Transportation lawyer, podcaster, risk consultant and public speaker, Cassandra Gaines recently released a short article titled “Cassandra’s HOS Waiver Cheat Sheet“ sponsored by Lean Staffing Solution’s on LinkedIn laying out some crucial rules all carriers (and brokers) should follow in order to keep themselves out of hot water when pulling under an Hours of Service waiver which was recently expanded by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration as a response to The National Emergency Disaster Declaration by the President.
The HOS “waiver” may apply if you follow these rules.
Rule #1: Put safety first. Don’t drive tired. If you get into an accident, the “waiver” is not a defense to accident-related litigation.
Rule #2: 10% or more of the trailer must be qualifying goods, which are:
- Supplies to treat/test COVID-19 or to isolate patients.
- Preventative goods, like masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfectants.
- Emergency restocking of grocery goods to stores and distribution centers.
- Material to make grocery goods (such as Kimberly Clark, Georgia-Pacific, Tyson Foods, JBS USA, SYSCO etc.)
- Material to make masks, gloves, sanitizers (such as 3M, Prestige Ameritech, Ansell, Cypress, Purell, Germ-X, Wet Ones etc.).
Rule #3: No routine shipments. For example, the shipment you run every Monday at 9am doesn’t count.
Rule #4: Get that sh*t in writing! The commodities must be clear (no FAK, Gen Merch etc.) and the purpose must be clear (“emergency restocking” “COVID-19 related” etc.). If you’re defending a HOS violation, you need that documentation.
Rule #5: Take a 10-hour break when you’re done. So, no balls to the wall running loads all day and night.
Additional information from Cassandra:
I understand that states are also waiving various regulations such as weight restrictions and permit requirements. Be👏🏼careful carriers 👏🏼 brokers 👏🏼and shippers! Try your hardest not to violate the regulations at all. It’s not worth the legal fees you will have to spend defending yourself against an accident-related litigation and it’s not worth hurting someone or yourself. The best thing to do is simply ignore this “waiver.”
🛑 To my brokers out there that I deeply love…. 🛑 Do not tell drivers/carriers to violate the HOS. Stay out of that discussion. Send them this article or my posts but do not tell them that it is ok to violate the regulations.
Cassandra is a risk consultant for More Freight More Problems, LLC a company dedicated to solving transportation providers’ freight problems in an easy and efficient manner. Her clients hire her to identify their major risks and where they are losing money; thereafter, she trains her clients how to resolve those issues and stop losing profit. Cassandra has been in the transportation her entire career and has worked for providers across the country helping them solve problems related to contracts, cargo claims, accidents, lawsuits, carrier selection, and daily fires. Email Cassandra at Admin@morefreightmoreproblems.com and ask her for more details on her training programs.
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This is reprinted with permission from Cassandra Gaines