March 2013

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New changes to the hours of service (HOS) rules from the U.S. Department of Transportation will impact truckers and trucking companies beginning July 1 unless a pending lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia blocks the new rules before then.

In late December 2011, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) published a new final rule for hours of service. The rule is being implemented in two phases. The first wave took effect in February 2012, and the new set of guidelines will be implemented on July 1.

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Trucking Braces for Hours of Service Changes  

 

The new rule changes will limit 34-hour restarts to once per week and will reduce a driver's average maximum allowable hours of work per week from 82 hours to 70 hours - a 15 percent reduction.

"Theoretically, the ultimate goal is to reduce fatigue-related crashes (and thereby improve safety) and also to improve driver health," said Mason Wilson, president of the Traffic Club of Memphis.

"According to the FMCSA, the industry conditions that precipitated the new HOS rule were chronic driver fatigue, a high risk of crashes for fatigued drivers and chronic health conditions in drivers," Wilson said. "The stated purpose of the rule is to limit drivers to no more than 70 hours of work per week on average, i.e., to give drivers more time to rest."

Read more here.  
Shippers Decry Changes in Trucking Hours-of-Service

Groups representing shippers say new rules on work hours for truck drivers will reduce efficiency across their supply chains, complicating delivery schedules, raising costs and even undermining safety on highways.

"The final trucking hours-of-service rule will have a negative impact on manufacturers' supply chains, distribution operations and productivity," Jay Timmons, president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers.

The NAM was among several groups that sharply criticized the hours-of-service rules the Department of Transportation issued Dec. 22. Due to take effect in 18 months, the new version of the trucker work regulation would maintain the 11-hour daily limit on driving but would place far tighter restrictions on the so-called restart provision that resets the driving clock after set periods of rest.

The new rule would cut weekly work time from 82 hours to 70 and require rest periods include the hours between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.

Read more here.
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