Hours regs waived for certain fuel haulers in wake of Colonial Pipeline cyberattack

Trucking news and briefs for Monday, May 10, 2021:

Hours regs waived for fuel haulers in Southeast, East Coast
Following a cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline company that has temporarily shut down much of the company’s operations, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued an hours of service waiver for drivers hauling fuel throughout Colonial’s market.

The waiver applies to those transporting gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and other refined petroleum products to Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

[Related: Rising oil prices -- for this dry bulk hauler, there's far less fear than opportunity]

The waiver applies when drivers are providing direct assistance supporting emergency relief efforts hauling the fuels in the affected states. Direct assistance ends when a driver or commercial vehicle is used in interstate commerce to transport cargo or provide services not in support of emergency relief efforts related to the shortages of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and other refined petroleum products due to the shutdown, partial shutdown, and/or manual operation of the Colonial Pipeline system in the covered states, or when the motor carrier dispatches a driver or vehicle to another location to begin operations in commerce.

Colonial Pipeline is the largest refined products pipeline in the U.S., transporting more than 100 million gallons or 2.5 million barrels per day. Colonial transports approximately 45% of all fuel consumed on the East Coast, the company says.

"We continue to evaluate product inventory in storage tanks at our facilities and others along our system and are working with our shippers to move this product to terminals for local delivery," Colonial said in its Monday update. "Actions taken by the federal government to issue a temporary hours of service exemption for motor carriers and drivers transporting refined products across Colonial’s footprint should help alleviate local supply disruptions and we thank our government partners for their assistance in resolving this matter."

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[Related: Independents worry fuel prices will keep rising]

According to Colonial’s update Sunday evening, its four main pipelines remain offline, but some of its smaller lateral lines between terminals and delivery points are now operational.

“We are in the process of restoring service to other laterals and will bring our full system back online only when we believe it is safe to do so, and in full compliance with the approval of all federal regulations,” Colonial said.

The pipeline shutdown comes at a time when the fuel hauling industry is already facing driver shortages and expecting a significant increase in demand as the summer travel months approach. Oil prices were already expected to rise in the coming months, as fuel prices topped the list of expenses owner-operators expected to increase the most this year, according to recent Overdrive research.

[Related: Fuel hauler groups petition FMCSA for hours of service waiver]

Educating the next generation of diesel techs  | The video above arrived with an announcement by Peterbilt Motors Company that it was continuing work with local schools through the more 400 Peterbilt dealer locations to promote medium and heavy duty truck and engine education in the classroom. Partnering with high schools and community colleges, the goal is for students to continue their education into a career as a diesel technician through the Peterbilt Technician Institute. Schools receive official Peterbilt training and access to technical information, which is integrated into their curriculum to prepare students for a career as a Peterbilt technician. The announcement follows a pilot program held at Dakota County Technical College with Allstate Peterbilt in Rosemount, Minnesota. Following on that success will be future classes at the high school level with Taylor High School in Taylor, Texas, in conjunction with the local Rush Peterbilt dealer. The video was made after a recent visit to Taylor High School highlighting what the program will look like with students and faculty in the fall.

Mack recalls refuse trucks for potential steering issue
Mack Trucks is recalling approximately 262 model year 2019-2020 Mack LR refuse trucks due to an insufficient amount of oil in the steering transfer case, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration documents.

The recall says the internal bearings could fail without sufficient lubrication, causing steering lock-up.

Dealers will replace the transfer case in the affected trucks for free. Owners can contact Mack customer service at 1-800-866-1177 with recall SC0424. NTHSA’s recall number is 21V-293.

Love's opens new store in eastern Tennessee
A new Love's Travel Stops location opened last week in Mosheim, Tennessee, off of I-81.

The new store offers 109 truck parking spaces, an Arby's restaurant to be opened at a later date, eight diesel bays, seven showers, a Speedco to be opened at a later date, and more.

The store is the company's 18th location in Tennessee.

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