New HoS rules costing drivers, fleets productivity with no safety benefit: Schneider

Truck News

GREEN BAY, Wis. — The new hours-of-service rules implemented in the US July 1 have reduced solo driver productivity by 3.1%, and team operations by 4.3%, according to data compiled by Schneider National.

The results reflect estimates the company made before the changes were implemented.

“The hours-of-service changes could not have come at a worse time,” said Dave Geyer, senior vice-president/general manager of Schneider’s van truckload division. “We now need more drivers to do the same amount of work, but regulations, economic conditions and demographics are working against us in terms of recruiting new drivers. Those who do answer the call deserve an attractive wage and good benefits, but we’re being restricted in the number of miles we can give them and the ongoing challenges that come with sharply rising operating costs.”

Geyer pointed out that safety has not been compromised by the new rules.

“Operating safely continues to be core to how we do business,” added Geyer. “Safety performance dramatically improved under the previous hours-of-service rules and there is no evidence to support that changing the rules has improved safety. Ongoing feedback from our drivers is consistent: they do not feel better rested as a result of the rules change; just less productive.”

The new rules come as fleets continue to struggle with rising driver turnover.

Citing a recent research brief, John Larkin, managing director of Stifel Transportation & Logistics Research Group, said regulations such as HOS create a challenging driver market. “Virtually all of the proposed federal rules and regulations either reduce the size of the driver pool or reduce the productivity of the drivers remaining in the pool,” he noted. “As a result, drivers remain a scarce input.”

Carriers and drivers aren’t the only ones adjusting to the changes; shippers are feeling the impact, too. Many shippers are indicating carriers across the industry – as well as their own private fleets – are already experiencing productivity and on-time service declines.

“To put it in the simplest of terms, capacity continues to tighten, productivity has been reduced and it’s harder – and more costly – than ever to acquire and retain drivers,” Geyer explained. “This trifecta is a cost burden that carriers cannot bear alone.”

Truck News

Truck News is Canada's leading trucking newspaper - news and information for trucking companies, owner/operators, truck drivers and logistics professionals working in the Canadian trucking industry.

Have your say

We won't publish or share your data


  • They will keep playing and changing the rules to such a degree that trucking companies and drivers will no longer be able to make money and then all of these intelligent people who are making these new rules can figure out how they are going to get train cars to all these shippers and receivers because there won’t be any trucks or drivers left to do the job.

  • Are these the same intelligent people who are putting these rules together that keep raising their credit in order to pay off their debt? Satety is 1st for foremost but this is not contributing towards happy safe drivers. If anything it is contributing toward making law abiding drivers consider breaking laws just to be productive. Yet these rule makers still expect their overnight courier service. EVERYTHING moves on a truck at some point.

  • If drivers were truly a “scarcity” and “capacity is tightened” then rates and pay scales would go up. Since neither has happened, something in these statements is not correct.

  • Amazing, it also forces drivers to say to heck with a reset. I switched to running a recap only. Haven’t used a reset in months. Run 10hr days, not easy but it works. Used to be able to do 600 miles a day but now, oh well. 500 or less depending on how long in detained by shoppers. I’m still making money and I’m actually enjoying the 30 minute mandated break which in would’ve taken anyway to use the bathroom and grab lunch. Tbh however the 1am to 5am provision is ridiculous and forces night drivers to run during daylight hours. Dumb

  • The real effects of recent HOS changes will not be felt until there is a large enough upturn in freight volumes. It will take freight sitting on loading docks wanting for trucks to haul it , and then, as a reflection of increased rates caused by demand for trucks, driver pay will rise. All excess capacity, and then some, will have to be removed from the system, in terms of labour, before there will be a change. Drivers, for better or worse, are a commodity, and their cost is based upon demand for their services, for the most part. However, a driver who switches to another company to take advantage of higher pay also should expect some sort of negative when the demand eases, as the carrier will then not be able to generate enough revenue to support the higher wage.

  • Golly Gee as if this were new news that changes in HoS would be a detriment to productivity and also be a problem in recruiting additional drivers. It’s a no brainer in my opinion something the regulators should have thought through or may be they did and didn’t care what effect it would have on the transportation industry or economy. I guess these knuckleheads don’t buy or have anything that the was delivered by truck?

  • Much agreed…any other industry when there’s a real shortage if qualified talent, the pay/bennies to attract these new people goes how come NEVER in trkg ?? Hmmmmm !!

  • robert…recap is legal as long as you do not go over the 70 hours in 8 days…USA. For Canada, 70 hours in 7 days. The driver can work almost everyday of the year, except he/she has to take 24 consecutive hours off every 14 days. Maybe ask your Safety person or go on line. Regards,

  • I started driving truck in 2000. I said it then and I will say it now: “Until we get someone in charge of the FMCSA that has driven over-the-road in a BIG TRUCK, for 15 yrs or better, we will NEVER get any rules/regs that make any sense. You want saftey on the highways? Start making the 4-wheels more RESPONSIBLE for their actions and quit blaming it all on the truck driver. I stopped driving because I had a very personal thing happen to me while on the road, but that doesn ‘t mean I do not follow trucking and have the utmost respect for the ones that MOVE this country. Left alone, they will get the job done, and it will be done as safley as the 4-wheelers will let it. These guys and gals arenot out there to maim, or kill anyone. They are out there to see that you have groceries on the shelves, and clothes in the stores when you want them. The harder you make it for them, the more costly those items will become.