In Michigan, You May Want to Give That Gas Tanker Truck Some Extra Space

Mark Stevenson
by Mark Stevenson
in michigan you may want to give that gas tanker truck some extra space

In a post-apocalyptic world, tank trucks are driven non-stop to quench an unending thirst for fuel. Those drivers pilot their big rigs day and night, running on little sleep, as they plow through a desolate wasteland.

Now change “post-apocalyptic world” to “Michigan” and you have this week’s dumb decision made by governor Rick Snyder.

Snyder, as a way to deal with a “state of energy emergency” in the Michigan’s Upper Peninsula caused by a pipeline shutdown, lifted driving time restrictions on heavy-duty truck drivers carrying gasoline and other transportation fuels.

Because nothing — nothing — can go wrong when you combine tired truck drivers and tons of flammable liquid.

By virtue of the power and authority vested in the Governor by the state of Michigan, Snyder issued Executive Order 2016-10 declaring a state of energy emergency in the state, which suspends driving time limits for truckers delivering gasoline to dried out gas stations.

The shortage is due to the shutdown of the West Shore pipeline in Wisconsin, which pumps gasoline to six terminals in Green Bay, reports the Detroit Free Press. It’s from those terminals that the Upper Peninsula receives most of its transportation fuel.

The problem is exacerbated by the Alberta wildfires and a Marathon Oil refinery shutdown limiting fuel supplies, said Snyder, and it couldn’t have happened at a worse time — immediately before the Memorial Day long weekend.

The executive order ( which you can read here) suspends 49 CFR Part 395, which is a key safety law that regulates how much time truckers can consecutively drive and be on duty without rest.

49 CFR Part 395.3 states:

(a) Except as otherwise provided in § 395.1, no motor carrier shall permit or require any driver used by it to drive a property-carrying commercial motor vehicle, nor shall any such driver drive a property-carrying commercial motor vehicle, regardless of the number of motor carriers using the driver’s services, unless the driver complies with the following requirements:

(1) Start of work shift. A driver may not drive without first taking 10 consecutive hours off duty;

(2) 14-hour period. A driver may drive only during a period of 14 consecutive hours after coming on duty following 10 consecutive hours off duty. The driver may not drive after the end of the 14-consecutive-hour period without first taking 10 consecutive hours off duty.

(3) Driving time and rest breaks. (i) Driving time. A driver may drive a total of 11 hours during the 14-hour period specified in paragraph (a)(2) of this section.

(ii) Rest breaks. Except for drivers who qualify for either of the short-haul exceptions in § 395.1(e)(1) or (2), driving is not permitted if more than 8 hours have passed since the end of the driver’s last off-duty or sleeper-berth period of at least 30 minutes.

But, hey, at least you’ll make it to grandma’s house — so long as you make sure to give those tanker trucks a very, very wide berth.

The executive order will remain in place until the end of the day, June 6, 2016, unless it’s rescinded beforehand.

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5 of 69 comments
  • Sector 5 Sector 5 on May 26, 2016

    Fort Muck is a folksy barbecue compared to Japan's 2011 Tsunami. Now there's a people who know how to handle huge difficulty. Surprised big al from oz didn't offer a road train solution. Keep your regular trucker hours Mich. Hitch a trailer.

    • See 2 previous
    • Lou_BC Lou_BC on May 26, 2016

      Joss - each disaster has its own unique issues to contend with. A Tsunami happens then you go into clean up mode.(Yes, an understatement). A fire like the one around Fort Mac has temperatures significantly higher than normal ground fires. Russia offered bombers but at the temperatures involved plus the fact that it is no longer a ground fire, retardant/water drops are of little use other than controlling flare-ups occurring several kilometres out from the original fire lines. That fire creates its own wind and own lightning storms. It also covers long distances rather quickly.

  • Carlson Fan Carlson Fan on May 26, 2016

    The UP is where all us snowmobilers from MN & WI head during the winter, especially the dry ones. The hotel lots are littered with vehicles that have trailers hooked to the back of them, I suspect a lot of this has to do with protecting the summer tourism in the area as much as anything else. All the mom & pop businesses in the UP mentioned above depend on it.

  • KOKing Actually a place called Sector111 in Temecula, CA was importing them for sale in the US starting around 2012. A friend had a shop right next door, and I recall seeing the very first one the owner imported for himself, and would bring it out to promote at various local events. Also shows this thing's been around for a while.
  • KevinB A $300 fine for me would be an "ouch". For someone else it may mean the electric bill doesn't get paid and there won't be enough gas to get to work.
  • Ajla I think a few of you guys need to try meditation or something.
  • SCE to AUX Historically, the Land Cruiser sold ~3000 units annually in the US for its last 15 years, so the answer is no.
  • Theflyersfan Oh boy - the sequential manual transmission. Otherwise known as "Your 16 year old driving stick the first time is smoother" transmission. I know automakers were trying new things out around this time and seeing what would stick (hint: the dual clutches won out), but even in testing, the Toyota engineers should have said いいえ、ジャンクです。(No. It's a piece of junk.) Is this seller going to get $8500? Doubt it. Way too much interior work is needed and it just looks worn out in there. St. Petersburg - salt air year round can do some wonders under the cover as well. But the exterior still looks good which makes me thing it was garage kept. So, for $8,500 - no chance. But for maybe $5,500 to $6,000 and the buyer doesn't mind some extra work to clean up the interior, maybe a decent top down sun down fun car. Just hope the transmission holds up.