Hours-of-service (HOS) waivers for the delivery of groceries, paper products and other essential items have been reinstated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) as of August 11.
These waivers had been removed in June, but as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to plague many areas of the U.S., regulators once again will allow carriers to work under the exemption when moving essential cargo. The current exemption is now in effect until Sept. 14.
The FMCSA has identified four categories for “regulatory relief” including the “transportation of (1) livestock and livestock feed; (2) medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19; (3) 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; and (4) food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centers or stores.”
Drivers who qualify for the exemption will be able to exceed the maximum driving limit which is usually in effect under normal HOS rules. Routine commercial deliveries with mixed loads, however, are not subject to the exemptions.