HOS Regulations, Reality Clash, Truck Drivers Say

GRAIN VALLEY, MO— Changes to hours-of-service (HOS) regulations make it difficult for truck drivers to drive rested, operate efficiently and earn a living, a member of Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) told Congress.

“Less flexibility makes it more difficult to stop for rest, avoid traffic, or keep a schedule after being delayed by a shipper or receiver,” said Tilden Curl in his oral testimony at a hearing held by the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Small Business.

OOIDA says the more restrictive HOS rules have not added any safety benefits, but rather mean less ability to adapt to the unpredictable nature of a trucking operation such as bad weather, congested traffic and long waiting periods at loading and unloading docks.

“Most of the challenges within this industry find their root cause in demands from shippers and receivers who are not subject to the same regulatory restrictions and economic consequences as truckers,” Curl said.

Both Curl and the OOIDA are calling for more flexibility in regulations and for all parties in the supply chain to take responsibility for their role in highway safety.

“We must stop placing more rigid requirements on the driver, while allowing carriers and customers to make demands beyond the allowance of regulations and safety,” Curl said.

OOIDA calls for changes similar to the ones recently passed in Australia, where “a chain of responsibility” was initiated so that all parts of the supply chain are accountable for roadways’ safety and security. 

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