FuelNewsTrucking Regulation

Truckstop operators, fuel groups request HOS waiver for fuel

Fearing fuel shortages related to coronavirus disruptions, the National Association of Truckstop Operators (NATSO) and three fuel groups are urging regulators to issue an hours-of-service (HOS) waiver for transporting fuel.

“In some states, our members have already started to see consumers rush to the pumps, which can disrupt access to fuel for those who need it most,” the groups warned in a March 17 letter to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). “Issuing a nationwide HOS waiver for the transportation of fuel will help mitigate a broader run on fuel.”

The groups pointed out that the FMCSA’s nationwide emergency waiver issued on March 13 that exempted commercial carriers from HOS regulations for the transport of emergency supplies to hospitals, and for emergency restocking of grocery shelves, did not include fuel.

“We support the HOS Waiver for the delivery of essential supplies critical to supporting public health during this crisis,” the letter states. “Without access to fuel, however, manufacturers are unable to provide supplies to hospitals, businesses, and homes. Moreover, workers at essential businesses – including first responders and hospital workers – need fuel to get to their jobs. In addition, emergency response vehicles need uninhibited access to fuel.”

Latest price/gallon ($2.68) as of March 17, 2020. Source: SONAR

NATSO said that FMCSA is “taking the request under advisement.”

In addition to NATSO, the letter was signed by the National Association of Convenience Stores, the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America and the Petroleum Marketing Association of America.


  1. Fear of a fuel shortage ??? LOL !

    Currently we’re in a WORLDWIDE OIL GLUT ! During this oil glut we have just hit a 18 year low in crude prices !

    Quote :
    “U.S. Oil Prices Plunge to Lowest Level in 18 Years
    Tighter travel restrictions, Saudi-Russian price war drive WTI to its lowest level since 2002”

    That being said , I could understand if people were running to the pump due to a shortage and price skyrocketing , not during daily price decreasing at the pump while crude prices are collapsing .

    But then again we’re talking about the general public here , LOL !

    That being said , this current rise in demand due to an increase in freight due to panic buying is temporary ! Most unessential businesses are shutting down ! There’s just so much essentials people can buy . More and more people are self isolating and have less options to shop !

    The infected and death toll in North America is on a rise ! Draconian laws are just at their beginning in NA ! It’s going to get stricter until the infected and death toll subsides !

    In my humble opinion ……….

  2. There are so few cars on the road.
    Why do fuel haulers and stations need an exemption?

    Even if there was an early panic to fill-up along with stuffing cars with TP, gasoline fuel demand has fallen off a cliff.

    This is just ridiculous. Add the fact the trucks are rolling bombs… HOS exemption is not smart.

John Gallagher

Based in Washington, D.C., John specializes in regulation and legislation affecting all sectors of freight transportation. He has covered rail, trucking and maritime issues since 1993 for a variety of publications based in the U.S. and the U.K. John began business reporting in 1993 at Broadcasting & Cable Magazine. He graduated from Florida State University majoring in English and business.