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Fuel haulers get HoS exemption to ease fuel shortage

TORONTO, Ont. -- Fuel haulers are receiving a reprieve from Hours-of-Service regulations so they can help alleviate...

TORONTO, Ont. — Fuel haulers are receiving a reprieve from Hours-of-Service regulations so they can help alleviate the provinces fuel shortage.

Meanwhile, the Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) is still waiting on word from the province as to whether or not truckers will be allowed to use off-road diesel until fuel supplies return to normal.

The temporary exemption to HoS rules was announced yesterday for haulers transporting gasoline, diesel fuel or home heating oil. Those drivers are exempt from Ontario Regulation 555/06: 9(3), 11(2)(d)(iii) or 11(3)(d)(iii) in respect to the elapsed time accumulated; 13(1) in respect to the mandatory 24 hours off-duty time in the preceding 14 days; and 13(2) in respect to not driving after accumulating 70 hours on-duty time in a seven day period.

The commercial vehicle must be used to deliver gas, diesel or home heating fuel or returning from such a delivery to qualify for the exemption. The exemption will remain in place until March 15, the province announced.

It should help ensure that the fuel haulers dont run out of hours before making their deliveries, David Bradley, president of the OTA said of the exemption. We anticipate that there will be long line-ups at the fuel loading depots for the next while.

As of yesterday, the fuel shortage for truckers was showing no signs of easing, according to the OTA. In fact, one major fuel supplier told its customers the situation went from good to critical yesterday.

The OTA is still awaiting a response from the province regarding the use of railway-grade diesel fuel. Bradley said there are millions of litres of this higher-sulfur diesel available, and refineries can churn this fuel out quicker than ULSD. Bradley said legislation may be required before truckers get the green light to use this fuel, however.

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