Fuel haulers seek COVID hours of service waiver

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Trucking news and briefs for Monday, May 3, 2021:

Groups petition FMCSA to add fuel haulers to COVID hours waiver
Several national organizations that advocate for truck stops, travel centers and convenience stores have gone public with their concerns over a perceived tanker driver shortage and are asking the federal government for some relief for drivers hauling fuel. At the same time, a major trucking trade association says the alleged shortage of drivers available to deliver fuel could lead to higher prices at the pump or even shortages of gasoline heading into the summer travel season.

On Wednesday, April 28, four major trade associations asked the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to issue a new hours of service waiver and include truckers delivering fuel. The current COVID-related hours waiver, which expires May 31, does not include fuel haulers.

In a letter to FMCSA Acting Administrator Meera Joshi, the National Association of Truckstop Operators, the National Association of Convenience Stores, the Energy Marketers of America, and the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America reiterated earlier claims that access to fuel is an essential part of the supply chain. They said this is especially true as the country continues to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

"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," the groups said. "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."

The letter goes on to call for FMCSA to “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.”

The letter from NATSO and the other fuel seller came just as a major trucking association's concerns about the driver shortage and its impact on the delivery of gasoline made headlines in the general-interest media.

Earlier this week CNN reported the National Tank Truck Carriers said that between 20% and 25% of the nation's tank trucks are sitting idle because there are no truckers to drive them.

Kenworth expands Paccar Powertrain branding
The growing lineup of Paccar Powertrain components offered in Kenworth heavy- and medium-duty trucks now have a new set of names.

The new naming convention is consistent for each powertrain component segment, follows a similar naming style as the Paccar MX and PX engines, and provides cohesive Paccar Powertrain product branding. 

The Paccar Powertrain products feature the Paccar MX-13, Paccar MX-11, Paccar PX-9 and Paccar PX-7 engines; Paccar TX-12 automated and Paccar TX-8 automatic transmissions; and Paccar DX-40 drive axle and Paccar FX-20 front axle.