The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has granted a large grocery retailer an exemption from the 30 minute break requirement.
On August 27, the FMCSA announced that they had granted Transco, Inc.’s request — filed in October 2018 — for exemption from the 30 minute break.
However, the exemption simply allows Transco’s drivers “to comply with the 30 minute break requirement while performing on-duty not-driving tasks.”
The FMCSA says that about 3,580 drivers who who make wholesale deliveries to grocery and convenience stores will be eligible for the exemption.
In the exemption request, Transco told the FMCSA that their drivers were at decreased risk for fatigue because they operate at lower speeds on local roads, make frequent stops, and have fixed driver schedules.
The FMCSA notes that “in most cases Transco relies on team drivers who alternate during shift deliveries. Total trip time averages 17.2 hours. However, total driving time for both drivers combined averages just 9.1 hours. Each driver spends, on average, only 4.55 hours or 32.5% of their shift engaged in driving.”
Transco argued that the 30 minute rest break could actually decrease safety for their drivers.
From the Federal Register:
According to Transco, as a result of these operational differences, the 30- minute rest break requirement does not increase safety when applied to its drivers; instead, it claims the requirement may very well decrease road safety for its drivers. For the typical long-haul CMV driver, the 30- minute rest break serves as an opportunity to break the monotony of driving and relieve some of the stress of continuous driving, but Transco’s drivers currently have breaks, which include physical exercise, several times each day.
The FMCSA exemption is good for five years.
Texas-based McLane Co. Inc is Transco’s parent company.