Hours of Service of Drivers: Application for Exemption; Summit Helicopters, Inc., 43278-43279 [E6-12163]

Download as PDF 43278 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 146 / Monday, July 31, 2006 / Notices sroberts on PROD1PC70 with NOTICES any safety analyses that have been conducted. The agency reviews the safety analyses and the public comments and determines whether granting the exemption would likely achieve a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved by the current regulation (49 CFR 381.305). The agency must publish its decision in the Federal Register (49 CFR 381.315(b)). If the agency denies the request, it must state the reason for doing so. If the agency grants the exemption, the notice must specify the person or class of persons receiving the exemption, and the regulatory provision or provisions from which exemption is being granted. The notice must also specify the effective period of the exemption (up to 2 years), and explain the terms and conditions of the exemption. The exemption may also be renewed (49 CFR 381.300(b)). Request for Exemption FedEx requested an exemption to modify the hours-of-service (HOS) standard for determining whether the final ‘‘leg’’ of a FedEx driver’s day, driving the commercial motor vehicle (CMV) from the point of the last delivery to the driver’s residence, as well as the first leg of the following day driving the CMV from the residence to a FedEx terminal, is ‘‘on duty time’’ as defined in 49 CFR 395.2. FedEx is engaged in the delivery of packages by CMV in interstate commerce. In the morning FedEx drivers operate company CMVs from their residence to company terminals to begin their workday. Their FedEx truck is loaded with packages to be delivered, and the drivers then deliver packages to nearby residences. The drivers do not pick-up packages or take on additional cargo during the day. Following the final delivery of the day and a post-trip vehicle inspection, the drivers are relieved of all responsibility to FedEx and are free to pursue their own personal activities and to use the FedEx CMV to do so. The following morning the drivers are permitted to operate the FedEx vehicle from their residence to the FedEx terminal to begin a new workday. The HOS rules define ‘‘on-duty time’’ as ‘‘all time from the time a driver begins to work or is required to be in readiness to work until the time the driver is relieved from work and all responsibility for performing work’’ (49 CFR 395.2). FMCSA permits time spent going to and from a residence in a CMV to be treated as ‘‘off-duty time’’ if two conditions are met. First, the driver must be relieved from work and all VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:34 Jul 28, 2006 Jkt 208001 responsibility for work while operating the CMV. Second, the CMV must be ‘‘unladen,’’ or empty (49 CFR 395.8, Question 26, Regulatory Guidance). If both these conditions are met, the CMV is viewed as a personal conveyance, and the time spent may be treated as ‘‘offduty time.’’ FedEx seeks exemption for itself and its 4,136 drivers from the requirement that the CMV be unladen in order for the time to be considered ‘‘off-duty time.’’ FedEx states that at the end of the workday these CMVs occasionally contain a package or packages that could not be delivered that day. It may be that the package was misaddressed, or the addressee was not home. Delivery of the package is usually attempted again the following day. FedEx believes that granting the exemption would not adversely affect its safety performance, and that it would be able to maintain a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level achieved without the exemption. A copy of the FedEx exemption application is available for review in the docket for this notice. Request for Comments In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315 and 31136(e), FMCSA requests public comment on FedEx’s application for exemption from the definition of ‘‘onduty time’’ in 49 CFR 395.2, and the Guidance provided in Question 26 under 49 CFR 395.8, to the extent that the CMV must be unladen. The Agency will consider all comments received by close of business on August 30, 2006. Comments will be available for examination in the docket at the location listed under the ADDRESSES section of this notice. The Agency will file comments received after the comment closing date in the public docket, and will consider them to the extent practicable. In addition to late comments, FMCSA will also continue to file, in the public docket, relevant information that becomes available after the comment closing date. Interested persons should monitor the public docket for new material. Issued on: July 21, 2006. David H. Hugel, Acting Administrator. [FR Doc. E6–12162 Filed 7–28–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P PO 00000 Frm 00185 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2005–22937] Hours of Service of Drivers: Application for Exemption; Summit Helicopters, Inc. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of application for exemption; request for comments. AGENCY: SUMMARY: FMCSA announces that it has received an application from Summit Helicopters, Inc. (Summit) for an exemption from the commercial motor vehicle drivers’ hours-of-service (HOS) requirements for their drivers who transport materials to and from job sites to assist in the company’s aerial application of herbicides. The exemption, if granted, would enable Summit’s drivers to conduct these operations, including transportation to and from the herbicides application sites, without having to comply with the HOS regulations. Summit believes that relief from the HOS regulations would permit their drivers to work longer periods of time and at the same time maintain a high level of safety. FMCSA requests public comment on the Summit Helicopters, Inc. application for exemption. Comments must be received on or before August 30, 2006. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by DOT DMS Docket Number FMCSA–2005–22937 by any of the following methods: • Web site: http://dmses.dot.gov/ submit/. Follow the instructions for submitting comments on the DOT electronic docket site. • Fax: 1–202–493–2251. • Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Nassif Building, Room PL–401, Washington, DC 20590– 0001. • Hand Delivery: Room PL–401 on the plaza level of the Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Instructions: All submissions must include the Agency name and docket number for this notice. Note that all comments received will be posted without change to http://dms.dot.gov including any personal information DATES: E:\FR\FM\31JYN1.SGM 31JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 146 / Monday, July 31, 2006 / Notices sroberts on PROD1PC70 with NOTICES provided. Please see the Privacy Act heading for further information. Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to http:// dms.dot.gov at any time or Room PL– 401 on the plaza level of the Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The DMS is available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. If you want us to notify you that we received your comments, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope or postcard or print the acknowledgement page that appears after submitting comments on-line. Privacy Act: Anyone may search the electronic form of all comments received into any of DOT’s dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or of the person signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, or other entity). You may review DOT’s complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477, Apr. 11, 2000). This statement is also available at http:// dms.dot.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Thomas Yager, Chief, Driver and Carrier Operations Division, Office of Bus and Truck Standards and Operations, MC– PSD, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590–0001. Telephone: 202–366–4009. E-mail: MCPSD@dot.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background Section 4007 of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century [Pub. L. 105–178, 112 Stat. 107, June 9, 1998, 49 U.S.C. 31315 and 31136(e)] provided authority to grant exemptions from the motor carrier safety regulations. On December 8, 1998, FMCSA’s predecessor published an interim final rule implementing sec. 4007 (63 FR 67600). On August 20, 2004, FMCSA published a final rule (69 FR 51589), which requires FMCSA to publish a notice of each exemption request in the Federal Register (49 CFR 381.315(a)). The Agency must provide the public an opportunity to inspect the information relevant to the application, including any safety analyses that have been conducted. The Agency must also provide an opportunity for public comment on the request. The Agency reviews the safety analyses and the public comments, and determines whether granting the exemption would likely achieve a level VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:34 Jul 28, 2006 Jkt 208001 of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved by the current regulation (49 CFR 381.305). The Agency’s decision must be published in the Federal Register (49 CFR 381.315(b)). If the Agency denies the request, it must state the reason for doing so. If the Agency grants the exemption, the notice must specify the person or class of persons receiving the exemption, and the regulatory provision or provisions from which exemption is being granted. The notice must also specify the effective period of the exemption (up to 2 years), and explain the terms and conditions of the exemption. The exemption may also be renewed (49 CFR 381.300(b)). Request for Exemption Under 49 CFR part 395, the Federal hours of service (HOS) regulations for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers generally apply to motor carriers and drivers operating CMVs in interstate commerce, as defined under 49 CFR 390.5. In relation to the HOS regulations, Summit Helicopters, Inc. (Summit) states that its situation is unique in that its drivers operate in remote areas during the early morning and late evening hours. Due to this extended schedule, there are occasions when Summit’s drivers cannot maintain their desired schedule and comply with the HOS requirements. To clarify this scenario, Summit provided an outline of a typical day’s schedule, and identified when the problem with HOS compliance arises. Summit is a private motor carrier comprised of approximately 25 drivers responsible for operating 21 tank trucks. All of their trucks are based in Cloverdale, Virginia. Their trucks are dispatched to various jobsites in the states of Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Arkansas. These tank trucks will arrive at jobsites, and go to a ‘‘water source’’ to be loaded with water. They will subsequently add a herbicide from a box-truck to the water to create the mixture to be dispensed from a helicopter. The tank trucks, once at the jobsites, will normally travel no more than 20 miles between the tracts of land where the chemicals are dispersed. Once the morning jobs are complete, the drivers will drive a pick-up truck to a motel, where they will have an off-duty period of around 6 hours (usually from around 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.). The drivers will then repeat the same work process during a night shift. The HOS compliance problem arises during the night shift. The drivers have already worked a day shift consisting of PO 00000 Frm 00186 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 43279 several hours of driving and on-duty time, followed by approximately 6 hours spent in the motel. All of this time is counted towards their ‘‘running 14-hour clock’’ (49 CFR 395.3(a)(2)), and therefore the driver would not have the necessary available driving hours during the night shift. Summit indicates that their drivers would operate only under the requested exemption while they are conducting the aerial operations. They believe that there would be no adverse affects on safety while their drivers are operating under the requested exemption for the following reasons: (1) They do the majority of their traveling on logging roads; (2) their drivers are allowed to sleep in the motel rooms during their time off-duty; (3) they will require their drivers to fill out a daily log book, even while operating under the exemption; and (4) during their 25 years of operation, they have never had an accident that could be related to fatigue. Summit believes that an exemption will provide them the flexibility they need to complete their extended workday under safe operating conditions. A copy of Summit’s exemption application is available for review in the docket for this notice. Request for Comments In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315(b)(4) and 31136(e), FMCSA requests public comment on Summit Helicopters, Inc.’s application for exemption from the 49 CFR part 395 HOS requirements. The Agency will consider all comments received by close of business on August 30, 2006. Comments will be available for examination in the docket at the location listed under the ADDRESSES section of this notice. The Agency will file comments received after the comment closing date in the public docket, and will consider them to the extent practicable. In addition to late comments, FMCSA will also continue to file, in the public docket, relevant information that becomes available after the comment closing date. Interested persons should monitor the public docket for new material. Issued on: July 21, 2006. David H. Hugel, Acting Administrator. [FR Doc. E6–12163 Filed 7–28–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P E:\FR\FM\31JYN1.SGM 31JYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 146 (Monday, July 31, 2006)]
[Notices]
[Pages 43278-43279]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E6-12163]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2005-22937]


Hours of Service of Drivers: Application for Exemption; Summit 
Helicopters, Inc.

AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of application for exemption; request for comments.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: FMCSA announces that it has received an application from 
Summit Helicopters, Inc. (Summit) for an exemption from the commercial 
motor vehicle drivers' hours-of-service (HOS) requirements for their 
drivers who transport materials to and from job sites to assist in the 
company's aerial application of herbicides. The exemption, if granted, 
would enable Summit's drivers to conduct these operations, including 
transportation to and from the herbicides application sites, without 
having to comply with the HOS regulations. Summit believes that relief 
from the HOS regulations would permit their drivers to work longer 
periods of time and at the same time maintain a high level of safety. 
FMCSA requests public comment on the Summit Helicopters, Inc. 
application for exemption.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before August 30, 2006.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by DOT DMS Docket Number 
FMCSA-2005-22937 by any of the following methods:
     Web site: http://dmses.dot.gov/submit/. Follow the 
instructions for submitting comments on the DOT electronic docket site.
     Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
     Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Nassif Building, Room PL-401, 
Washington, DC 20590-0001.
     Hand Delivery: Room PL-401 on the plaza level of the 
Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC, between 9 
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://
www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting 
comments.
    Instructions: All submissions must include the Agency name and 
docket number for this notice. Note that all comments received will be 
posted without change to http://dms.dot.gov including any personal 
information

[[Page 43279]]

provided. Please see the Privacy Act heading for further information.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments received, go to http://dms.dot.gov at any time or Room PL-401 
on the plaza level of the Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW., 
Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, 
except Federal holidays. The DMS is available 24 hours each day, 365 
days each year. If you want us to notify you that we received your 
comments, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope or postcard 
or print the acknowledgement page that appears after submitting 
comments on-line.
    Privacy Act: Anyone may search the electronic form of all comments 
received into any of DOT's dockets by the name of the individual 
submitting the comment (or of the person signing the comment, if 
submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, or other 
entity). You may review DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement in the 
Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477, Apr. 11, 
2000). This statement is also available at http://dms.dot.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Thomas Yager, Chief, Driver and 
Carrier Operations Division, Office of Bus and Truck Standards and 
Operations, MC-PSD, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 400 
Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590-0001. Telephone: 202-366-
4009. E-mail: MCPSD@dot.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    Section 4007 of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century 
[Pub. L. 105-178, 112 Stat. 107, June 9, 1998, 49 U.S.C. 31315 and 
31136(e)] provided authority to grant exemptions from the motor carrier 
safety regulations. On December 8, 1998, FMCSA's predecessor published 
an interim final rule implementing sec. 4007 (63 FR 67600). On August 
20, 2004, FMCSA published a final rule (69 FR 51589), which requires 
FMCSA to publish a notice of each exemption request in the Federal 
Register (49 CFR 381.315(a)). The Agency must provide the public an 
opportunity to inspect the information relevant to the application, 
including any safety analyses that have been conducted. The Agency must 
also provide an opportunity for public comment on the request.
    The Agency reviews the safety analyses and the public comments, and 
determines whether granting the exemption would likely achieve a level 
of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be 
achieved by the current regulation (49 CFR 381.305). The Agency's 
decision must be published in the Federal Register (49 CFR 381.315(b)). 
If the Agency denies the request, it must state the reason for doing 
so. If the Agency grants the exemption, the notice must specify the 
person or class of persons receiving the exemption, and the regulatory 
provision or provisions from which exemption is being granted. The 
notice must also specify the effective period of the exemption (up to 2 
years), and explain the terms and conditions of the exemption. The 
exemption may also be renewed (49 CFR 381.300(b)).

Request for Exemption

    Under 49 CFR part 395, the Federal hours of service (HOS) 
regulations for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers generally apply 
to motor carriers and drivers operating CMVs in interstate commerce, as 
defined under 49 CFR 390.5.
    In relation to the HOS regulations, Summit Helicopters, Inc. 
(Summit) states that its situation is unique in that its drivers 
operate in remote areas during the early morning and late evening 
hours. Due to this extended schedule, there are occasions when Summit's 
drivers cannot maintain their desired schedule and comply with the HOS 
requirements. To clarify this scenario, Summit provided an outline of a 
typical day's schedule, and identified when the problem with HOS 
compliance arises.
    Summit is a private motor carrier comprised of approximately 25 
drivers responsible for operating 21 tank trucks. All of their trucks 
are based in Cloverdale, Virginia. Their trucks are dispatched to 
various jobsites in the states of Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, 
South Carolina, and Arkansas. These tank trucks will arrive at 
jobsites, and go to a ``water source'' to be loaded with water. They 
will subsequently add a herbicide from a box-truck to the water to 
create the mixture to be dispensed from a helicopter. The tank trucks, 
once at the jobsites, will normally travel no more than 20 miles 
between the tracts of land where the chemicals are dispersed. Once the 
morning jobs are complete, the drivers will drive a pick-up truck to a 
motel, where they will have an off-duty period of around 6 hours 
(usually from around 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.). The drivers will then repeat 
the same work process during a night shift.
    The HOS compliance problem arises during the night shift. The 
drivers have already worked a day shift consisting of several hours of 
driving and on-duty time, followed by approximately 6 hours spent in 
the motel. All of this time is counted towards their ``running 14-hour 
clock'' (49 CFR 395.3(a)(2)), and therefore the driver would not have 
the necessary available driving hours during the night shift.
    Summit indicates that their drivers would operate only under the 
requested exemption while they are conducting the aerial operations. 
They believe that there would be no adverse affects on safety while 
their drivers are operating under the requested exemption for the 
following reasons: (1) They do the majority of their traveling on 
logging roads; (2) their drivers are allowed to sleep in the motel 
rooms during their time off-duty; (3) they will require their drivers 
to fill out a daily log book, even while operating under the exemption; 
and (4) during their 25 years of operation, they have never had an 
accident that could be related to fatigue.
    Summit believes that an exemption will provide them the flexibility 
they need to complete their extended workday under safe operating 
conditions.
    A copy of Summit's exemption application is available for review in 
the docket for this notice.

Request for Comments

    In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315(b)(4) and 31136(e), FMCSA 
requests public comment on Summit Helicopters, Inc.'s application for 
exemption from the 49 CFR part 395 HOS requirements. The Agency will 
consider all comments received by close of business on August 30, 2006. 
Comments will be available for examination in the docket at the 
location listed under the Addresses section of this notice. The Agency 
will file comments received after the comment closing date in the 
public docket, and will consider them to the extent practicable. In 
addition to late comments, FMCSA will also continue to file, in the 
public docket, relevant information that becomes available after the 
comment closing date. Interested persons should monitor the public 
docket for new material.

    Issued on: July 21, 2006.
David H. Hugel,
Acting Administrator.
 [FR Doc. E6-12163 Filed 7-28-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P