Hours of service rules waived in 24 states for propane haulers

| January 21, 2014

trucking fuel tankerIn response to a request letter sent to Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx by the National Propane Gas Association, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued an hours-of-service exemption to propane haulers in the Midwest and the Eastern regions of the U.S. due to “extreme arctic cold weather” that has caused shortages of propane in affected areas.

States in which propane haulers are exempt from hours rules include: Connecticut, D.C., Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, West Virginia, Illinios, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio and Wisconsin

Related

Updated: Views from the center of the ‘polar vortex’

Pictures and more from drivers caught in the extremely cold temps across the nation's midsection.

The exemption took effect Jan. 19 and lasts until 11:59 p.m. Feb. 11.

The exemptions, FMCSA says, allow drivers “providing direct assistance supporting the delivery of propane and home heating fuels” to those states, and the exemption immediately expires when a driver or carrier uses the vehicle “in interstate commerce to transport cargo or provide services not directly supporting the emergency relief effort,” according to the declarations.

Driver operating under the waiver of the rules must have a copy of the FMCSA declaration with them. Click here to download the declaration issued for the Eastern region, and click here to download the one for the Midwest.

In its letter requesting the exemption, NPGA listed several factors that it said the country’s propane supply is “more than adequate,” but that the propane industry has had problems getting that propane to its customers due to transportation and distribution.

Some of the factors causing problems in transportation and distribution, per NPGA’s letter, include a late and wet grain and corn harvest that caused a spike in demand for propane for fuel grain dryers; the “polar vortex” that caused historically low temperatures in the East and Midwest regions of the U.S. and increased demand for propane; an overall lack of storage in the Northeast; the Cochin Pipeline, which carries propane from Canada to the Midwest and East, being down for maintenance in November and December; and change in energy flows in North America that have caused the natural gas and propane pipeline networks to be in a “state of transition,” the letter says.

States in the affected regions had been issuing the waivers individually, but some affected states hadn’t issued them due to a lack of resources, NPGA says.

FMCSA’s waiver overrides previous state waivers and includes some states that hadn’t issued waivers.

  • Be Smart

    I can’t believe drivers are so so stupid that they continue to allow the Government to dictate policy to how they work. enough is enough. fight back and don’t drive.

  • norman ott

    Don’t they understand that if fuel haulers are having a hard time with the HOS that the rest of us are too. Give us back the split sleeper with a 34 hr restart.

  • Speed

    Yeah-good idea, All you drivers,Park your trucks,don’t drive,and send all your bills to “Be Smart”-HE’S going to put his money where his mouth is!

  • PattyCakes

    Parked and laughin’ … the Rules go out the window when we suddenly need your butt …. just too funny … too funny.

    Have a frigid day

  • Keith Thompson

    Truckers could dictate the industry but we have no leadership,just because some drivers drove under influence over there hours we all have to pay,
    why i got out of OTR some days i could drive for 15 hrs other days not as many,but i should be the one to decide not the government. Uncle Sam only wants my taxes.

  • RICK DAVIS

    ISN’T HOS FOR SAFETY, HOS OF SERVICE IS A JOKE JUST A WAY FOR THEM TO GET IN YOUR POCKETS DEEPER,EVERYBODY CAN WORK DOUBLE SHIFTS 7 DAYS AWEEK N GET IN THERE RV DRIVE ACROSS THE COUNTRY UNLIMITED HRS N THATS OK, BUT A TRUCK DRIVER IS LIMIMTED TO HOS UNLESS FED,STATE,LOCAL GOV. NEEDS SOMETHING THIS COUNTRY IS A JOKE

  • ItllDo

    Of all the truckers they give HOS waivers to due to bad weather, it’s the Propane/Hazmat guy’s. Yea, that’s safe…HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  • easymoney

    the drivers should still work with the rule. The hell with
    you when you need us you expect us to broke your own
    rules. Now safety takes a back seat, what a joke. Its all
    a bunch of crap. Dumb ass rules any way. That’s what you
    when you give a women a mans job

  • Pingback: Propane and heating oil shortage adds to winter woes - Page 3

  • Steve LaFleur

    Absurd. If there is a shortage of propane haulers, then throw the money at getting more of them in place who can run legally.

    Just listen to the outcry if one of those overworked and exempt haulers go up in a fireball someplace.

    After all the bullshit and flaming hoops we have to jump through to maintain compliance to absurd and poorly tested theories with regard to HOS, this is a slap in the face.

    Too bad if it’s cold. It’s not like this weather was completely unpredictable and they couldn’t ramp up for supply and demand.

  • Suzi

    There is no shortage of propane haulers…it’s the shortage of propane because the demand is on and the big Gas company’s have it tied up so the drivers have to go to the Gulf to haul propane off the pipeline or Kansas and they have run out up there…NOT… they got gas in underground caverns stored for a spike increase at this time of the winter. There have been drivers all the way from Maine sent to the Gulf to haul back to Maine. So that explains that.

  • Pingback: FMCSA extends hours of service waivers for propane haulers to March | Commercial Carrier Journal