. ACPA reinforced its case with metrics indicating that concrete pump operators a) spend between 25-32 percent of their time driving during a shift; b) average 20- to 25-mile daily driving distances; and, c) have ample rest time as breaks range from 33-55 percent of their total time pumping.

“The majority of an operator’s time is spent waiting on ready-mixed concrete to pump,” the association told FMCSA. “Like ready-mixed concrete and asphalt pavement delivery trucks, concrete pumps work with a perishable product delivered on a just-in-time basis. Timing and scheduling are critical to ensure a high-quality result. Allowing concrete pump drivers to use the short-haul exception would harmonize the hours-of-service rules for drivers of concrete pumps with the rules for drivers of the vehicles that supply the concrete.”

“The exemption marks a huge win for concrete pumping companies and allows concrete pumpers to be treated under the same standard as the ready-mixed concrete delivery trucks they work alongside,” affirms ACPA Executive Director Christi Collins. “Clear and consistent requirements between concrete pumps and ready mixed trucks will help ensure an equivalent level of safety on the job site. With conflicting requirements lifted, confusion will be minimized. Timing and scheduling will be easier for pumps and ready mixed trucks.”

After analyzing an ACPA application and related public comments, FMCSA determined that the exemption will achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, what would be achieved in its absence. The exemption is subject to these conditions:

  • Drivers must return to the work reporting location and be released from work within 14 consecutive hours of coming on duty.
  • Drivers must have a copy of the exemption document while operating under exemption terms, and present it to law enforcement officials upon request.
  • All motor carriers operating under the exemption must have a “Satisfactory” safety rating with FMCSA, or be “unrated.” Motor carriers with “Conditional” or “Unsatisfactory” ratings are prohibited from using the exemption.

ACPA pursued the exemption citing the concrete pumping industry’s “solid safety record. The ACPA Operator Certification Program ensures, encourages, and educates operators on safe concrete pumping and placement procedures. These safety practices allow concrete operators to maintain their safety record through careful training and well-developed safety guidelines. Because of the concrete pump operators’ training and preparation and numerous rest breaks, providing the additional two duty hours to concrete pump operators will have no impact on the level of safety provided under the short-haul exception.”