FMCSA Grants Fireworks Companies’ HOS and ELD Exemptions

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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration was nice enough to grant some hours-of-service exemptions to about 32 of the 45 member companies of the America Pyrotechnics Association with a tie-in to the 4th of July celebrations. The notice changes the relief that the 32 member companies experience from the 14-hour rule and the ELD mandate through the designated Independence Day periods. The exemption is likely to stay in effect from June 28th through July 8th in 2023 and 2024.

When noticing the exemptions, you’ll see how the drivers exclude off-duty and sleeper berth time from any length of the calculation of the 14-hour limit. All as it effectively opens the maximum split-sleeper flexibility, with a desire to let drivers utilize their paper records of duty status instead of ELDs, as the FMCSA notes in the statement to the Federal Register. So many exemptions for fireworks haulers have stayed in place since about 2005. It’s evident that the FMCSA’s own denial of owner-operator Lee Schmitt’s exemption request, which if it was granted, it would result in the operation being exempt from all of the hours’ rules.

All in regards for the daily 11-hour limit driving limit. All with a new approach to more operating flexibility than achievable via the current rules. With this decision to stop the fireworks exemption towards 13 companies, the FMCSA has been able to find about 12 companies to have vehicles or hazmat out-of-service rates to operate much higher than the national average as of August 9th, 2022. The 13th member company had been excluded because the company themselves haven’t quite acquired a hazardous materials safety permit. This is all necessary if your truck is likely to carry out these certain duties during the 4th of July holiday.

Why are these exemptions important?

Without exemptions, the trucking companies and carriers at-hand are generally running a risk of acquiring fines if they do indeed don’t register themselves applicable with the needs of tweaking their electronic limiting devices or changing their hours of service. What else are commercial vehicles going to do for the Fourth of July besides transport fireworks? It’d be insane to do anything else on America’s birthday!

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