COVID-19 and Trucking

COVID-19 and Trucking: Industry News for March 30

Selected COVID-19 and trucking industry news that may impact your business.

As of March 30, 2020:

The Latest FMCSA Action – Another FMCSA Waiver Issued

Scopelitis Transportation Consulting

On Saturday, March 28, 2020, FMCSA issued  a 3-month CDL-related waiver to prevent a possible shortage of CMV drivers from becoming a transportation emergency, and to continue the ability of intrastate and interstate CDL and Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP) holders to transport goods in response to the COVID-19 emergency.

In general, the waiver makes it easier for CLP drivers to operate a CMV in cases where the SDLA is not available to issue a CDL and gives states additional leeway to test CLP holders whose base-license from another state.

Specifically, the waiver:

  1. Allows CLP holders to operate a CMV in intra- or interstate commerce when the accompanying CDL holder, with the proper class and endorsements, is in the sleeper berth of the cab, instead of in the jump seat. To be eligible, the CLP holder must have evidence from the testing jurisdiction, including an authorized third-party tester, that they passed the CDL skills test and have a valid CLP and medical certificate. FMCSA’s March 24, 2020 waiver, and related enforcement notice, applies if the CLP or medical certificate expired on or after March 1, 2020.
  2. Permits states to administer CDL skills tests to CLP holders domiciled in other states.

The waiver does not apply to the operations of vehicles requiring the double/triple, passenger, tank, hazmat, or school bus endorsements. Drivers otherwise disqualified to drive or declared an imminent hazard are not eligible for the waiver. If a driver using the waiver is involved in an accident, the carrier must notify FMCSA within 5 days, in accordance to the terms of the waiver.

This waiver is effective March 28, 2020 and expires either on June 30, 2020, or the revocation of the President’s declaration of national emergency under 42 U.S.C. § 5191(b) related to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), whichever is sooner.

FMCSA also stated in its waiver that it will not take an enforcement against action CLP holders for operation, or against motor carriers for allowing the operation, of a CMV without a CDL holder present in the front seat of the vehicle if the CLP driver is in possession of evidence from the testing jurisdiction, including an authorized third-party tester, that the CLP holder has passed the CDL driving skills test, and, unless the FMCSA waiver issued on March 24, 2020 applies, has a valid non-CDL driver’s license, CLP and medical certificate.

FMCSA Offers More Answers to Questions on COVID-19 Hours of Service Exemption

HDT Truckinginfo

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a second installment to frequently asked questions regarding the nationwide emergency hours-of-service exemption for truck drivers hauling loads related to the COVID-19 corinavirus pandemic. Read More

TMC eyeing recommended practice update to combat coronavirus in truck cabs


The Technology and Maintenance Council (TMC) S.4 Cab & Controls Study Group is charged with helping “improve the design and maintenance of cab components and systems to enhance the driver’s ability to properly, comfortably and economically operate highway vehicles,” but they just might play a front-line role in keeping the trucking industry safe from the COVID-19 coronavirus. Read More

COVID-19 springs driver misclassification traps for carriers — here’s how to avoid them


The legal landscape is shifting rapidly with emergency declaration, regulatory suspensions and shelter-in-place orders. However, the federal, state and local rules that govern classification of workers—those who are employees and those who are independent contractors, including owner-operators—have not shifted. Read More

Food Deals for Truckers During the Coronavirus Crisis

Transport Topics

Many retailers are showing their support for truck drivers during the coronavirus pandemic by offering specials or making it easier for them to visit their establishment. The International Franchise Association maintains a regularly updated page of services. Read More

CDC says trucks still allowed to deliver in NYC


Though New York City, which has seen a severe outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus cases over the past week, has issued mandatory quarantine orders for residents, the Centers for Disease Control says truckers delivering supplies and food are allowed to enter the city and make deliveries. CDC says these shipments are “desperately needed for New York residents to continue their daily lives and respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.” Read More

Volumes still robust but may have peaked


Peak domestic freight volumes are likely behind us. For two straight days, the outbound tender volume index has declined a total of 3%. However, the truckload volume is still well above any other time in the index’s history and has risen 3% on a week-over-week basis. Read More

‘There’s no getting around this’: Spot market surge masks freight economy’s dire outlook


Though pockets of the trucking industry are currently benefitting from the spot market load rush to restock retailers and grocers, steep declines in freight demand loom – especially in the coming April-June quarter – as the effects of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak and the corresponding economic stop has frozen nearly all prominent freight sectors. Read More

Scroll to Top