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OOIDA complains about latest HoS rules

GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. -- The U.S.-based Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) has spoken out against t...

GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. — The U.S.-based Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) has spoken out against the latest American Hours-of-Service revisions.

The new rules were published in the Federal Register Aug. 25 by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). While the administration said there were only subtle changes involved in the latest draft, OOIDA says the revisions could impact truckers and their operations.

"We are filing for two common sense changes to the new hours-of-service rule," said OOIDA president and CEO Jim Johnston.

One complaint the O/O group has is that a two-hour off-duty period which counts toward the overall 10-hour off-duty requirement does not stop the 14-hour clock. OOIDA says that proves as a disincentive for truckers to use the break.

"We’re simply asking that those two hours would also stop the clock, that the driver could take those off-duty and not count against his working time," Johnston said. "We think it’s common sense because it’s consistent with the 10-hour off-duty requirement."

He adds a two-hour midday break which could be used for such things as showering and eating should not count against the 14-hour on-duty clock.

"We think it’s practical and makes plain common sense to do it that way," Johnston said.

OOIDA is also unhappy with the split-sleeper berth provisions which require each driver in a team to take a minimum of eight consecutive hours off in the sleeper berth.

"That’s impractical for most team operations," Johnston said. "We’re asking in our petition that FMSCA retain the current sleeper-berth exemption, which allows the drivers to take sleeper berth time in whatever increments they want as long as no period is less than two hours."

The new Hours-of-Service go into place in the U.S. on Oct. 1. Their implementation is preceded by a 30-day public input period which is currently underway.

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