The FMCSA extended Hours of Service waivers again into 2022

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Operating a successful commercial transportation company is about much more than just getting commodities from point A to point B for your clients. You have to locate, hire and retain the right talent, maintain a fleet of roadworthy vehicles and comply with all federal and state transportation regulations along the way.

Many of the rules that apply to commercial transportation companies aim to keep the public safe. Limiting behavior in commercial drivers that would contribute to crashes drives many of the federal policies about commercial transportation.

For example, commercial drivers are subject to stricter rules about their blood alcohol concentration and even the federal rule against texting while driving that does not apply to people in smaller vehicles. There are also Hours of Service rules that force drivers to stop for the day or even for the week. Depending on what goods you transport, there may be an Hours of Service waiver that applies to some of your shipments.

Hours of Service waivers can help you get materials moved

Unfortunately, it is difficult to keep the country supplied with a broad array of materials and goods with strict limitations on how long a driver can stay behind the wheel in one day or even over the course of a week. These limitations combined with current supply chain issues could mean that some communities are left without necessary goods.

To combat delays in resupply, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has temporarily lifted hours of service rules for certain drivers. Among the items that may currently qualify a driver for an Hours of Service exemption include:

  • livestock and livestock feed
  • medical supplies
  • sanitation and community safety supplies
  • food and paper products
  • gasoline and other fuels

These rules may also apply to drivers transporting skilled professionals in some scenarios. 

Tracking employee productivity and their loads helps you prove compliance

Even law-abiding companies could find themselves accused of misconduct. Hours of Service violations could be expensive for your company, which is why it is crucial that you understand how the rules currently apply and if the load someone has in their vehicle allows them to stay on the road for longer than usual.

Ensuring compliance with transportation laws can help you make your commercial trucking company a profitable business.

It’s vital to have a law firm with experience in transportation law on your side to help protect your business. Contact us to see how we can help.