- Michigan lifted seasonal weight restrictions on trucks on Sunday, becoming the latest state to ease rules to help with a demand crunch caused by the COVID-19 crisis.
- An official from Arizona said the state has not acted independently of the FMSCA, which suspended hours-of-service (HOS) regulations for truck companies delivering food, medicine and other goods needed during the COVID-19 crisis.
- But other states' DOTs are mulling changes to help truckers hit the road and fill depleted shelves. "We are meeting all the time" about the COVID-19 crisis, said Krista Sides of the Arkansas DOT, speaking to Transport Dive.
The FMCSA lifted its rule on hours of service on Friday if trucking companies and other carriers met criteria related to efforts to deliver food, medicine and supplies. That same day, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb suspended HOS for truck drivers delivering food, medicine and medical supplies. Missouri DOT allowed 10% more weight on trucks so long as they were delivering supplies needed for the crisis. On Saturday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott waived size and weight restrictions for commercial trucks.
Other state DOTs have taken notice. On Sunday, the Michigan DOT lifted its seasonal weight restrictions.
"Knowing the importance of getting food and other supplies to retailers during this time, we are taking steps to ensure carriers can make deliveries as quickly and efficiently as possible," said Paul Ajegba, Michigan DOT director, in a news release. Some states took action quicker than the FMCSA.
On Sunday, Colorado DOT allowed drivers to work two additional hours for on-duty and driving, allowing up to 13 hours driving time and on-duty time up to 16 hours, per day. Drivers can also increase overall driving limits by 10 hours over seven to eight days. The new rules last until March 29.
Gov. Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania declared a statewide state of emergency on March 6, and suspended HOS then. As with Michigan and the federal government's announcements, the rule suspension only applies to relief providers.
States that have taken action along with the FMCSA, so long as the trucks are assisting in COVID-19 relief efforts:
- Colorado: Drivers may have two additional hours for on-duty and driving, allowing up to 13 hours driving time and on-duty time up to 16 hours. Drivers may also increase overall driving limits by 10 hours over seven to eight days.
- Indiana: Suspended HOS.
- Michigan: Suspended seasonal weight restrictions.
- Missouri: Suspended weight restrictions.
- Pennsylvania: Suspended HOS.
- Texas: Suspended rules on oversized and overweight trucks. Suspended International Registration Plan vehicle registration. Suspended temporary registration rules as long as the truck is registered in another state.
This story was updated with Colorado exemptions.