COVID-19 Emergency Hours Waiver Extend Beyond August By FMCSA

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Well, the corona virus has truly and royally screwed so much of the trucking industry, that the emergency hours are facing yet another extension! This is according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

The FMCSA has found time to answer questions that have been raised by truckers by the aftermath of President Joe Biden’s administration’s extension of the national emergency. It’s all in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic with a rise in numbers and a return to normal shipping.

Furthermore, the FMCSA is sure to offer carriers moving commodities within maxed out drive-time limiters in the hours of service with another 90-day emergency declaration extension.

There are certainly a lot of new parameters the FMCSA has to circumnavigate.

From June 1st to August’s end, carriers from the following commodities are looking to take full advantage of the relief whenever the haul can be in “direct assistance in support of emergency relief efforts related to COVID.” Those commodities are:

  • Gasoline, diesel, diesel exhaust fluid (DEF), jet fuel, ethyl alcohol, and heating fuel including propane, natural gas, and heating oil.   
  • Food, paper products, and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centers or stores
  • Vaccines, constituent products, and medical supplies and equipment including ancillary supplies/kits for the administration of vaccines, related to the prevention of COVID-19
  • Livestock and livestock feed
  • Medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis, and treatment of COVID-19
  • Supplies and equipment necessary for community safety, sanitation, and prevention of community transmission of COVID-19 such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap, and disinfectants

Other commodities that are covered under the waiver are themselves no longer included. They are specifically exempt as “supplies to assist individuals impacted by the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Watchers are not expecting any more narrowing according to the declaration from Deputy Administrators as well as acting agency chief Robin Hutcheson. “FMCSA intends to continue to closely monitor the safety impacts of the relief granted under this extension.

As necessary, FMCSA may take action to modify the Emergency Declaration, including scaling back the commodities covered by the Emergency Declaration or changing the restrictions associated with transporting the commodities.” The move to terminate hours relief soon may be the case “if conditions warrant.”

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