Trucking news and briefs for Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021:
FMCSA emergency declaration suspends hours regs for relief haulers in 33 states, D.C.
Truck drivers and carriers hauling various winter storm relief supplies in 33 states and Washington, D.C., are exempt from hours of service regulations following an emergency declaration issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Midwestern, Southern, and Western Service Centers.
Affected states and jurisdictions included in the waiver are: Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming and Washington, D.C.
The emergency declaration provides for regulatory relief for carriers while providing direct assistance supporting emergency relief efforts in the above states transporting supplies; goods; equipment; heating fuels including propane, natural gas, and heating oil; and other fuel products including gasoline.
The declaration is effective until the end of the emergency or through March 4, whichever is earlier.
TA planning six new California locations this year
TravelCenters of America has signed a new franchise agreement that will bring a TA Express location to Baker, California. The company also expects five other franchised TA Express sites to open in California this year.
The new TA Express in Baker will be located off I-15 at Exit 221 and is expected to open later this year.
In addition to the Baker location, TA expects five other franchised TA Express sites will open in California over the next year in the cities of Bakersfield, Grenada, Newberry Springs, Olancha and Rosemond.
Overall, the company expects to open more than 20 franchised travel centers this year in Alabama, California, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin. The average TA Express site sits on 10.5 acres of land and contains parking for approximately 75 trucks.
2021 truck driving championships canceled
The American Trucking Associations Wednesday, Feb. 17, announced it will not hold the 2021 National Truck Driving Championships & National Step Van Driving Championships, which had been scheduled for Aug. 11-14 in Minneapolis. The event was also canceled last year because of the pandemic.
In a letter to ATA members, President and CEO Chris Spear said the decision to not hold the event was made after looking at various challenges, including travel bans, equipment donations, CDC restrictions and more.
"This decision is made out of an abundance of caution on behalf of the professional drivers, companies, and family members who organize, host and cheer the competitors," he added. "We believe this decision is necessary to maintain the integrity and atmosphere of a 'national' championship."
Last year's cancelation of the championship event was the first since World War II, according to Spear's letter.
The 2022 event is planned to be held in Indianapolis.