‘Hours of Service’ waiver extended for truckers carrying water, livestock feed to battle ND’s drought

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FMCSA grants another extension for hours of service waiver for haulers of water and livestock feed


The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has granted Governor Doug Burgum’s request for another extension of the “hours of service” waiver for drivers of commercial vehicles transporting water and livestock feed to help North Dakota livestock producers affected by ongoing drought conditions.

“Hours of service” refers to the maximum amount of time drivers are permitted to be on duty including driving time, and specifies the number and length of rest periods, to help ensure that drivers stay awake and alert.

For example, drivers transporting property may drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty.

The waiver temporarily lifts such time restrictions.

Burgum first granted a similar 30-day waiver in an executive order Sept. 22, and the federal motor carrier administration extended the waiver through Nov. 23.

Under the new extension, the waiver will remain in effect through Dec. 24 or until the end of the emergency, whichever is earlier.

In a letter Tuesday, FMCSA Regional Field Administrator Scott Hernandez explained that the extension “provides regulatory relief for commercial motor vehicle operations while providing direct assistance supporting emergency relief efforts transporting water and livestock feed including hay into the State of North Dakota, or providing other assistance in the form of emergency services during the drought emergency in the State of North Dakota.”

Today’s U.S. Drought Monitor report shows 9 percent of North Dakota remains in extreme drought, mostly in the northwest corner, while 33 percent is in severe drought, 30 percent is in moderate drought and 21 percent is rated as abnormally dry.

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