By John Cooper, Trucking Accident Injury Lawyer
Under the hours-of-service regulations truckers have to take mandatory breaks as a safeguard against fatigued driving.
These rules are set out by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and are intended to protect other drivers and the truckers themselves.
However, concrete delivery truck drivers have protested the rules. Now, under a ruling passed this month, they have been exempted from taking mandatory, unpaid 30-minute breaks during the day for the next two years, reported the Times Free Press.
The 30-minute break was implemented nearly two years ago to “cut out long, unbroken stints of driving on highways and Interstates,” the article reported.
The law states that truck drivers are not allowed to drive unless eight hours have passed since their last 30-minute break. The report stated that the on-the-clock time outside the cab making a pour or sitting at a construction site does not qualify as a break under federal rules.
For many years concrete trucking firms have argued that driving concrete across town to a job site is very different than driving long-haul freight across the country.
“We’re in the concrete business,” said Phil Johnson, safety manager for Ready Mix USA’s East Tennessee and Atlanta divisions. “We’re not like an over-the-road driver who gets in his truck and drives for hours before he stops again.”
Ready Mix USA, drivers had been forced to stop toward the end of the day, clock out and ride out the 30-minute break, which they said posed problems for their business during the busy summer construction season.
Drivers said the hours-of-service break made their day 30 minutes longer. And dispatchers say the rule causes scheduling headaches.
Under the new concession, drivers must carry a copy of the exemption in their trucks. The exemption also is only good for companies in good standing with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Although concrete trucks are not involved in many accidents, when they do become involved in wrecks, the consequences can be very serious.
Recently, two employees of a cement truck company in Tennessee were indicted on criminal charges over a deadly crash. The authorities claimed they were aware of faulty brakes on the truck before it failed to stop and killed a man.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a trucking accident, call Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers at 757.455.0077.