The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued the exemptions to propane haulers after the National Propane Gas Association requested them, due to propane shortages around the country caused by higher demand due to colder than average temperatures and some other factors.
The country’s propane supply is “more than adequate,” NPGA said in a letter to FMCSA last month, writing that troubles in transportation and distribution are to blame for getting propane to consumers.
Four waivers from FMCSA allow propane haulers exemptions from hours rules in nearly two-thirds of U.S. states: Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida, Oklahoma, Connecticut, D.C., Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, West Virginia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Wisconsin, North Dakota and South Dakota.
The waivers last until 11:59 p.m. March 1.
Drivers operating under the exemption must have a copy of the waivers with them:
Affected tractors are equipped with an automated Eaton UltraShift Plus or Eaton Advantage Transmission with right hand stalk shifter. In the affected trucks, the display on the instrument panel can indicate “N” when the shifter is set into “D” or “R,” causing the truck not to move.