HOS exemption for California wildfires

Discussion in 'Experienced Truckers' Advice' started by BryE, Nov 7, 2019.

  1. BryE

    BryE Light Load Member

    Feb 19, 2018
    I was thinking about this today wondering how that works?
    I'm not going there but if someone is or has done it before I was wondering when the exemption ends. As soon as you deliver then back to normal logging?
    Do you then have to add all the hours back at that time?
    If so it seems like you could be stuck somewhere hazardous and no time left to get away.
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  3. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

    Aug 28, 2011
    Henderson, NV & Orient
    Some of us were on HOS exemption during tornadoes and flooding in the Southeast. We were hauling bagged ice to the affected areas. We stayed on the exemption as long as we were under dispatch for the emergency, both loaded and empty. When the emergency was over we were dispatched back to the terminal still on exemption. At the terminal, we took a 34 hr. reset and hit the road back to normal logging.
  4. REO6205

    REO6205 Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

    Feb 15, 2014
    We do quite a bit of fire work and it's very seldom that we use an HOS exemption. As a rule there is a great deal of equipment available in the local area or in the general vicinity that can be called out so there's seldom a shortage that would require running super long hours.
    The exemption has to be issued for a specific fire and usually covers a specific area. Most of the hauling, whether it's fuel, or equipment, is fairly local and it's not difficult to stay in compliance with normal hours.
    There are times where a driver is required to stay with his truck on site. Usually in that case a relief driver will be brought in. We use some of our retired drivers for extra help during the season.
    When we do exceed the HOS we keep track of the hours and the reasons why. We've been DOT audited several times and we've never had a problem.
    Most LEOs are aware of what goes on during a fire and use their powers of discretion.
    As far as getting stuck somewhere in a dangerous situation, the trucks are very seldom right in front of the fire. There are staging areas and temporary supply points set up that are away from the fire path itself.
  5. BryE

    BryE Light Load Member

    Feb 19, 2018
    Thanks guys. Chinatown answered what I was curious about. I meant any disaster relief not just fires.
    I just saw a couple days ago on the news that FMCSA was suspending HOS for the California wildfires and made me wonder how it works.
    singlescrewshaker Thanks this.
  6. x1Heavy

    x1Heavy Road Train Member

    Mar 5, 2016
    White County, Arkansas
    Its very seldom.

    In 1994 we had military movements towards the ports specifically for Korea for about 12 weeks or so.

    Our dispatchers started loading us out of Depots which I had been into before with containers in the late 80's Summit York is one, Richmond was the other along with Aberdeen and Harrisburg. Most of that went to Charlestown. A little bit went into Baltimore for the USNavyreserve fleet ships that support the carriers etc. USNR Nitro to be specific for one.

    Then one day the father dear leader of the current korean dear leader had a heart attack. Dead.

    That afternoon we were back to hauling popcorn in cases on the floor.

    Ive had three bottles that night. Byebye payroll bye bye logs and everything. Back to hauling crap I did not give a #### about.

    Whats really interesting was from time to time you pull into a truckstop and see that half the place is got military iron like artillery on flatbeds and such. Go in and get dinner and watch movie with 50 people involved in hauling it.

    Silence. Not much talking. You did not talk about stuff out there. Not then.

    The last time we saw FEMA exempt trucks running without any logs at all were when a local town was destroyed by a outbreak of tornados and most of the 120 houses that were shredded, or thrown into the streets were dumped into fema dumps and taken to landfull. That took a few months. They pretty much drove until they passed out and got back going again.

    They did good work.

    And again after Vilonia was hit twice a few years ago. Killed some people then too. The last one did take some paint from the new concrete bypass freeway of US 64 on the south side. I don't know what kind of vacumn it needed to suck that paint off but it was something amazing.
  7. FlaSwampRat

    FlaSwampRat Road Train Member

    Jun 1, 2019
    Valrico FL
    I ran hos exempt when that hurricane was gonna wipe us off the map..you know the one that completely missed us lol. We ran for two days until we were tired and then took a 34 like @Chinatown did...then back to normal.
    x1Heavy and Chinatown Thank this.
  8. Biomagnum

    Biomagnum Light Load Member

    Jun 7, 2013
    I hauled a Timber Pro into CA for the fires last year. I stayed within my 11/14, but went over 70. Documented everything and did a reset when I was done and never had a problem.
  9. snowwy

    snowwy Road Train Member

    Jul 6, 2009
    Hos gets exempt in winter time too.

    People need heating oil for their houses.

    Something like that.

    In the northeast
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2019
    FlaSwampRat Thanks this.
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