A trucking company that regularly hauls sensitive materials for the U.S. government has asked the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) for an exemption from Hours of Service (HOS) regulations.
On October 16, the FMCSA asked for public comment on a request from trucking company PTS Worldwide, Inc. for an exemption from the current split sleeper berth regulations.
From the Application for Exemption documents:
PTS transports sensitive Department of Defense (DOD) property, including ammunition and explosives, in interstate commerce. For security reasons, this transportation requires a team of two drivers. PTS seeks by exemption to allow its team drivers to split the equivalent of 10 hours off duty into two S/B periods, neither less than 4 hours long. This would allow splits of 4/6, 5/5, or 6/4 hours. This request is limited to team operations and is in no way a request to apply any such exemption to solo driver operations.
PTS states that its team drivers travel over 1,100 miles per 24 hours, and average 60 hours on duty per week. After 5 weeks on the road, PTS drivers receive a week off duty at home. PTS asserts that due to the nature of its business, these drivers would be more alert if allowed to take shorter rest periods in the S/B. It believes that the shorter period would allow PTS drivers to obtain nighttime hours in the S/B and thereby minimize driver fatigue. PTS states that its vehicle and driver safety record is better than the national average and that it has one of the best safety, security, and service records of all DOD arms and ammunition transporters. All power units are equipped, and any new power units will be equipped, with on-board electronic recorders to track driving and on-duty time, and all power units are governed to 70 miles per hour.
If the exemption is granted, it would be valid for five years.
PTS Worldwide is an 18 truck fleet headquartered in Somonauk, Illinois.
The FMCSA has already proposed a 7/3 split sleeper option for all truck drivers as one of several potential HOS changes in an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rule Making issued in August. The agency is also accepting public comment on this proposal until October 21.
The FMCSA is accepting public comment on the exemption request now through November 15. If you’d like to submit a comment online, you can click here to get started.