Brrr! Truckers hauling heating oil, propane exempt in some states

By David Tanner, Land Line associate editor | 1/6/2014

Dangerously cold weather has prompted the FMCSA to exempt truckers hauling propane and heating oil in certain states from hours-of-service regulations.

Arkansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Vermont have declared a state of emergency because of winter temperatures, snowfall and shortages of propane or heating oil.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is coordinating with each of the affected states to allow truckers to haul propane or home heating oil in an emergency capacity.

To view the FMCSA’s website on emergency declarations, waivers, exemptions and permits, click here.

Below is a breakdown of current emergency declarations as of Monday, Jan. 6.

Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe issued an exemption for truckers to travel farther to secure propane for Arkansas customers. The declaration is in effect through Jan. 17.

Maine Gov. Paul LePage extended a previous state of emergency to last through Jan. 18. It allows truckers to travel farther to secure heating fuels. LePage said propane inventories in Maine are running 25 percent below normal.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick declared an emergency that exempts truckers who haul heating oil, propane and diesel fuel through Jan. 7.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s declaration exempts truckers hauling propane from hours of service through Jan. 10.

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton issued an exemption for propane haulers through Jan. 8.

The New Hampshire Department of Public Safety extended its declaration of emergency through Jan. 11. It exempts propane haulers from hours of service due to emergency conditions.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has issued two declarations. The first, an emergency declaration lasting through Jan. 11, exempts truckers hauling propane and heating fuel from hours of service. The second, which is a broader executive order affecting state emergency services, is in effect until further notice.

Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee issued a declaration that was to last until Jan. 5, but it states that the declaration will remain in effect until the emergency conditions subside. It exempts truckers hauling heating oil and propane.  

Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles has extended a previous emergency declaration through Jan. 13. It allows haulers of propane to be exempt from hours of service. “No motor carrier operating under the terms of this declaration shall require or allow a fatigued or ill driver to operate a motor vehicle,” the Vermont declaration states.

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