As you will have read elsewhere in this edition, we recently won our effort to change DOT Hours of Service regulations to provide relief for the concrete pumping industry. This result is a direct outcome of a comprehensive review of HOS regulations initiated by ACPA in 2015. I am extremely pleased with DOT’s decision and see it as a first step in a longer- term push for regulatory relief for the concrete pumping industry.
The provision is valid for two years, and DOT may extend it for a third year by request. However, Congress must enact legislation to make the exemption permanent. ACPA has identified other areas where changes to DOT regulations could provide significant regulatory relief for the industry.
ACPA's recent advocacy efforts led to a major victory with hours-of-service regulations. Now, concrete pump operators may count on-duty time toward the required 30-minute rest break in hours-of-service regulations for interstate commercial motor vehicle drivers. On March 21, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) of the U.S. Department of Transportation announced its acceptance of the ACPA's request for an exemption to the 30-minute rest break.
Whether or not you voted for Donald Trump, it is hard to dismiss the sense of optimism about breaking the gridlock in Washington. For the last six years, the Obama administration and the GOP Congress engaged in the political equivalent of trench warfare, each staking out immovable positions on most major issues, leaving very little room for legislative maneuvering other than for “must pass” legislation—for example, preventing government shutdowns, etc.
It’s crunch time in D.C., as all of the unfinished legislative business piled up over the course of the year comes to a head. ACPA is making good progress on the Hill related to the overtaxing of concrete pumps for job site fuel use. For more information on that initiative, see the article on page 32 of this issue.
In the 2014 midterm elections, the GOP rode a wave of discontent with President Obama to win big gains at every level of government. Republicans picked up nine seats in the Senate, 12 seats in the House (possibly 13 by the time you read this), three governorships (including two in the traditionally blue states of Maryland and Massachusetts), and control of 11 state legislative chambers.