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3 more states waive targeted hours-of-service rules for 30 days

Minnesota cites agriculture needs; Iowa and Wyoming target petroleum drivers

Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves

Three additional states have implemented 30-day waivers of the federal hours-of-service rules, citing tight supplies of drivers as a reason.

The steps by Minnesota, Wyoming and Iowa to declare a state of emergency as the basis for the waiver follow a recent decision by South Dakota to also implement a 30-day HOS waiver, with that state citing driver availability as well.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz signed the order Wednesday supported by much of the state’s agricultural industry. 

Federal law allows states to declare their own 30-day waivers from HOS rules. Several states that had similar waivers in place for Hurricane Elsa are on the verge of seeing those exemptions expire in the next few days. 

In Minnesota, according to the statement issued by the governor’s office, the issue is a lack of adequate drivers combined with a drought that is forcing some agricultural deliveries to go farther than normal to get products to or from markets. 

“These [drought] conditions have resulted in a significant decrease in the availability of hay and other forage in Minnesota and neighboring states,” Walz’s statement said. “This has prompted farmers and livestock producers to change their operations, including reducing their herd or shipping livestock earlier than normal.”

Because of the drought, the statement said, there has been a drop of about 10,000 acres of “harvestable” hay “and will require farmers and livestock producers to travel farther distances to obtain hay and forage needed to feed their livestock.”

The governor went on to say that such organizations as the Minnesota Farmers Union and the Minnesota Cattlemen had asked for “emergency relief measures to increase access to livestock forage.”

“Strict enforcement of certain hours of service regulations would prevent or hinder the efficient transportation of forage, which is critical to maintain healthy livestock,” the governor’s statement added. 

The statement specifically noted the federal HOS regulation, 49 CFR § 395.3, as being waived under the state’s action. However, it keeps in place the part of that rule restricting driving to 11 hours over a 14-hour period. It also said that a “fatigued or ill” driver may not be required to work. And if drivers say they need rest, they must be given 10 consecutive off-duty hours before coming back to work.

In the case of Wyoming and Iowa, the wording is similar and is targeted at deliveries of petroleum. In Wyoming, the 30-day exemption was implemented July 20. Iowa’s is more recent, going into effect Thursday.

Both proclamations target low supplies of petroleum. In Wyoming, however, it also noted efforts to fight wildfires in the state as requiring additional supplies of petroleum. 

In both states, the waivers forbid requiring a fatigued driver to get behind the wheel. In the case of Iowa, at the end of the 30-day period, if a driver has been on duty for more than 70 hours during any eight consecutive days, that driver must be given at least 34 consecutive hours off.

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  1. FLE+LLC

    ELD regulation has caused capacity shortages and dramatic increases in cost to the Carrier who has passed that burden onto the Manufacturer, Shippers and brokers … Ultimately the consumer is now paying for it with dramatic price increases on goods !!

    The ridiculous ELD law is the #1 problem !! Rescind the ELD regulation!!

    1. Stephen Webst

      Unless you bring over time rules after 8 hours driving or 10 on duty and a minimum rate for local drivers of 19.00 U S per hour and O T R drivers with 5000 hours experience of $23.00 U a plus medical care and much better parking at shipping companies and receiving ,the number of accidents and people who get injured or sick will jump.

  2. FLE+LLC

    The big story here is that HOS is what is crippling the industry as a whole !!!
    Pay attention manufacturers and shippers and brokers…!! …
    If you want to increase capacity of the market we need to resend the ELD regulation or at least the inability to have flexible HOS !!!
    With a 14-hour clock we should be able to use the full 14 .. not play games with on duty off-duty sleeper and driving…
    Allow us to edit all lines on our logbook as appropriate, with annotation!!!
    The inability to correct errors on the driving line by being locked out is completely ridiculous regulation also !!!

    1. Jay Mann

      Of course they do not want you to have the ability edit an error. They would not be able to fine you two weeks later for it when you’re randomly impeded in your travels.

  3. Bobby Moseley

    I don’t want to work more hours! We don’t have much of a life as it is being a driver. And we are treated like dung everywhere flipped off for taking to long to pass! So I say let them run out then maybe they will start paying us what they should and respecting us like they use to back in the day!

  4. Stephen Webst

    This defeated the whole purpose of E-logs. Make sure all exempt trucking hauling fuel pay twice the state minimum wage plus overtime after 8 hours driving or 9 nine hours on duty. A class mate of pays fuel drivers $30.00 cd or $25.50 U S plus overtime after 10 hours and double time after 13: hours in a shift

Comments are closed.

John Kingston

John has an almost 40-year career covering commodities, most of the time at S&P Global Platts. He created the Dated Brent benchmark, now the world’s most important crude oil marker. He was Director of Oil, Director of News, the editor in chief of Platts Oilgram News and the “talking head” for Platts on numerous media outlets, including CNBC, Fox Business and Canada’s BNN. He covered metals before joining Platts and then spent a year running Platts’ metals business as well. He was awarded the International Association of Energy Economics Award for Excellence in Written Journalism in 2015. In 2010, he won two Corporate Achievement Awards from McGraw-Hill, an extremely rare accomplishment, one for steering coverage of the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster and the other for the launch of a public affairs television show, Platts Energy Week.