In notices published in the Federal Register this week, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has granted an exemption to the 30-minute break rule to certain specialized haulers and has initiated a rulemaking to require all commercial vehicles be labeled with stickers certifying they meet equipment safety standards.
As to the former, FMCSA announced its decision to grant the Specialized Carriers & Rigging Assn. (SC&RA) an exemption from the minimum 30-minute rest break provision of the agency's hours of service (HOS) regulations for commercial motor vehicle drivers, according to the notice.
The exemption enables all specialized carriers and drivers responsible for the transportation of loads that exceed normal weight and dimensional limits—oversize/overweight loads—and require a permit issued by a government authority, to be exempt from the provision.
Finding suitable parking for trucks with oversize loads is particularly difficult, as SC&RA pointed out, and the default option is likely to be parking on the shoulder of a highway, with the load sometimes extending into the lanes of traffic, FMCSA said.
As for the equipment stickers, FMCSA proposes to amend the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) by requiring U.S.-domiciled carriers engaged in interstate commerce to use only commercial motor vehicles (CMV) that display a manufacturers certification label, indicating that the vehicle satisfied all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards in effect at the time it was built.
If the certification label is missing, the motor carrier must obtain, and a driver upon demand present, a letter issued by the vehicle manufacturer stating that the vehicle met all applicable FMVSS in effect at the time of manufacture.
The rulemaking is FMCSA-2014-0428. For additional information or to submit a comment, go to regulations.gov.