The American Concrete Pumping Association is asking federal regulators to extend allowable work hours in a day for shorthaul drivers from 12 to 14.
The group has requested a five-year exemption from the current rule that requires shorthaul drivers to return to their normal work-reporting location within 12 hours.
The requested exemption would apply industrywide to concrete pump operators, concrete pumping companies and drivers who operate concrete pumps across the United States.
ACPA represents more than 600 member companies employing more than 7,000 workers nationwide, according to a June 20 Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announcement of the exemption request.
“Allowing concrete pump drivers to use the short-haul exception, but return to their reporting location within 14 hours instead of 12 hours, 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 association said.
Although many of the trucks operate intrastate and would therefore not be covered by an FMCSA exemption, an unknown number of the pumping trucks operate in metropolitan areas and routinely cross state lines. ACPA said that like ready-mixed concrete delivery trucks 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,” the announcement said. “On average, concrete pump operators spend between 25-32% of their time driving during a shift, and average daily driving distances are 20-25 miles. A pump operator has plenty of rest time with breaks ranging from 33-55% of their total time pumping. The majority of an operator’s time is spent waiting on ready-mixed concrete.”
ACPA said that 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 shorthaul exception.
FMCSA is seeking comment on the request for exemption for 30 days. It was scheduled for publication in the Federal Register on June 21.