In the last week of April 2021, multiple trade groups have reached out to the FMCSA urging the administration for regulatory relief for fuel hauling truck drivers.
This Wednesday, a collective of national trade groups representing truck stops, convenience stores, and gas stations submitted a joint letter to Meera Joshi, FMCSA Acting Administrator, in which they ask for the HOS waiver to include regulatory relief to drivers hauling certain supplies.
The HOS waiver itself was introduced back in March 2020 and was renewed on a monthly basis, with the most recent extension set to expire May 31, 2021.
Regarding the organizations that signed the letter include:
- The National Association of Truckstop Operators,
- Energy Marketers of America,
- Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America,
- The National Association of Convenience Stores.
The HOS Waver so far has been amended to include and exclude various goods from the exemption, with the latest update including:
- Livestock feed,
- Medical supplies and equipment,
- Safety and sanitation supplies,
- Food, paper products, and groceries
The letter addresses the fact that the truck driver shortage is about to have a huge impact on the economy,
“There are fewer drivers available due to illness and quarantine. Fewer candidates have been attending training schools because of limited seating capacity from social distancing. As a result, driver schools are graduating 30% to 40% fewer drivers, resulting in an even more depressed labor pool.” was in the joint letter.
“The COVID-19 crisis has shown the necessity of the HOS waiver for the delivery of fuel as indispensable to supporting public health and the infrastructure of this country. Without access to fuel, manufacturers would be unable to provide supplies to hospitals, businesses, and homes. Moreover, workers at essential businesses—including first responders and hospital workers—need fuel to get to their jobs. And, emergency response vehicles too need uninhibited access to fuel.
FMCSA should reestablish the transportation of fuel as an essential service under the HOS waiver for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency so that truckers can deliver fuel quickly to the sectors and people that depend on it most. Without the HOS waiver, the country’s infrastructure will remain at risk of fuel supply disruptions, and the worsening effects of the pandemic on the driver shortage will persist.”