Congress hears complaints about impact of new HoS rules

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — US lawmakers today heard from truck fleets and owner/operators that changes to hours-of-service rules implemented in July aren’t working as planned.

A US House of Representatives’ Committee on Small Business invited feedback from front-line workers on how the new HoS rules are impacting them. Duane Long, chairman of Raleigh, N.C.-based Longistics, told the committee that the industry is suffering serious negative impacts as a result of the restrictions.

“Simply put, the July 1 hours-of-service rule changes were unnecessary; the regulations adopted in 2003 were working and the administration offered rhetoric but little data to explain why they needed to be changed,” said Long. “Unfortunately, the gap between the administration’s rhetoric and the trucking industry’s operating reality is very wide. These changes are having a very real, and very negative impact on hundreds of thousands of drivers and motor carriers.”

Long said the rules are particularly disruptive for team drivers, who “resent the new restart restrictions and the effect they are having on their ability to make a living.”

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) was also at the hearing. Senior member Tilden Curl of Olympia, Wash. provided his account on how the rules are affecting operators. He complained off more restrictive, arbitrary changes that don’t provide any safety benefit while having a negative impact on driver wages.

“Less flexibility makes it more difficult to stop for rest, avoid traffic, or keep a schedule after being delayed by a shipper or receiver,” said Curl in his oral testimony at the hearing.

“Most of the challenges within this industry find their root cause in demands from shippers and receivers who are not subject to the same regulatory restrictions and economic consequences as truckers,” Curl added. “We must stop placing more rigid requirements on the driver, while allowing carriers and customers to make demands beyond the allowance of regulations and safety.”

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  • First,tap each member of the committee on the head with a rubber mallet.Next slowly ease into any type of logical argument as congress is not comfortable with logic.Then threaten to Primary any member of the committee who chooses to disagree with you.Sit back and wait for result you want to hear.

  • It is interesting how rules and regulations are applied to industry without consultation with the professionals behind the wheel. The new Hours Of Service regulations fail to take into consideration the human factor, each being different and needing different methodology of rest.
    These rules will at times force drivers to drive when they are simply not safe, for example when one is out of hours and must sleep, he or she may not be ready, therefore they toss and turn trying to rest, and finally when the rest period is legally taken they may be exhausted and a danger to the public using the roads.
    Over half of incidents involving commercial vehicles have fatigue as a factor contributing, therefore it would be much more prudent to have a fatigue management program, where lifestyle is taken into consideration.

  • Rules do NOT make us safe on the road, most of these new rules will in reach the accident rate since a member of congress has decided drivers are stupid and cannot stop when tired. So instead they make sure we now drive when tired, most of them could not spell truck if there life depended on it!!!

  • Keep fighting the fight . Keep pushing for the change. Politicians , stop the judgment that all truck drivers break the h.o.s rules. Punish the ones that do and not entire industry. How many miles does a trucker do a year and what percentage do they make up for in accidents on the roads? Point is don’t paint all truckers with the same brush. Otherwise should I just think that all politicians are crooked, corrupt, Liars!

  • Drive slower and work less hours…
    Tell the Gov. we have a driver shortage.
    But all the stores have there stuff.
    I just don’t get it.
    Oh but we will have to work for wages
    circa 1980.

    • As a new driver learning the trade, someone should be interested in my experience of my training versus the real world of trucking?
      I love the job so far, and I want a safer industry that is fair to the drivers.