DAILY NEWS Feb 27, 2013 3:56 PM - 0 comments

Start training drivers on new HoS, former FMCSA administrator warns

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By: James Menzies

SEATTLE, Wash. -- The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has rejected a request from the American Trucking Associations to postpone implementation of the new US hours-of-service rules.

As a result, significant changes will go into effect as scheduled July 1, barring a court ruling to the contrary before then. A US Court will hear arguments against the new rules in March. However, Annette Sandberg, a former FMCSA administrator and now principal of TransSafe Consulting, said carriers shouldn’t count on a delay or the courts overturning the new rules. She was speaking yesterday as part of a Zonar-sponsored Webinar on regulatory changes.

Sandberg said carriers should begin training drivers on the implications of the new rules now, so that they’re prepared for the roll-out in July.

As of July 1, drivers in the US will only be able to use the 34-hour reset provision once in a seven-day period, they will have to take off two overnight periods between 1 and 5 a.m. during that reset, and drivers will require a 30-minute, off-duty rest break within their first eight hours on-duty, limiting their total on-duty time to 13.5 hours.

“If you’re using an EOBR, talk to your provider and say ‘When are you going to have the software ready?’ Those devices will do the calculations for your. If you’re still using paper logs, you need to do the training now,” Sandberg warned.

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