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Propane was overlooked in a FMCSA HOS exemption, but it’s now included

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They forgot propane. But now it’s in there.

FMCSA recently posted a revision to an exemption granted last April from the 30-minute rest break requirement. It follows a request by the National Tank Truck Carriers and the Massachusetts Motor Transport Association

When the exemption was granted, there was a list of “specified fuels” that drivers carrying those products would be allowed to take advantage of the exemption. But propane, a widely-carried fuel, was not on the list.

FMCSA said in a Federal Register notice that was an oversight. “The Agency granted the limited exemption to drivers of (commercial motor vehicles) transporting specified fuels, and failed to include propane gas as a specified fuel,” the Federal Register notice said. But following the request, FMCSA said, the exemption was modified and that oversight was corrected.

The original request and exemption, when the FMCSA notice is read, do reveal just how focused some groups are on the 30-minute rule and other provisions of the Hours of Service. As the FMCSA notice says, most of the carriers pulling the fuels covered under the 100 air mile radius exemption, so they don’t have the 30-minute break requirement as long as they stay within that radius. But they do have a 12-hour time limit, and sometimes, the day’s delivery spills over that.

“If a driver cannot complete his or her duty day within the 12-hour period specified by the 100 air-mile radius exception, he or she must at the first opportunity take a 30-minute rest break,” FMCSA said in its Federal Register notice. That could lead to a truck carrying hazardous materials pulling over to the side of the road for that break, with the obvious concern that such a location isn’t the greatest place for a truck to park.

And as the notice said, which few would disagree with: “It is also difficult to find safe and secure parking for tank trucks on such short notice.”

The 30-minute break exemption had covered all sorts of tank trucks. As a result of the rule, and the corrected oversight, now it covers propane too.

The exemption for tank carriers on the 30-minute rule runs to April 10, 2023.


  1. Kot

    Now, according to their own rules, the dot and martinez are the criminals by themselves because they patronize, encourage and allow always tired (after 8-10 hours on ther job) the UBER and LYFT drivers, to drve another 8-10 hours taking the passengers and to be not rested and safe. And put the HOS and ELD on the uber and Lyft drivers and cut them on 80% and let taxi drivers come back and put hos and eld on them olso.

  2. David

    Yes,. One more example of the absolute stupidity of the rigid non flexible rules! Maybe someday the FMCSA will understand the trucking industry has operated quite successfully without them for many many years.

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John Kingston

John has an almost 40-year career covering commodities, most of the time at S&P Global Platts. He created the Dated Brent benchmark, now the world’s most important crude oil marker. He was Director of Oil, Director of News, the editor in chief of Platts Oilgram News and the “talking head” for Platts on numerous media outlets, including CNBC, Fox Business and Canada’s BNN. He covered metals before joining Platts and then spent a year running Platts’ metals business as well. He was awarded the International Association of Energy Economics Award for Excellence in Written Journalism in 2015. In 2010, he won two Corporate Achievement Awards from McGraw-Hill, an extremely rare accomplishment, one for steering coverage of the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster and the other for the launch of a public affairs television show, Platts Energy Week.