The National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA) has filed comments with the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regarding possible changes in hours of service rules. In its comments, NSWMA strongly urged FMCSA to keep the “100-air mile” reporting exception and the 34-hour reset provision that are a part of current federal hours of service regulations.
Hours of service requirements apply to all commercial motor vehicles, including solid waste and recycling collection trucks. However, the regulations allow “local route” drivers to show compliance by using time records instead of a logbook. FMCSA calls this the 100-air mile reporting exception. This exception recognizes the lessened impact of fatigue on short haul drivers, including those driving solid waste and recycling trucks.
The 34-hour reset provision allows flexibility in work schedules while ensuring that drivers get sufficient rest before starting a new cycle. The restart provision allows drivers to take time off and return to duty in a safe fashion. Such provisions have been particularly helpful to the solid waste industry during those weeks that include a Federal holiday or in emergency situations, such as heavy snowfalls, because solid waste collection schedules in these instances often are pushed back by a day.
NSWMA’s President and CEO Bruce J. Parker explained the industry’s commitment to maintaining sensible rules in this area, “NSWMA and its members are dedicated to safety, and we don’t take our duty to protect the public health and the environment lightly. We want to ensure that waste collection, processing and disposal operations are performed in a safe manner. As part of this, our members recognize the need to ensure that trucks are operated safely. Because of our demonstrated commitment to safety, we ask FMCSA to take our comments into consideration as the agency undertakes a new hours of service rulemaking.”