Trucking news and briefs for Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022:

FMCSA denies HOS request from livestock haulers

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has denied a request from several agricultural groups seeking an exemption from certain hours of service provisions. The requested exemption was made on behalf of drivers who transport livestock, insects and aquatic animals.

Groups seeking the waiver included the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Livestock Marketing Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, American Beekeeping Federation, American Honey Producers Association and National Aquaculture Association.

The request would have allowed drivers, after 10 consecutive hours off duty, to be on duty for 16 hours after coming on duty, and to drive a total of 15 hours during that 16-hour period.

The groups filed the exemption request in February 2019. At the time, regulations allowed livestock haulers to operate within a 150 air-mile radius of the source of the agricultural commodity, and time spent operating within that radius did not count against a driver’s daily and weekly hours limits.

The 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law added to that to also include a 150 air-mile radius of the load’s destination. Livestock haulers also remain exempt from the ELD exemption, FMCSA said.

“If the agency were to grant the exemption, drivers transporting agricultural commodities would be allowed six or more hours of driving time within the 150 air-mile exempt zones for the transportation of agricultural commodities, in addition to the 15 hours of driving time outside the zone,” FMCSA said in its denial. “The agency finds that allowing 21 or more hours of driving during a work shift would not likely achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved absent the exemption.”

A. Duie Pyle expands into West Virginia

A. Duie Pyle (CCJ Top 250, No. 67) has announced it will bring its asset and non-asset-based services to the entire state of West Virginia. The company is expanding its supply chain offerings to strengthen routes and transport of goods. 

The service move into West Virginia comes on the heels of its expansion into Virginia earlier this year, where it added three LTL service centers in Roanoke, Richmond and Manassas. The strategic location of the Roanoke facility, combined with its service centers in Pittsburgh and Hagerstown, allow Pyle to provide a broader range of coverage and operational efficiency to its customers.   

Pyle said the move strengthens its service commitment to customers by expanding access to key areas and clients across the state. Adding West Virginia to Pyle’s roster completes its Northeast/Mid-Atlantic core footprint.  

“We are thrilled to expand our direct service coverage and industry-leading expertise into West Virginia,” said John Luciani, COO of LTL Solutions at A. Duie Pyle. “Adding West Virginia to our network allows us to build stronger relationships with our customers and positions us to continue offering exceptional service to the entire Northeast.” 

Bestpass acquires HVUT e-filing firm

Bestpass, a payment platform provider and toll management firm for commercial fleets, has acquired ExpressTruckTax, a Heavy Vehicle Use Tax (HVUT) e-filing system for truckers, fleet owners, and tax preparers for e-filing Forms 2290 and 2290 Amendments. 

Bestpass is acquiring ExpressTruckTax from SPAN Enterprises, a Charlotte, North Carolina-based company that serves more than 200,000 businesses and has provided e-filing services for more than 5 million trucks.  

“We are thrilled to add ExpressTruckTax, the industry’s leading HVUT solution supporting 200,000 customers, to the Bestpass product offering for fleet managers,” said Tom Fogarty, Bestpass CEO. “Bestpass has been well recognized as the leading toll management solution for trucking fleets and owners, and this is another step to provide more value to our customers. The team at SPAN has built an excellent product, and I am delighted to build HVUT e-filing and payments into our comprehensive mobility payments solution.”

Truckers and fleet owners are required to pay Heavy Vehicle Use Tax (HVUT) and file Form 2290 annually with the IRS to remain in good standing. This annual tax is levied on all heavy vehicles weighing 55,000 pounds or more that operate on public highways.

For fleets of 25 trucks or more, e-filing Form 2290 is required, but for fleets or owner-operators with less than 25 trucks, e-filing is strongly preferred by the IRS. With the 2290 e-filing solution from ExpressTruckTax, drivers can easily file their forms electronically and take advantage of built-in error checks that improve the accuracy of their filings.