North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum signed an emergency executive order this morning to waive hours of service regulations for truck drivers who are hauling anhydrous ammonia and other fertilizers.
According to a release from the Office of the Governor, “North Dakota farmers are facing a shortage of fertilizer due to significant late season snowfall in other parts of the upper Midwest, which has delayed and shortened the spring planting season across the region. Commercial truck drivers have been required to move more fertilizer in a shorter time frame.”
State Ag Commissioner Doug Goehring says that supply is part of the reason for the fertilizer shortage, but another part of the problem is that “there’s also situations where truckers have just run out of hours to haul.”
Burgam says that the loosening of Hours of Service regulations will allow his state’s farmers access to sufficient fertilizer resources.
The waiver will remain in effect until May 30.
The executer order requires that fertilizer haulers continue to comply with all safety and vehicle compliance regulations. Per the order, trucking companies are not allowed to require or to allow a truck driver who is fatigued to operate. Any driver who informs his company that he or she is fatigued will be given ten consecutive hours of rest before being required to return to duty.