• ITVI.USA
    14,959.950
    116.940
    0.8%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.933
    0.012
    0.4%
  • OTRI.USA
    19.350
    0.220
    1.2%
  • OTVI.USA
    14,926.910
    120.050
    0.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.910
    -0.050
    -1.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.790
    0.080
    2.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.460
    0.170
    13.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.740
    0.020
    0.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.270
    0.030
    1.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.150
    -0.010
    -0.2%
  • WAIT.USA
    131.000
    -2.000
    -1.5%
  • ITVI.USA
    14,959.950
    116.940
    0.8%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.933
    0.012
    0.4%
  • OTRI.USA
    19.350
    0.220
    1.2%
  • OTVI.USA
    14,926.910
    120.050
    0.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.910
    -0.050
    -1.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.790
    0.080
    2.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.460
    0.170
    13.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.740
    0.020
    0.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.270
    0.030
    1.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.150
    -0.010
    -0.2%
  • WAIT.USA
    131.000
    -2.000
    -1.5%
Driver issuesNewsTop StoriesTruckingTrucking Regulation

FMCSA extends pandemic-related HOS waiver through November

Hours-of-service rules suspended for driving in several emergency situations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has tacked on another three months to its emergency declaration waiving some hours-of-service rules for pandemic-related trucking.

The waiver that was first put into effect in March 2020 and was extended several times was to expire Tuesday. But it now runs through Nov. 30. It could end earlier if the declaration of a national emergency is lifted prior to that. 

One thing that has not changed is the list of activities that allow HOS limits to be exceeded. Truck drivers granted relief must be providing “direct assistance” to aid the “immediate restoration of essential services (such as medical care) or essential supplies related to COVID-19 during the emergency.”

“Regulatory relief” from the HOS rules will be granted if the driver is transporting:

— Livestock and livestock feed.

— Medical supplies and equipment for COVID-19 testing.

— Vaccines and products related to vaccines.

— Personal protective equipment and other safety and sanitization products.

— Food and paper products for restocking stores.

— Fuel products.

— And a fairly broad exemption for “supplies to assist individuals impacted by the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.” It cites delivering building material to assist individuals “displaced or otherwise impacted” by COVID.

The waiver specifically notes that the exemptions do not cover any of the other rules found in Section 395 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, which establishes all the key regulations on truck drivers.  

The irony in the waiver, which was widely expected, is that FMCSA is just beginning to compile research on how much impact the waiver has had and how many more hours it is providing to capacity. FMCSA announced its initiative to gather data for answering those questions just last week. 

Earlier extensions to the rule were handed down in June 2020, August 2020 and December 2020, as well as late May of this year.

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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.