The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has once again extended an unprecedented national Hours of Service (HOS) regulation waiver for drivers hauling some COVID-19 relief supplies.
On June 8, the FMCSA announced that the HOS waiver set to expire on June 14, 2020 would be extended through July 14, 2020.
The initial HOS waiver was issued on March 13 and has since been extended and expanded several times as the pandemic lingers.
The FMCSA is, however, cutting back on the type of loads that are considered to be “direct assistance” to COVID-19 relief and eligible for the waiver.
Under the new waiver, the only loads that are eligible for HOS relief are:
- Livestock and livestock feed
- Medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19
- Supplies and equipment necessary for community safety, sanitation, and prevention of community transmission of COVID-19 such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfectants.
Loads of food, fuel, raw materials including paper, plastic and alcohol, and liquified gases to be used in refrigeration systems are no longer eligible for the HOS waiver.
“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,” the FMCSA points out.
The FMCSA also reiterated that the HOS waiver does not give motor carriers the right to compel fatigued drivers to operate. Any driver who informs a motor carrier that they need rest is to be given 10 hours before they are required to return to duty.
You can click here to learn more about the HOS waiver extension.