BC truckers not having ferry good time with new HOS

VANCOUVER — New hours-of-service rules are creating havoc for some short-haul carriers across the country. In B.C., which mirrored the federal HOS regulation on May, 1, 2007, truckers who use BC Ferries are finding out that HOS is having a major impact on CODs.

In a Vancouver Sun article today, BC Trucking Association President Paul Landry says that while the rules are good for most over-the-road companies, they don’t consider the daily complexities for BC Ferry users that are running out of payload hours while sitting on the vessel between Vancouver Island and the mainland.

BC Ferry truckers say they can’t meet delivery
times because they’re running out of hours

Under the new rules, drivers can only clock 14 hours on-duty time, plus two hours rest. That total16-hour window includes time on the ferry, waiting at loading docks, and sitting in traffic.

With up to a possible six hours on-duty lost on a two-way trip, Landry says that companies might have to consider putting on a second driver to complete a day’s work — which doesn’t make any sense economically. The only other option, he adds, is to pass the costs on to the shipper, which effectively increases the price for goods on the shelf.

“We also have a driver shortage, so doubling up in a truck is a poor use of a limited resource,” he told the Sun.

BC’s issues aren’t regional. Other provinces have reported major problems in short-haul, and off-road operations.

Alberta is the only province to have not yet implemented a provincial version of the rules, mainly because of opposition from oil service fleets and bus companies, which insist the new rules simply don’t make sense for their operations.

Last month, Transportation Minister Luke Ouellette told Alberta carriers at the Alberta Motor Transport Association annual conference that the province is still not close to adopting the new federal standard.

He said he’s slowly making progress with factions of the industry that oppose the new rules, but that “there’s still a wide, wide range of opinions on hours-of-service.”

The Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators are meeting in Alberta this week to discuss national transportation issues, including the differences in provincial HOS interpretations.

— with files from the Vancouver Sun

Have your say

This is a moderated forum. Comments will no longer be published unless they are accompanied by a first and last name and a verifiable email address. (Today's Trucking will not publish or share the email address.) Profane language and content deemed to be libelous, racist, or threatening in nature will not be published under any circumstances.