Court further validates mixer, dump, tanker driver-suited FMCSA hours exemption

Sources: U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Washington, D.C.; National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, Alexandria, Va.; CP staff

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has denied a petition to review a final rule expanding a short-haul recordkeeping exemption and modifying a 30-minute break requirement in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration hours of service (HOS) regulation. The former action entailed a maximum duty period change from 12 to 14 hours, securing HOS compliance flexibility that National Ready Mixed Concrete Association members and staff pursued through years of work with FMCSA staff and Capitol Hill allies. 

The Appellate Court’s three-judge panel acknowledged certain points from the petitioners—Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways, International Brotherhood of Teamers and Parents Against Tired Truckers—regarding FMCSA procedures leading to final rule adoption, but determined that the agency acted within parameters Congress granted it to regulate commercial vehicle driver schedules.

Writing for the panel, Circuit Judge Patricia Millett concludes, “The Administration sufficiently explained and factually justified its conclusions that the new short-haul exemption and the 30-minute break requirement would not adversely affect safety, driver health, or regulatory compliance.”

NRMCA Compliance and Operations staff characterizes the decision as a “huge win,” one that “continues to allow the ready mixed concrete industry, and its sister industries, to operate under the current, and more flexible, HOS rules, as opposed to the stringent pre-September 2020 regulations.”

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