Question regarding COVID-19 exemption letters

Discussion in 'Motor Carrier Questions - The Inside Scoop' started by Almalexiah, May 16, 2021.

  1. Almalexiah

    Almalexiah Bobtail Member

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    Does any one know for sure if COVID-19 exemption letters are only issued by the shipper? Or can carriers issue them as well? I think my company is doing some very shady stuff.
     
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  3. JonJon78

    JonJon78 Road Train Member

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    Can you provide more details? I've never heard of exemption letters....
     
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  4. Almalexiah

    Almalexiah Bobtail Member

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    So back in March of last year I think it was when COVID hit they came up with a state of emergency act or rule whatever you want to call it where truckers who are hauling emergency medical supplies and raw materials for making medical supplies were given a letter stating they were exempt from hours of service meaning they can PC the entire way to the receiver and not get in trouble. Then they added paper goods and food into that. I haul reefer and I ultimately shouldn’t have even picked up this load. But I picked up this load in Colorado at 9pm May 14th and was expected to take this to South Portland Maine by May 17th by 8am. That’s a team run and they knew there is no possible chance I could make that load legally and I only had 5hrs left on my 70hr clock so they issued me a Covid exemption letter so I could PC all the way there. I’d have to drive like 17hrs for 2 days straight in order to make it on time and I’m not going to do that. So I’m wondering do I stop driving until my 70hr clock resets so I can drive this legally? I don’t want put out of service for logs but I don’t really want to get fired either. I’m hauling organic milk. Pretty sure that’s not going to count as an exempt load.
     
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  5. '88K100

    '88K100 Medium Load Member

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    Dont do anything that is questionable or you think illegal. The company will throw you under the bus in a heartbeat if you get busted. You are captain of your ship and make all the calls as to whether you run or not.
     
  6. ZVar

    ZVar Road Train Member

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    Only the shipper can call it exempt as only the shipper knows if it meets the criteria.
    Here are a couple snippets from the declaration:

    Expansion and Extension of the Modified Emergency Declaration No. 2020-002 Under 49 CFR § 390.25 (February 17, 2021) | FMCSA

    The extension of the expanded modified Emergency Declaration No. 2020-002 provides regulatory relief for commercial motor vehicle operations providing direct assistance in support of emergency relief efforts related to COVID-19 and is limited to transportation of
    (5) food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centers or stores. Direct assistance does not include routine commercial deliveries,

    Basically only the shipper knows if the load is for the emergency restocking. I have a hard time believing that in May 2021 any food product is for emergency relief. About all I could see qualifying is vaccine related and other medical shipments.
     
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  7. Almalexiah

    Almalexiah Bobtail Member

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    Thank you for clearing this up cause that’s what I thought was the case. I’m hauling like cartons of organic milk and the shipper didn’t give me the Covid-19 letter my company emailed it to me.
     
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  8. JohnBoy

    JohnBoy Road Train Member

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    My understanding is that the letter comes from the shipper, attached to your BOL. My company told us over the winter that anything declared as exempt must be handled by the shipper, then verified by the trucking company.
     
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  9. Wasted Thyme

    Wasted Thyme Road Train Member

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    I'd look at the letter, too. Even though your company sent it to you. It could be a letter from the shipper. So take a closer look. If its not from XYZ shipper. Then I'd CYA. If it is from them. Then it might be legit.
     
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  10. jmz

    jmz Heavy Load Member

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    Pretty sure you’re not supposed to PC the whole way, even if exempt. That’s falsifying your logs.
     
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  11. roundhouse

    roundhouse Medium Load Member

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    That’s a trip I would have turned down.

    because it can’t be done legally at all.
    The emergency exemption letter is basically for a couple of hours here and there. not to run two days on PC when you have a load.

    If you get caught the company will act like they know nothing about it , and it’s your CDL that will take the hit.
    And as mentioned running PC with cargo or driving to pickup up cargo is falsified logs.
    If you are involved in an accident and the dot and lawyers get out the microscope ,
    You’re looking at jail time, a emailed letter isn’t going to help at all .
     
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