PMAA seeking alternative to hours-of-service rule
Aug 1, 2003 12:00 PM
THE PETROLEUM Marketers Association of America is hoping to change the new hours-of-service rule in order to ease the impact on heating oil distributors, according to PMAA information.
PMAA, as part of a 20-member coalition, is asking Congress to intervene in the situation to prompt the Department of Transportation to provide exemptions for some short haul drivers. The groups involved in the issue range from the Chamber of Commerce to the Snack Food Association, according to PMAA information.
Under current rules, drivers are allowed to work 15 hours, of which 10 can be driving, and then must take eight hours off. The new rules allow a driver to work 14 hours, of which 11 can be driving, and then require 10 hours off-duty. Significantly, under the new rule, the 14 hours must be consecutive, and non-driving periods are counted, according to PMAA.
The 14 consecutive hours of work presents the greatest concern for heating oil dealers. In the past, drivers could work a normal day shift, and if they did not exceed the 15-hour driving limit, they could be available for emergency evening calls. Under the new rules, at the end of 14 hours, drivers must wait 10 hours before they are allowed back out on the road, whether or not they actually drove for 14 hours.
PMMA says the situation forces a heating oil dealer to either hire additional drivers for a night shift or not make emergency calls, which could endanger customers.
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