Helping In The Time Of Coronavirus: FMCSA Waives Requirements For Truck Drivers Participating In Relief Efforts

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Changes are being made to the way truck drivers deliver their goods.

Federal law states commercial drivers only have 14 hours to complete a job. Eleven of those hours are allotted for driving. The rest of the time is used to load and unload their pallets.

When that clock runs out drivers are required to pull over for a 10-hour break with no exceptions, regardless of how far away they were from their final destination.

These times are heavily monitored by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

However, as of this month, drivers providing relief efforts for COVID-19 are exempt from these hours of service, according to the FMCSA. This was part of President Trump’s Emergency Declaration.

This includes trucks with food and medical equipment. No mixed loads containing essential and non-essential items are considered qualified. Even trucks carrying local, state, and federal authorities for disaster relief are included in these changes.

This also means more toilet paper is on the way.

Jerome Gordon, who hauls loads for Walmart tells KDKA, there are almost 50 truckloads being hauled across the area on a daily basis.

“They definitely got a lot of toilet paper coming. I’ll promise you that,” said Gordon.

These amendments to the hours of service are effective until April 12 or until the emergency declaration gets lifted, the FMCSA said.