HOS

What proposed HOS changes in U.S. mean to Canadian drivers

Proposed changes to the U.S. hours of service rules have been touted as more flexible for drivers and carriers -- but what about the benefits and the flexibility for cross-border drivers and carriers? Will the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's proposed HOS provide the same benefits for cross-border drivers, or just make the hours-related differences between Canada and the United States even more confusing? Here’s what I came up with as to how FMCSA’s proposed changes might affect cross-border carriers.

Truck parking shortage is a productivity killer

What are the industry's biggest issues these days? Most everyone will say the driver shortage leads the way. Everyone except drivers, of course. I'd say top spot belongs to hours of service rules followed closely by the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate, both of which are key reasons for the shortage... of drivers willing to work long hours within that arbitrarily constructed straitjacket. So it's no surprise that the top three issues for drivers are those two plus the lack of parking facilities.

Is your Truck Putting You to Sleep?

A ground-breaking bit of research from Australia has shown that low-frequency vibrations can make drivers drowsy. If this is true and the research is proven conclusive, it will call into question just about all we assume about truck crashes where the driver apparently fell asleep at the wheel. Those drivers may in fact have been very drowsy but may not have been "fatigued" in an hours-of-service (HOS) context, the way that term is typically applied to "tired drivers."

Some personal questions about personal conveyance

Recently, the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued revised guidance on the use of a commercial vehicle as a personal conveyance. While it’s always great to have further clarification of the rules, especially surrounding hours of service, sometimes these clarifications can generate more questions than answers. Such as is the case with FMCSA’s guidance. There are two situations that haven’t yet been addressed, not because administration doesn’t care, but because they’re slightly outside of its purview. One situation involves cross-border carriers that may have drivers using personal conveyance on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border, and another issue that surprisingly has very little to do with hours of service.

U.S. proposal would pause 14-hour limits

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A recently proposed bill in the U.S. would allow truck drivers to effectively pause their 14-hour on-duty limits for up to three consecutive hours – as long as they are off-duty during the break. “I’m proud to introduce the REST Act and give America’s truckers the options they need to safely operate under today’s rigid federal regulations,” said Rep. Brian Babin, a member of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. “This bill is an important step in making the way for improved highway safety.” According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, those running in the U.S. can't drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on-duty, following 10 consecutive hours of off-duty time.  

Small business ELD exemption ‘not likely’, analysts say

BLOOMINGTON, IN – The rollout of mandated Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) continues in the U.S. And while some trucking operations have secured temporary waivers, analysts at FTR Intel believe a bid to exempt small carriers outright is unlikely to succeed. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) has asked regulators to exempt small businesses making less than US $27.5 million in revenue, that don’t have an unsatisfactory safety rating, and have a safe record with no attributable at-fault crashes. It would last five years. An exemption like that – already rejected during the regulatory review process – would essentially gut the mandate for ELDs, and has been opposed by the American Trucking Associations and safety advocacy groups. Eighty-one percent of over-the-road trucking companies, and 93% of one-truck operators among them, have had no DOT-recordable crashes in the past two years, FTR notes.

U.S. rentals get 90-day ELD waiver

WASHINGTON, DC – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued short-term rental trucks a 90-day waiver from mandated Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs), lasting until April 19. Trucks rented for 30 days or less will be able to use paper logbooks to record Hours of Service until the waiver expires. Carriers cannot simply replace one rental vehicle with another one within the 30 days, and must also have a satisfactory safety rating. They also need to report any collisions involving these vehicles within five business days. The Truck Renting and Leasing Association had known since December that a waiver was forthcoming, and is telling affected truck operators to print out the notice and carry it in the cab during the waiver period. Once this waiver expires, those who rent trucks for eight days or less will continue to be exempted from the ELD mandate.