CA in Second Phase of Reopening After COVID-19

As the spread of COVID-19 looks to be on a downward slope, states across the U.S. have begun to ease their social distancing restrictions, allowing people to head back outside, back to work, and back to doing some of their normal things, like eating at restaurants and retail shopping.

But one of the hardest hit states, California, is rolling out its own reopening plan, opting for multiple stages and a slow release to get the state back to normal.

In recently released guidelines, Gov. Gavin Newsom has introduced Phase 2 of California’s reopening efforts, focusing on dine-in restaurants, shopping malls, office buildings, and more. Some parts of the state are allowed to reopen with certain modifications as long as the county gives the go-ahead. Those sectors also include logistics, which is directly tied to the trucking industry.

At this point, only 18 of the state’s 58 counties have been approved by the state government to reopen. In order to be approved for further reopening, counties must prove they meet the following criteria:

  • No more than one new COVID-19 case per 10,000 residents in the past 14 days
  • Essential workers must have access to PPE
  • At least 15 contact tracers per 100,000 residents
  • Ability to temporarily house 15% of the county’s homeless population
  • Continue to monitor metrics to potentially re-enact restrictions

Regardless of where they open in the state, restaurants, schools, and shopping centers will have to follow strict rules to reduce the risk of spreading the virus any further.

CA Reopening and Logistics

The logistics sector is directly tied to trucking, as pallets of product need to be held in one location, loaded on a truck, then moved to another location. From one location to another, many different working hands will handle the product. Trucking professionals, while they may not directly come in contact with the product they haul, are advised to follow the same strict guidelines as logistics and warehouse workers who do.

Before participating in CA reopening orders, all warehouse facilities must:

  • Perform a detailed risk assessment and implement a site-specific protection plan
  • Train employees on how to limit the spread of COVID-19, including how to screen themselves for symptomsand stay home if they have them
  • Implement individual control measures and screenings
  • Implement disinfecting protocols
  • Implement physical distancing guidelines

For further guidance, the California Department of Public Health and Cal/OSHA released specific outlines. The Logistics and Warehouse Guidance outlines certain protocols to be included in a company’s worksite-specific written plan, like cleaning delivery vehicles and equipment before and after a delivery is made, providing sanitation materials during deliveries, inspecting deliveries, and performing disinfection measures where appropriate before storing goods in warehouses.

The guidelines also point to workers’ rights and expectations by highlighting the need to provide working time for workers to implement cleaning practices before and after shifts, minimizing transaction time between warehouse employees and transportation employees, such as truckers, staggering shifts and break times, and installing spacial barriers to aid in social distancing efforts.

Businesses involved in logistics, such as warehouses and trucking companies, must provide adequate employee training that covers CDC guidelines, hand washing, self-assessment at home, social distancing, and other protective measures. Furthermore, businesses must regularly evaluate the worksite for compliance with the guidance provided and make attempts to correct any deficiencies.

While trucking and logistics continue to thrive during these unprecedented times, the atmosphere around the industries, like all industries, has changed. And since California’s economy is heavily dependent upon these two sectors, it’s expected that they may be changed forever, having to following these guidelines and similar guidelines for the foreseeable future.

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates, and coverage changes. Contact us today at (800) 937-8785 to learn more!

Covid-19 FMCSA Updates

Amid all the confusion and new questions surrounding the wide-reaching effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, truck drivers and trucking operations as a whole have still been moving along, completing their tasks and moving goods around the country. But while business may seem as it usually has been, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has been going to the drawing board to find solutions to freight and product needs that need to be met.

FMCSA Response Related to COVID-19

On March 18, the FMCSA issued an expanded national emergency declaration to provide hours-of-service regulatory relief to commercial vehicle drivers moving emergency relief products in response to COVID-19. This includes adding fuel and raw materials needed to assemble and manufacture essential supplies.

The declaration, spearheaded by Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, provides for regulatory relief for commercial trucking operations providing assistance supporting relief efforts meant to meet the needs for medical supplies and equipment for testing and treatment of the virus, food, paper products, and other groceries for restocking, fuel, persons necessary to provide other medical or emergency services, and more.

The declaration outlined that direct assistance does not include routine commercial deliveries, however. Commercial fleets cannot add a certain quantity of qualifying emergency relief to a mixed truckload in order to obtain the same benefits as others under the declaration.

Trucking companies are having to reevaluate their daily operations and how they plan on covering losses due to interruptions or liabilities related to COVID-19. Necessary coverage such as general liability truck insurance is needed in order to protect any further potential for loss until entities, such as the FMCSA, outline relief targeted at helping trucking companies.

Here are some more updates from FMCSA to be aware of:

Temporary Waiver for Expiring CDLs & Med Certs

FMCSA issued a temporary waiver for States, CDL holders, CLP holders, and interstate drivers operating commercial motor vehicles in response to the COVID-19 emergency. Given the limited availability and operations of State Driver License Agencies and medical facilities, FMCSA has determined that it is in the public interest to issue a waiver, limited in scope and circumstances, until June 30, 2020.

The FMCSA’s waiver specifically extends until June 30, 2020 the maximum period of CLP validity by waiving Sections 383.73(a)(2)(iii) and 383.25(c) for CLPs that are due for renewal on or after March 1, 2020, without requiring the CLP holders to retake the general and endorsement knowledge tests.

The waiver also waives the requirement in Section 383.25(e) that CLP holders wait 14 days to take the CDL skills test while also waiving the requirement in Section 391.45 that CDL holders, CLP holders, and non-CDL drivers have a medical examination and certification, provided that they have proof of a valid medical certification that was issued for a period of 90 days or longer and that expired on or after March 1, 2020.

Furthermore, the FMCSA announced that it had also issued an Enforcement Notice, saying that the FMCSA will “exercise its enforcement discretion to not take enforcement action” on any drivers or carriers that meet the terms of the waiver.

About Western Truck Insurance Services


Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates, and coverage changes. Contact us today at (800) 937-8785 to learn more!

COVID-19: Temporary Suspension of Motor Carrier IRP Requirements

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to create stress and disrupt our daily lives when it comes to fearing for our health and safety, lawmakers and industry leaders are also having to deal with the logistical and economic fallout that could happen as a result. From businesses closing down for two weeks to people staying indoors throughout the day, practically every industry is taking a hit as spending, investing, and overall business have all come to a veritable halt.

Texas Suspends Motor Carrier IRP Requirements

In Texas, the state’s governor Greg Abbott declared a state of disaster on Friday, March 13, as coronavirus began to spread and cause panic. And as the state looks to test more citizens for the virus, Abbot has waived certain regulations related to commercial trucking. The motor carrier IRP requirements suspension will help to expedite commercial vehicle delivery of more supplies in every truckload, including items like cleaning supplies, toilet paper, and grocery store items.

Desperate Times

The waivers implemented by Abbott will be coordinated through the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and will look to restock shelves and make more items readily available.

“As the State of Texas works to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus, we are taking precautionary measures to ensure that Texans have access to the goods and supplies they need,” said Governor Abbott. “Suspending these state trucking regulations will improve our ability to deliver the necessary supplies throughout the state so that grocers and retailers are able to continually stock their shelves. I want to remind Texans that stockpiling resources is neither necessary nor productive. The State of Texas is prepared and will continue to take action to support our communities.”

The 3 Suspended Statutes

Three specific sets of statutes have been suspended by Abbott. They include:

  • The International Registration Plan (IRP) vehicle registration under Transportation Code 502.091 and 43 Tex. Admin. Code 217.56, as long as the vehicle is registered in one of the 48 contiguous states of the United States
  • The oversize and overweight permitting requirements under Transportation Code, Chapters 621 through 623, as well as Title 43, Chapter 219 of the Texas Administrative Code, for all divisible and non-divisible vehicles and loads
  • The 72-hour and 144-hour temporary registration permits under Transportation Code 502.094 and 43 Tex. Admin. Code 217.40(b)(3), as long as the vehicle is registered in one of the states of the United States

Abbott also announced that drive-thru testing is now available in San Antonio with more of these test sites opening up soon. The San Antonio location has been testing first responders, health care workers, operators of infrastructure and key resources, and high-risk patients. Next, Abbott plans on opening more drive-thru testing sites for truck drivers in Dallas and Austin.

About Western Truck Insurance Services


Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates, and coverage changes.