Hours of Service Regulations for Truckers Suspended Due to Hurricane Ida

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has suspended the hours of service regulations for truckers in 6 states.  The suspension lasts until the emergency situation in Hurricane Ida’s path has been declared over or until September 28, whichever comes first. The hours of service rule for truck drivers was first published in 2011 to ensure drivers of commercial or motor vehicles are taking breaks after 11-14 consecutive hours of driving.

What loads qualify for the suspension?

Truckers who are hauling fuels and other disaster relief loads can now provide these items to those in need without worrying about the typical regulations. The FMCSA stated the suspension applies to anyone hauling or providing direct assistance to emergency relief efforts. Along with fuel, the types of loads truckers are delivering to these areas consist of FEMA mobile homes, emergency equipment, supplies and personnel.

Which states have suspended hours of service regulations?

The states affected by the suspension include:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Tennessee
  • Texas

FMCSA has declared this regional emergency, “in response to Hurricane Ida, and the current and anticipated effects on people and property” directly related to the storm.  In addition, the following states have also declared a state of emergency due to the hurricane:

  • Connecticut
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia

Though it has not declared a state of emergency, Georgia has suspended hours of service regulations in the state as well.  Weight restrictions have also been loosened for trucks on Georgia’s highways in effort to help those affected by the hurricane.

Hurricane Ida has disrupted about 15 percent of the country’s oil production, causing gas prices to rise. It could be months before operations return to normal at some of the refineries hit hardest by the hurricane.

Tips for government contract hauling

It’s important for truckers to be patient when delivering loads to these areas. The delivery locations may be crowded and unorganized. However, helping out those in need by providing them with crucial supplies during tough times is rewarding. With potential victims in mind, the authorities are trying to be as prepared as possible when getting supplies to areas affected by the disaster. If you are a driver who is considering assisting with disaster relief, check out our factoring government contracts page.

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