CCJ Daily Dispatch, Sept. 14: FMCSA extends COVID emergency declaration through December

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Trucking news and briefs for Monday, Sept. 14, 2020:

FMCSA extends COVID-19 emergency declaration through end of year
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on Friday announced it is extending its COVID-19 emergency declaration, which suspends hours of service regulations for certain haulers, through Dec. 31.

The declaration was issued following President Trump’s declaration of national emergency in March. It has been extended several times and was most recently set to expire Sept. 14. The suspension of Parts 390 through 399 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations applies to the transportation of the following:

  • Livestock and livestock feed
  • Medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19
  • Supplies and equipment necessary for community safety, sanitation and prevention of community transmission of COVID-19, such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfectants
  • Food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centers or stores

FMCSA says the waiver does not cover “routine commercial deliveries, including mixed loads with a nominal quantity of qualifying emergency relief added to obtain the benefits of this emergency declaration.”

Hours regs suspended for West Coast wildfire relief haulers
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on Thursday issued an emergency declaration for California, Oregon and Washington due to wildfires sweeping across the region. The declaration suspends hours of service regulations for drivers and carriers providing direct assistance to the wildfire emergency in the three states.

The declaration includes drivers hauling supplies, goods, equipment and fuel into and within the states, as well as drivers providing other assistance in the form of emergency services.

The waiver is effective immediately through the duration of the emergency or until 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on Oct. 19, whichever is sooner.

Paccar recalls over 1,000 KW, Peterbilt trucks
Paccar announced last week it is recalling more than 1,000 Peterbilt and Kenworth trucks equipped with Watson and Chalin steerable lift axle suspension systems, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration documents.

The recall affects approximately 1,097 model year 2020-2021 Peterbilt 348, 365, 367, 389, 520, 567 and Kenworth T800, T880, W900, W990 trucks.

According to the recall, the axles in affected trucks may have lower rear pivot bolts that are not long enough to sufficiently engage the locking feature of the corresponding nuts. The short screws could cause the hardware to separate from the suspension system and become road hazards.

Paccar will notify owners, and dealers will inspect suspect chassis and replace the pivot bolts if necessary. Owners can contact Kenworth customer service at 1-425-828-5888 with recall number 20KWC or Peterbilt customer service at 1-940-591-4220 with recall number 20PBE. NHTSA’s recall number is 20V-506.

Kenworth’s Class 6 and 7 battery-electric trucks available for order
Kenworth’s Class 6 K270E and Class 7 K370E battery-electric trucks are now available to order from Kenworth dealers in the U.S. and Canada.

The electric powertrain is available with high-density battery packs of 141kWh and 282kWh that deliver up to 100- and 200-mile range, respectively. The trucks use a DC fast-charging system capable of a fast recharge in as quick as one hour. End-of-shift and overnight AC charging is also offered.

Kenworth battery-electric vehicles offer two direct-drive motors rated at 355 hp and 469 hp, depending on your application. This design provides enough torque to start the load from a stop on a 20% grade and the power to maintain 40 mph on a 6% grade while fully loaded. Regenerative braking in stop-and-go city conditions recharges the batteries and extends brake life.

Available wheelbases offered are 206 inches (24-foot box bodies), 218 inches (26-foot box bodies) and 274 inches (30-foot box bodies).