CCJ Daily Dispatch, April 9: FMCSA expands, extends national hours of service waiver

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Updated Apr 10, 2020

Trucking news and briefs for Thursday, April 9, 2020: 

FMCSA extends national HOS emergency exemption
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced Wednesday that, because the COVID-19 emergency continues, the agency is extending the nationwide hours of service exemption until May 15. FMCSA’s notice also expands the conditions of the waiver to include liquefied gases that are used in refrigeration and cooling systems.

The previous declaration was set to expire Sunday, April 12. The exemption applies to carriers and drivers providing direct assistance for the emergency, including hauling supplies for essential services, such as medical care, and essential goods, such as food and fuel.

In addition to liquefied gases, loads under the exemption include:

  • Medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19.
  • Supplies related to preventing the spread of coronavirus, like masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfectants.
  • Food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centers and stores.
  • Precursor raw materials like paper, plastic or alcohol
  • Equipment, supplies and persons meant to provide temporary housing and quarantine facilities.
  • Personnel to provide medical or other emergency services.

Roadmaster paying drivers COVID-19 bonuses
The Roadmaster Group, which is headquartered in Phoenix, announced it is paying its company drivers and owner-operators a “special temporary COVID-19 relief appreciation pay.”

Most company over-the-road, regional, team and solo drivers will receive a 5 cents-per-mile boost. Local drivers will also receive an additional $20 a day. The company says owner-operators will receive an additional 2% on standard contract revenue share.

The Roadmaster Group includes Tri-State, Roadmaster Specialized and AATCO, and delivers specialized high-security cargo. It’s part of the Daseke Group.

Howes launches Hall of Fame, inducts first member
Lubricants and additives developer Howes has launched the Howes Hall of Fame, which will honor the trucking and agriculture industries. The company says its goal is to recognize “great achievements and contributions across a broad spectrum of categories.” The Hall of Fame launched this year to celebrate Howes’ 100th year in business.

This week, Howes announced its first Hall of Fame inductee – Women in Trucking President and CEO Ellen Voie. She founded the nonprofit organization in 2007 to promote the employment of women in the trucking industry, to remove obstacles that might keep them from succeeding in trucking and to celebrate the successes of its members.

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“Howes is delighted to acknowledge Ellen’s great work and the equally impressive efforts of Women in Trucking and the profound impact they have had on the industry,” the company said in a press release.

Drivewyze adds ‘open and closed’ alerts for Florida rest areas
Drivewyze announced Wednesday it is now providing “open and closed” alerts for Florida’s 65 rest areas and welcome centers to help truck drivers find available parking during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Florida alerts were activated last week, joining Pennsylvania rest area alerts that went live on March 24. Drivewyze Safety Notification alerts are available and free to fleets subscribed to the Drivewyze PreClear weigh station bypass service.

Drivers will see notifications around 25 miles out from a rest area, then again at roughly five miles out.