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Hours of Service of Drivers: RockTenn, Application for Renewal of Exemption

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Hours of Service of Drivers: RockTenn, Application for Renewal of Exemption

Larry W. Minor
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
January 29, 2014

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 19 (Wednesday, January 29, 2014)]
[Pages 4802-4803]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-01695]



Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2010-0027]

Hours of Service of Drivers: RockTenn, Application for Renewal of 

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

ACTION: Notice of application for renewal of exemption; request for 


SUMMARY: RockTenn has requested a renewal of its exemption from certain 
provisions of the hours-of-service (HOS) requirements for drivers of 
property-carrying vehicles. RockTenn currently holds an exemption for 
the period April 17, 2012, through April 16, 2014 for 11 shipping 
department employees and occasional substitute commercial driver's 
license (CDL) holders who transport paper mill products over a 275-foot 
stretch of public road between its shipping and receiving locations. 
RockTenn requested an exemption from the 14-hour rule and the 
requirement for 10 consecutive hours off duty before the start of the 
work day. The renewal of the exemption would allow these individuals 
occasionally to drive after the 14th hour after coming on duty and 
allow them to return to work following 8 consecutive hours off-duty. 
FMCSA requests public comment on the RockTenn application for 

DATES: If granted, this exemption would be effective during the period 
of April 17, 2014 through April 16, 2016. Comments must be received on 
or before February 28, 2014.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by Federal Docket 
Management System Number FMCSA-2010-0027 by any of the following 
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov. In 
the ENTER KEYWORD OR ID box enter FMCSA-2010-0027 and click on the tab 
labeled SEARCH. On the ensuing page, click on any tab labeled SUBMIT A 
COMMENT on the extreme right of the page and a page should open that is 
titled ``Submit a Comment.'' You may identify yourself under section 1, 
ENTER INFORMATION, or you may skip section 1 and remain anonymous. You 
enter your comments in section 2, TYPE COMMENT & UPLOAD FILE. When you 
are ready to submit your comments, click on the tab labeled SUBMIT. 
Your comment is then submitted to the docket; and you will receive a 
tracking number.
     Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
     Mail: Docket Management Facility: U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building, Ground 
Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
     Hand Delivery: West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. 
e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    Instructions: All submissions must include the Agency name and 
docket number. For detailed instructions on submitting comments and 
additional information on the exemption process, see the Public 
Participation heading below. Note that all comments received will be 
posted without change to www.regulations.gov, including any personal 
information provided. Please see the Privacy Act heading below.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments received, go to www.regulations.gov at any time, and in the 
ENTER KEYWORD OR ID box enter FMCSA-2010-0027 and click on the tab 
labeled SEARCH.
    Privacy Act: Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all 
comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual 
submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf 
of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review the 
U.S. Department of Transportation's online privacy policy at 
www.dot.gov/privacy or the complete Privacy Act Statement in the 
Federal Register published on January 17, 2008 (73 FR 3316).
    Public Participation: The www.regulations.gov Web site is generally 
available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. You can obtain 
electronic submission and retrieval help and guidelines under the 
``help'' section of the www.regulations.gov Web site. 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 online.

and Carrier Operations Division; Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle 
Safety Standards, Telephone: 202-366-4325. Email: MCPSD@dot.gov.


RockTenn Application for Exemption

    The HOS rules in 49 CFR 395.3(a)(1) and (a)(2) prohibit a property-
carrying CMV driver from driving a CMV after the 14th hour after coming 
on duty following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Under 49 U.S.C. 31315 
and 31136(e), FMCSA may grant an exemption from the HOS requirements 
for a maximum 2-year period if it finds such exemption would likely 
achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the 
level that would be achieved absent such exemption. The procedures for 
requesting an exemption (including renewals) are prescribed in 49 CFR 
part 381.

[[Page 4803]]

    RockTenn (USDOT 153734) operates a paper mill located in 
Chattanooga, Tennessee, its principal place of business. Its shipping 
and receiving departments are on opposite sides of the paper mill, 
requiring driver/employees to travel on a public road to shuttle 
trailers as needed. These drivers utilize this public road--Compress 
Street--an average of forty times per day to go from their shipping to 
receiving department and to load their trailers in the shipping 
department. These drivers do not transport any material farther than 
the paper mill lots and/or Compress Street. The distance traveled on 
Compress Street is approximately 275 feet in one direction, and one 
tractor is used to perform this work. Because the material being 
transported is received from or destined for other States, the local 
travel is interstate in nature.
    The initial RockTenn exemption application for relief from the HOS 
rule was submitted in 2009; a copy of the application is in the docket. 
That application fully described the nature of shipping operations 
encountered by CMV drivers employed by RockTenn.
    RockTenn's shipping department currently works 12-hour shifts for 4 
days, and then allows employees 4 days off duty. The schedule is 
subject to change. Usually there are two shipping department employees 
on each shift. One employee drives a fork-lift truck loading trailers 
with finished goods, and the other operates the tractor shuttling 
trailers. These employees do not drive a CMV continuously during their 
    At times, RockTenn may operate on three 8-hour shifts with 
employees working a double (16-hour) shift when ``rotating back.'' 
According to RockTenn, the problem arises because of the double-shift, 
and also on occasion when a shipping department driver does not report 
for work as scheduled. On a Monday, for example, if an individual 
worked the weekend, his or her shift would normally have to ``hurry 
back'' within 8 hours. As a result of the mandatory 10 hours off-duty 
requirement for drivers, without the exemption RockTenn would be 
required to schedule these drivers' shifts to start later than other 
employees. This would create at least 2 hours when the company cannot 
load or transport trailers with finished goods due to the absence of 
the drivers. Furthermore, as a result of the 14-hour driving windows, 
they would ``work short'' without the exemption, creating on-time 
delivery issues for other employees, who are allowed to work an entire 
``double shift'' (16 hours) when necessary.
    RockTenn requested a limited exemption from 49 CFR part 395 for its 
shipping department CMV drivers, as well as others with a valid CDL who 
on occasion must substitute, allowing all such drivers to drive as late 
as the 16th hour since coming on duty and return to work with a minimum 
of at least 8 hours off duty. If exempt from the normal HOS 
requirements, these employees could follow the same work schedule as 
other RockTenn employees on their shift, and would be able to work for 
the full 16 hours of a ``double shift.'' RockTenn could therefore 
minimize the chances of delayed shipments that might occur if their 
drivers were not allowed to work the same schedule as other employees.
    RockTenn acknowledged in its application that these drivers would 
still be subject to all of the other FMCSRs, including possessing a 
CDL, random drug testing, medical certification, and other driver-
qualification requirements.
    A copy of RockTenn's application for exemption renewal is available 
for review in the docket for this notice.

Terms of the Exemption

Period of the Exemption

    The requested exemption is proposed to be effective April 17, 2014, 
through 11:59 p.m. on April 16, 2016, for drivers employed by RockTenn 
operating CMVs on Compress Street in Chattanooga, Tennessee, between 
the company's shipping and receiving departments.

Extent of the Exemption

    The exemption would be restricted to drivers employed by RockTenn 
operating CMVs on the route specified above. This exemption would be 
strictly limited to the provisions of 49 CFR 395.3(a)(1), referring to 
a required minimum of 10 hours off duty before the start of a duty 
period, and 395.3(a)(2), commonly referred to as the ``14-hour rule.'' 
When operationally necessary, drivers would be allowed up to a 16-hour 
duty period and no fewer than 8 hours off duty prior to the duty 


    During the period this exemption would be in effect, no State would 
be allowed to enforce any law or regulation that conflicted with or was 
inconsistent with this exemption with respect to a firm or person 
operating under the exemption (49 U.S.C. 31315(d)).

Notification to FMCSA

    RockTenn would be required to notify FMCSA within 5 business days 
of any accident (as defined in 49 CFR 390.5), involving any of the 
motor carrier's CMVs operating under the terms of this exemption. The 
notification would be required to include the following information:
    a. Date of the accident,
    b. City or town, and State, in which the accident occurred, or 
closest to the accident scene,
    c. Driver's name and driver's license number,
    d. Vehicle number and state license number,
    e. Number of individuals suffering physical injury,
    f. Number of fatalities,
    g. The police-reported cause of the accident,
    h. Whether the driver was cited for violation of any traffic laws, 
motor carrier safety regulations, and
    i. The total driving time and total on-duty time period prior to 
the accident.

Reports filed under this provision would be emailed to MCPSD@DOT.GOV.


    The FMCSA does not believe the drivers covered by this exemption, 
if granted, would experience any deterioration of their safety record. 
However, should this occur, FMCSA would take all steps necessary to 
protect the public interest, including revocation of the exemption. The 
FMCSA would immediately revoke the exemption for failure to comply with 
its terms and conditions.

    Issued on: January 10, 2014.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2014-01695 Filed 1-28-14; 8:45 am]

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