President Trump declares a national emergency due to the spread of coronavirus disease. In this emergency, trucks form a critical part of moving goods from one place to another. Therefore, the drivers transporting relief products are exempt to follow FMCSA Part 390-399 regulations. This decision is made to help impacted areas to ensure the safety of their residents.
Fleet operations that are exempted from HOS rules
This suspension covers motor carrier operations providing direct help in relief efforts like:
- Transportation of hand sanitizers, masks, disinfectants, soaps, and other sanitation services to prevent the spread of COVID-19
- Hauling medical equipment required for testing and diagnosing COVID-19 and its treatment.
- Supplying Food items for restocking stores
- Moving infected individuals as designated by federal authorities for isolation or quarantine purposes.
- Transporting equipment required to house quarantine services that facilitate persons against COVID-19.
- Delivering other emergency services providing medical aid.
[Note: Direct assistance does not include operations like regular commercial deliveries, mixed transportation of medical emergency supplies along with other types of equipment that are not in support of relief against COVID-19]
How a driver can manage emergency suspension operations through “Hutch ELD”?
This declaration will remain in effect till April 2020, or termination of emergency whatsoever comes first and the drivers who are directly assisting in relief operations need to just add a comment in their e-log while creating an event. A fleet manager should also keep track of drivers who are transporting assistance loads.
Once the driver has completed the transportation of medical aid services, he/she should take at least 10 hours off-duty and for transporting passengers he/she should get a minimum of 8-hours off-duty.
For more information, visit the official website of FMCSA.
What motor carriers can do to keep their drivers healthy and decrease the risk factors of this chronic disease?
COVID-19 cases continue to rise across countries and most of the businesses are realizing the critical impact of it. As per the government saying, social distancing or work from home may decrease the spread of this disease. But when it comes to truck drivers, this practice cannot be implemented because drivers are the only individuals who are meeting the immediate needs like medical aid and food restocking for people. Hence, the Health and safety of a driver is integral to a fleet business. Make sure your drivers stay healthy by encouraging them to follow below practices that curb the spread of this disease.
- Wash or sanitize your hands frequently specifically after getting in contact with others to prevent the spread of germs.
- Always keep your truck cab neat and clean using disinfecting wipes to wipe off germs from touched surfaces.
- Always cover your mouth while surrounding others especially at gas stations, truck stops, etc.
- Drink a lot of hot water to stay hydrated.
- Try eating healthy and home-made food. Store a healthy food item that goes a long way in your journey.
- Always prefer to do at least a 15-minute walk during your break period.