The FMCSA is allowing some truckers to ignore the hours of service rules due to the national emergency caused by COVID-19￼.￼ This exemption is only for loads providing direct assistance in support of emergency relief efforts related to the COVID-19 outbreaks.
Keep in mind this does not mean that every trucker hauling one pallet of toilet paper is exempt.￼ In fact, the FMCSA notice specifies,”Direct assistance does not include routine commercial deliveries, including mixed loads with a nominal quantity of qualifying emergency relief added to obtain the benefits of this emergency declaration.”
These exempted loads include:
- medical equipment and testing supplies
- products used to prevent the spread of the virus (masks, hand sanitizers, soaps, etc.)
- food, paper, and other grocery products to restock grocery stores and distribution centers
- raw materials used to make all of the above products
- equipment, supplies and persons necessary to establish and manage temporary housing, quarantine, and isolation facilities
- persons designated by Federal, State or local authorities for medical, isolation, or quarantine purposes; and
- persons necessary to provide other medical or emergency services
These are just the highlights, so if you want all the specifics check out this FMCSA website.