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.
Thank you to all truckers out there keeping our frontline workers supplied. Stay safe especially when pushing through the regular hours of service.