There were many updates to the trucking industry in the previous week. Some are continuations of regulatory changes, some were related to operating expenses, and some were updates regarding drivers’ access to protective equipment. In this article, we’ll provide a review of these items and what carriers can expect for the second quarter of 2020.

Regulatory Updates

There have been many Hours of Service emergency exemptions issued in the past weeks for drivers transporting relief loads to support efforts to combat COVID-19. The emergency declaration has been extended as the pandemic continues.

Of specific note, drivers who are performing emergency transportation do not need to ke a 34-hour restart before they go back to normal operation. What the FMCSA wants drivers to do in the circumstance is to take a 10-hour break after the emergency hauling is done. Drivers must also make sure that when they resume standard hours of operation, they will not be in violation of the 60/70 hours in 7/8 days cumulative limits. Note that the emergency haul’s hours do not count toward the calculation.

For the specific details on the HOS emergency rules and further regulatory exemptions, refer to the FMCSA’s website.

Trucking Insurance

In the last week, various insurance companies have temporarily offered payment deferrals and issues moratoriums on policy cancellations in response to the pandemic. Insurers are allowing carrier companies to suspend their policies or defer premium payment temporarily if they agree to not operate during the designated time frame. These measures will prevent cancellations for nonpayment of premiums. And, carriers must be aware that other factors, such as a change in risk type can still result in the cancellation of coverage, as in normal circumstances. For the insurance industry’s economy, these deferrals and freeze on cancellations is predicted to have a long-lasting impact.

For more information related to this news release, check out Overdrive’s Owner Operator-Focused Article, and contact your insurance provider to discuss your eligibility and details.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

The OOIDA has released some great news that approximately 800,000 masks will be distributed at rest areas across the nation, for FREE.

This momentous effort is coordinated by the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the Department of Transportation. It comes from OOIDA’s request to create a distribution network that is easy to access for drivers who are continuing to work. In addition, these agencies are working on getting commercial operators’ easy access to other protective equipment, including hand sanitizer and gloves, along with additional COVID-19 testing.

The masks are planned to be distributed on high-truck-volume lanes at various rest area locations:

  • Texas. Northbound on I-35 at mile marker 362A about 5 miles south of Hillsboro.
  • California. Northbound on I-5 in Los Angeles.
  • Georgia. Southbound on I-75, mile marker 179 just north of Macon.
  • Illinois. Eastbound on I-80/I-294 at mile marker 1 in Chicago.
  • Nebraska. Westbound on I-80 at mile marker 431 near Omaha.
  • New York. Northbound on I-87 at mile marker 33, just north of New York City.

So, while a date of distribution has not been released, news should be coming early next week of where and when the masks will be distributed. For now, check out Landline’s News Release on PPE; we will share any breaking news as to where you will be able to access masks as soon as it happens.

Q2 2020 Outlook

Times are stressful and for many owner-operators and small carrier fleets, they want to know what the future holds. Freight volumes and rates are a real concern right now. According to DAT’s Trendline Report, spot rates continue to fall for vans, reefers, and flatbeds, and declining load-to-truck ratios signal that a rebound is not happening just yet. The weak freight market reflects the economic malaise due to coronavirus-related shutdowns and historically low oil prices. So, what will the 2nd quarter of 2020 hold? It’s hard to say, but many industry experts say that until the first wave of the pandemic is behind us, things will remain uncertain.

Trucking Industry Update & Outlook for 2020 was last modified: by