6 states issue hours-of-service waivers for emergency loads in wake of Winter Storm Jonas

| January 25, 2016

Update, 1/25: Updated to reflect issuance of a waiver in Kentucky.

North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia have issued temporary and limited hours-of-service exemptions for certain relief load haulers in the wake of the historic winter storm that impacted about a third of the U.S. population.

Governors in those states have issued emergency declarations instituting the hours waivers. Here’s a look at each:

Kentucky: An hours exemption has been issued in the state until Jan. 31 for drivers hauling feed and live poultry. See a copy of the declaration here. 

North Carolina: North Carolina’s hours waiver applies to drivers carrying “essential fuels, food, water, medical supplies, debris removal, feed for livestock and poultry,..livestock and poultry” and for vehicles aiding in utility restoration. The state has also issued a waiver of size and weight limits for vehicles carrying either equipment or supplies needed to restore utilities or remove debris, along with drivers hauling livestock and poultry or feed “in the emergency area.” N.C.’s size and weight waiver extends the allowable weight limit to 90,000 pounds and vehicle length limit to 75 feet long and 12 feet wide. N.C.’s waiver will remain effective for 30 days (until Feb. 20) or through “the duration of the emergency, whichever is less.” Find a copy of the waiver here.

South Carolina: Because state law requires South Carolina to follow North Carolina’s lead in issuing emergency declarations, S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley has also signed an emergency waiver temporarily suspending hours rules for truckers hauling “fuel, food, water or other goods to” North Carolina, according to the declaration. It will stay in effect for seven days (until Jan. 28) or until conditions subside, it says. See the declaration at this link.

Tennessee: Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam issued Jan. 21 a temporary exemption to food haulers in the state, good until Jan. 27, citing storm-caused disruptions in the state’s food supply and delivery. See a copy of the declaration at this link.

Virginia: Virginia Gov. Terence McAuliffe’s Jan. 21-issued emergency declaration allows relief load haulers temporary waivers to hours-of-service rules and size/weight limits. According to the waiver, drivers carrying “emergency relief supplies, passengers, property, livestock, poultry, equipment, food, feed for livestock or poultry, fuel, construction materials and other critical supplies to or from any portion [of Virginia] for purpose of providing direct relief or assistance as a result of this disaster” are exempt from federal hours-of-service limits until March 1 or until the state rescinds the order. Click here for a copy of the declaration.

West Virginia: West Virginia has issued a very limited hours-of-service waiver for propane haulers, exempting them of the federal 60/70-hour limit only when all drivers for their carrier have reached their 60/70-hour limit. See the waiver at this link.

-James Jaillet

Eastern U.S. roads returning to normal

New York City has ended its travel ban and the Pennsylvania Turnpike reopened to commercial vehicles as Eastern states recover from a record blizzard.

Since Friday, the storm the Weather Channel christened Jonas, the Washington Post’s weather blog called Snowzilla, while Slate readers favored David Snowie, dumped up to 3 feet of snow in some locations. Although the interstate traffic backlog in Charleston, W.Va. and on the Pennsylvania Turnpike near Somerset has cleared, emergency waivers of trucking regulations remain in effect for several states.

NYC had suspended travel after Central Park tallied almost 27 inches of snow, the second largest total accumulation since 1869.  The Pennsylvania Turnpike ended a temporary ban on commercial vehicles system wide and lifted a 45 mph speed limit.  After up to 3 feet of snow fell on the Turnpike, trucks jackknifed near Someset and traffic backlogged.

-Jill Dunn

Torque It Up – 1850 lb-ft Now Available In ISX15 400-475 HP Ratings

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18 comments
Finkster
Finkster

Shows the Hypocrisy of the Politics and the Bureaucracy of Government to begin with. Why would you life hours of service rules in the middle of a Blizzard when the driver would be tired and needs rest.

Drive with pride.
Drive with pride.

Tell them to call the BNSF, or who ever hauls there crap and tell them to bring it on rail? Oh there shut down also? So complain to Warren buffet rail is stealing most freight anyway, too bad, I had to wait 34 hours before I could start and by then the weather hit so I just go west instead but not to California they can bring in there needed whatever from China. I'm happy and no I won't help until FMCSA puts all there proposal to a vote from all drivers before it is a new rule not law the Democratic way. Just like all the rights we used to have that are now only a privilege to be taken away by power - tipsy little people. Ok I'm done! Not really but need a break just need to check with my registered FMCSA, Dr to see if I'm capable of working all those extra exempt hours so others can live even if I die trying to help save a few million. Not that they care really care like when there driving hauling ass to work in the morning late,cutting semi's off, slamming on the breaks, talking on the phone, putting on makeup, drugs, and drinking first thing in the morning master batting on there way to work or next party, while I try dogging them, there pot holes and they really think I'm number 1 finger shown to prove it! So why should we help? Go ahead try answering that one? Green light no more texting sorry spellchecker hates me!

David
David

It's funny these are the state's that treat drivers like shit. When they get low on food and fuel they want to bend the laws to help there sorry asses out...If companies force the drivers to break the laws because of these people then the drivers should get paid at least 2.95 a mile and for a company driver if not then let the food rot....

Philip Frank
Philip Frank

Thank you David, You hit the nail on the head. "It's funny these are the state's that treat drivers like shit."

norman ott
norman ott

If it's safe for drivers to operate in adverse conditions without HOS it would seem to me it would be even safer with no HOS when conditions are good.

David Bailey
David Bailey

I'd like to think, in some parallel universe, the dot would atleast try and let Truckers do this nationwide, on an experimental basis. But this is 2016,we need babysitters.

Cliff Downing
Cliff Downing

This is going to be interesting how this plays out once ELD's take full effect and various states make ad hoc exemptions to the HOS. Like the ELD will know which jurisdiction has an exemption? What of a log audit 6-7 months down the road by DOT at the carrier using stored data on the servers? What a mess this is shaping up to be.

Roland Pelchat
Roland Pelchat

Better off to find other types of work. I've been involved in this industry since 1985. The rules will continue to increase & the pay will continue to decrease. Everytime we get a raise our wives and family pay for it when they shop. Viscious circle with no apparent end in sight. Best of luck to all of you that remain in the industry.

Tomahawk
Tomahawk

Are you shocked? They screw up everything they touch. It's a game to them. Let's see what we can eff with next. Pitiful.

Paula Miller
Paula Miller

Won't apply to me. My truck is and c was built before 1999. Good luck

Cliff Downing
Cliff Downing

Well, wasn't really working this idea. When weather is nasty to cause some sort of state waiver thing, my truck will be at home. I have long since outgrown any need to get hung up in this kind of thing. I track weather daily across where I run, and if it is going to get nasty like this, I haul a different load that keeps me out of it. Else, shut down and spend time with wife at home.

Helpus
Helpus

Funny how quickly HOS goes out the window when it benefits the people to need Truckers!

Jd
Jd

Yea. Some shit isnt it? Well im not bending their dam stupid rules for no one now either.... suffer!!!!

jOE sCHMOE
jOE sCHMOE

How does a state suspend a federal rule?

Keith
Keith

Exactly my thought.

Paula Miller
Paula Miller

That's the DEMOCRATIC WAY. THEY MAKE THE RULES AND CHANGE THEM AS THEY SEE FIT

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  1. […] 6 States Issue Hours-of-Service Waivers for Emergency Loads in Wake of Winter Storm Jonas: North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia have issued temporary and limited hours-of-service exemptions for certain relief load haulers in the wake of the historic winter storm that impacted about a third of the U.S. population. […]