OOIDA calls for change to U.S. hours of service

by Truck News

GRAIN VALLEY, Mo – The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) is petitioning the United States Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to amend the existing federal Hours of Service (HoS) regulations south of the border.

Acting President and CEO Tom Spencer said it was time to address the lack of available options for truck drivers whose schedules are at the mercy of shippers, receivers, weather, traffic congestions and other obstacles.

“We are in a situation where we have never had more regulations and greater enforcement and compliance with those regulations. Yet, crash numbers are going in the wrong direction, it’s time for a new approach,” he said.

The OOIDA is calling the FMCSA to change HoS regulations to allow a rest break once every 14-hour work duty period of up to three consecutive hours as long as the driver is off-duty. While the three-hour break period would stop the clock on the 14-hour work day, drivers would still need to log ten consecutive hours off duty before the start of their next new work shift.

The association is asking for the new format to replace the existing 30-minute break requirement.

“There are many operational situations where the 30-minute rest break requires drivers to stop when they simply do not need to,” said Spencer. “It’s either impractical or unsafe.”

The Association says current regulations are overly complex, provide no flexibility, and do not reflect the physical capabilities or limitations of individual drivers.

“They force drivers to be on the road when they are tired or fatigued, during busy travel times and adverse weather and road conditions, or when they simply aren’t feeling well,” said Spencer.

He says the change to the regulations would not only be better for commercial drivers, but would help make the traveling public safer as well.

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  • The existing hours of service have always been a joke. They allow for 13 combined on-duty hours, which must fit in a 14 hour window, with a mandatory half hour break in the middle. Those who need a mid-day nap no longer can. The laws were a typical reflection of those drafted by bureaucrats who have no clue of the realities of the job, and no desire to consult with those who do. No two people have the same sleep patterns, so dictating precise parameters is faulty logic. Unfortunately, since this proposal is sensible, and promotes safety and better manages driver fatigue, it’ll never be passed.

  • HOS have never worked.We need to have HOS that are realistic.With the size of our continent we need rules common to all countries.12 hours of driving,8 hour break,24hour reset,16 hour work day.

  • Hi OOIDA,
    I find the HoS completely unfair and out of date. It simply needs to be Revamped, and brought out of the Stone Ages, and up to where the Industry Standards are today.
    Per Miles Wages need to drop and replaced by the Hour based on a 24 Hour Clock Not a 11 or 13 hour one. Which by itself is as old as the hills themselves.
    Long haul truckers are not responsible for 11/13 hours, they are 24 Hours.
    Today, companies are selling lies that a driver can make $28 buck an hour based on miles driven. but if they are paid for the Real time responsible, it is more like $15 an hour Canadian.

  • The OOIDA’s ‘knee-jerk’ reaction was pounced first on ELD’s as the main issue. Like any Canadian trucker can tell you, the main issue has always been the American version of HOS. It’s the main reason I gave up running stateside and many others won’t.
    Flawed in every way with no flexibility time tools for real situation in comparison to Canadian HOS
    * 30 minute break is meaningless micromanagement.
    * Nobody sleeps 10 hours.
    * No Split-sleeper option.
    * No stopping the clock for up to 2 hours (I.E. CDN HOS)
    * No 2 hour deferral option for unfoeseen circumstances.

    The differences are ‘Night & Day’ with the US HOS behind the times and frankly, in the dark ages.
    A typical shift route trucker that leaves Washington D.C. with multiple drops enroute to another jurisdiction 200 miles away can easily end up in trouble without a bunk.
    Given that 200 miles in real-time travel is actually 8 hours return since you cannot average 65 mph consistently with traffic . I’ve been told this many times by US DOT officers while they scrutinize the tight time lines against the driving times in my log-book.
    Now you have a driver with only 3 hours driving and 3 hours for ‘On-duty’ time or deliveries… and it’s absolute. So who will be responsible for finding a hotel for this driver if delays happen?
    American HOS look more like a stopwatch on a relay race. The image of a dog sled team mushing through the Ididerod comes to mind. Compounding the afforementioned is the well known fact that parking is scarce. There are also other thoughtless accounts for meals and bathroom breaks. Just some things that all other employees are afforded by labour code.
    Trucking has always been measured by high-endurance, Piece-meal work, regardless of all the blather about safety. Productivity is your worth. US HOS just adds another element of high endurance. They are militant, inhumane, and completely lack respect to address the realities of the job of trucking. It’s happens when those unfamiliar with the job inflicts their own reality and statistics with blanket assumptions that every person or situation is the same. The difference between ‘Experts’ & ‘Professionals.’
    The OOIDA has done no favours for truckers showcasing their initial emotional reaction and focus on only ELD’s. The issue has always been their oppressive & inflexible HOS.

  • Canada is way ahead of this! 13 hours driving and 8 hours in the sleeper berth! Simple common sense approach but the US keeps it complicated so all those douchebags at FMSCA can keep their jobs by keeping everything complicated!

  • I drove for 6 hours went off duty for 5 hours went back on driving for 2 hour after splitting my log it said I had 5 hours drive time left. Then was off duty for 29 hours and 3 days later dot pulled me in and said I had a 14 hour log violation these rules and there way of interpretation of the rules is bullshit. They add points to your csa score that you can do nothing about you can’t fight it cause it’s on inspection report and they didn’t issue a citation this is wrong just cause a guy has a clean record since 2005.