COVID-19 Update: FMCSA Hours of Service waiver extended

Virginia opens up scales to parking

The Hours of Service (HOS) waiver handed down by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) last month at the start of the COVID-19 crisis has been extended, the agency announced on April 8.

The waiver was set to expire April 12 or at the declaration of the end of the national emergency declared by President Trump. With April 12 just a few days away, and the emergency declaration still in place, the extension of the order was necessary to continue the HOS waiver.

One expansion of the waiver was implemented in the latest FMCSA declaration – the waiver now applies to the transportation of liquified gases used in refrigeration or cooling systems.

The other major provisions of the waiver stay in place. It will run through May 15.

It covers a long list of products, including medical supplies, food/paper products/other groceries “for emergency restocking of distribution centers or stores; the materials needed to make those things; fuel; people necessary to deal with the pandemic; and other equipment needed for the same.” 

The exemption does not cover “routine commercial deliveries.” The FMCSA extension also reiterated earlier clarification that the waiver does not apply to “mixed loads with a nominal quantity of qualifying emergency relief added to obtain the benefits of this emergency declaration.”

The waiver continues to require drivers be given a 10-hour break following the completion of a delivery. 

– Parking just got a little easier in Virginia. The commonwealth said it would allow drivers to park at any of its 10 weigh stations, which are closed until at least April 23. The order from the Virginia Department of Transportation says rest parking is available to drivers “transporting essential goods.” The weigh stations include three on interstate 81; three on interstate 95; and one each on interstate 77, interstate 64, state route 11, state route 13 and state route 58.