FMCSA Emergency Declaration – What Fleet Managers And Truck Drivers Need To Know

FMCSA Emergency Declaration – What Fleet Managers And Truck Drivers Need To Know

When Matrack called to check on our customers due to the on-going pandemic, several casual discussions led to the leeway that truck drivers on the fore front are being granted. To which, most fleet managers/owners and truck drivers themselves were found to be caught in a perplexity regarding the FMCSA response and the emergency declaration regulations.  With an urge to ensure proper guidance to carry out operations during this catastrophe, Matrack therefore decided to put together garnered information relevant to the FMCSA emergency declaration. In this blog you can understand;

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) set forth a 50 state emergency declaration in response to the Novel Corona virus pandemic in an attempt to ease out the pressure building up on motor carriers and drivers that directly assist the current situation. The declaration has been designed to render temporary relief from parts 390 through 399 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR). However, the emergency declaration not only brought about more confusion than clarity, but also demanded an expansion to exemptions to suit the predicament.

The FMCSA therefore expanded the declaration first on the 18th of March and again on the 8th of April after its original declaration that was announced on the 13th of March 2020. Despite amendments made to the original emergency declaration, motor carriers and drivers were still puzzled with ample confusion about what exactly is included and exempted in the temporary expansion.

To clear the opacity let us first understand the expansion owing to the emergency declaration.

As a fleet owner/manager, it is indeed important to stay in line with the FMCSA rules and regulations that continue to change in order to suit the pandemic situation.

FMCSA Emergency Declaration for Fleets

As maintaining a record is not compulsory now, drivers wondered what they could do about the ELD installed in their vehicle when it comes to accounting for the miles driven. If you have a Matrack ELD installed to make your fleet operations simpler, here are a few options for your vehicles;

  1. Drivers from your fleet could use the “authorized personal use” (personal conveyance) function that our ELDs house, in order to record time spent providing direct assistance under the exemption. This would put the driver on “off duty” mode. This particular ELD feature also demands a note added for having chosen the option.
  2. Drivers could also use the normal mode on the Matrack ELD and put a note for the direct assistance related extra hours.
  3. Drivers could simply turn off the Matrack ELD in the vehicle.

Loopholes in the Emergency Declaration

As the expanded declaration has put an exemption on precursor raw material, it is extremely important that fleets and carriers understand the detailing behind this regulation.

As the amendments cleared out a lot of the building confusion, there are still a few regulations that are applicable but are not mentioned anywhere in the emergency declaration.

Missing regulations of the Emergency Declaration

The FMCSA is working closely with states to ensure adequate parking and other facilities for truck drivers.

It is important to note that emergency declarations may differ between two different states. It would be wise to also check yours and the state’s, you are travelling to, websites to understand how much of the declaration, are the respective states complying with. You could find this information here.

 “It is extremely important that drivers and motor carriers do an extensive research on informative websites like Matrack to be doubly sure of the FMCSA regulations and gain a deeper insight to the temporary expansion and exemptions” says Cam Smith, VP at Matrack. “Constant changes in the FMCSA regulations are bound to be part of the pandemic situation. We promise to keep our customers updated.” he added.

For any assistance with COVID-19 updates for fleets you could visit us at MatrackInc

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