Understanding Important Regulations for Commercial Oilfield Drivers

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The oil field industry is one of the most regulated industries due to the potential danger of petroleum products. The government has ensured that both the environment and human life are protected from mining oil to transporting it on the roads. Oil field drivers operating commercial fleets of all sizes must adhere to the rules, and any violations often attract hefty fines. However, you can prevent violations by consulting professionals holding Dynamics 365 Consultant Jobs at MCA Connect or any consultancy company. They can help you adhere to safety and environmental compliance.

FMCSA Compliance

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has set up regulations for oil field drivers to follow. Although the requirements are subject to an exemption, below are standard requirements for commercial oilfield drivers.

  • If traveling for more than eight hours, drivers must take at least one 30-minute rest.
  • Drivers must not drive for more than 11 hours continuously 
  • .Drivers must not be on the road for more than 60 hours a week.

FMCSA Exemptions for Compliance

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued advice on the “oilfield exemption” to the hours-of-service limit for commercial truck drivers in a regulatory rule interpretation. In general, section 395 of the regulations contains the hours of service restrictions.

The 24-hour Restart Rule

Essentially, this implies that oilfield drivers may receive a restart after just 24 hours instead of the 34 hours that commercial truck drivers must wait. This exemption applies to fleets that carry items directly for the oil and gas sector, such as equipment, water, and trash. During the seven-day working cycle, the 24-hour window may be used at any moment.

The Waiting Time

The term “waiting time” is defined more strictly in Section 395. 1(d)(2), and it only applies to drivers whose commercial vehicles are:

  •  Expressly designed for use at an oil or gas well site
  • For which the operator needs considerable training in its operation.

The rules now provide that “waiting time” is not considered “on-duty time” for this specific group of drivers. Therefore, the drivers are not permitted to do any work-related activities during this period.

The waiting time exemption was designed for a certain motorist who would be at a well site for long periods waiting to drive. Normally, a driver who is on the job site is regarded as “on duty” at the moment of their arrival. The commercial driver’s employment realities at an oil and gas well site are recognized by this restricted exception to the on-duty status.

The Split Breaks

According to oilfield DOT rules, fleets that only serve the oil and gas industry may divide their break hours. The driver may divide their 10-hour break into at least two-hour segments if they take their break in a sleeper berth or overnight facilities at a well site.

Drivers may pick how they’d profit from split breaks as long as they take the essential breaks and satisfy the delivery demands of their fleet. These breaks do not fall inside the 14-hour driving timeframe.


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