ATA, OOIDA fight hours of service in court

| March 18, 2013

The ongoing fight between the American Trucking Associations and the Federal Carrier Motor Safety Administration over the upcoming changes to hours of service rules continued Friday, March 15, in a Washington, D.C., court of appeals, where both sides presented oral arguments to a three-judge panel.

FMCSA made the rule final in December 2011, and the changes will go into effect July 1. ATA says FMCSA doesn’t understand the science that went into the rulemaking, specifically the 30-minute mandatory break. It’s arguing, too, that the rule would restrict drivers from being able to manage their schedules effectively.

The Owner-Operator Independent Driver Association has intervened into the case on the side of ATA.

Public Citizen has also sued FMCSA and its presenting arguments in the case. It, however, has sued the agency because it says the hours rules are not restrictive enough.

The court has not said when it will release a ruling.

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  • rich

    This company will not take loads within 100 miles of Washington DC for the month of june . NONE . To protest unfair , unsafe regulations promoted by Big Business via Anne Ferro and the FMCSA .

  • James Deboard

    Sure glad I retired April 2012. None of these organizations will listen to the drivers. The drivers input is just ignored. ATA is looking out for the companies & OOIDA has done nothing over the most important Things for the driver,Pay & Benefits.

  • William McKelvie

    What will that show her? Not much, she does not care. Neither does the rest of the FMCSA. Just wait, until these rules go into effect, July 1, 2013. There are not enough drivers now, according to the big boys, right? So what will happen when they shorten our current run times now? And shorten our work week as compared to now? It is very easy to see.

  • larry

    why can factory workers work 12 hours and drive back and forth and hour each way

  • Bob_Hearns

    James, exactly what I’ve said repeatedly. I’m semi retired. These jerks just might push me to full retirement.

  • Bob_Hearns

    I wish these rule makers would find themselves a job where they can make a useful contribution. It’s not happening here. Where do they find these ignorant nincompoops? It’s beyond frustrating, it’s infuriating and getting worse. I want to grab them by their lapels and shake them until they wake up!

  • Dingus P

    The rule makers aren’t going to find them a “real” job, because they’re too stupid.. They don’t know anything about trucking, but they can tell you how to drive, how long you can drive, how fast you can run, and in California, when to trade trucks, thats CARB for you… All of these people are either a Senator’s dumb brother, a person bought by the unions, or some jackleg lawyer that got lucky on an election ballot… Things WILL NOT CHANGE, till truckers stand against these fools… But its not like it was when I was a young man in the 70’s, and truckers stuck together… Now you’ve got these school trained, union indoctrinated steering wheel holders that could really give a rodents anal opening about anything but #1… Getting them to stick together would be like trying to herd cats…. So, till pigs fly, guys and girls, just get ready to be screwed royally every time the government feels like it… One day when the independents and the o/o’s are gone and the unions have total controll, then the politico’s will see that they really screwed the monkey…….. And always remember, from the top to the bottom, you’ve got the best government money, alcohol, sex or drugs can buy……. I’m retired now so good luck to all of you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • RWR

    ALL trucks in North America should shut down for a week. Instead we complain individually mostly. If we ALL joined together we could be one of the most powerful groups on the continent. Attorneys are a good way to start probably, but at the end of the day all the lawyers in the world have the same power as a toothless kitten if the government gods want to change something, be it for better or worse. Looks to me like stupid Gov’t regs will break us all in the end under the guise of safety. I call it BS.

  • Ghostrider

    I gave it up as of this month March 23 2011, When they (Big trucking companys) started doing hair sample for drug testing I quite I will not give up my “DNA” for any one, and for the HOS rule changes and the EOBR it was over. Don’t get me wrong I really did like the new “EOBR”s But it was eather black or white and we the truck drivers don’t live or work in a black or white world. When your 11 hour driving time was up you had to stop driving, and that was fine when your on a interstate highway ( I-95, I-70, I-49 ect ect) but when your on a two land back road just when the Hell do you park when yoour between towns then you get into a town and the cops tell you keep moving or go to jail your choice,So I made MY choice I QUITE.I do agree with the other driver “Dingus P” none of the drivers out there now can or will stand togather for any thing, But they will learn a hard lesson ( maybe) but it to will be to late for them dum-***, 33 years 3 million accident & ticket free. If you would like change “VOTE” for me to go to Washington I can and will get the job done. Stay safe drivers.

  • Ghostrider

    RWR. Look I was in trucking for 33 years and you DON”T have to shut trucks down for a week. I have been saying this for the most part of 10 years so I will say it again to get changes you have to do this in “ORDER”

    (1) You have to get the better part of 10 million truck drivers to “AGREE” on the changes that need to be change. Good luck, If you can get 1000 to agree on one thing.
    (2) Make you demans (or changes) noted to the news media that, We the truck drivers of America will deman that these changes be made or we will not drive one more mile.
    Side Note: This is where you get BIG problems. You see no one in Washington or any where else will take you serious because they know truck drivers and they will not ever stand togather for any thing, But lets say they do stand togather, and here we get to go to #3.
    (3) Make it know to the news media that on this day ( lets say this date) JULY 01 2013 @ 1500 edt we the truck drivers will stop working for 15 min. At that time all across America at that time stop working. Your loading your truck walk away from it, Pumping fuel ( don’t turn the pump off, just stop fueling it) your driving pull over and put your 4 ways on you get the idea?
    Now befor you start thinking I’m a darn fool stop and think about what you just done. and let me know what you think. Then we can go from there after you think about that. 15 Min is all it takes to start….

  • Alan Norman

    FMCSA is no longer about safety. It is about power these are my rules and obey or else.
    I agree with a shut down but the big companies would not support the effort. Them operating during a shut down would go a long way toward putting the small business out of business.
    Maybe instead of a nationwide week of no freight a city like “Chicago” could be the target and no deliveries of any kind would be made within a 300 mile radius.
    What would it take to coordinate?

  • RWR

    I would be exited to get 100 truck drivers to stand together, never-mind the numbers you are talking about. I think starting anywhere would be great. We just need some serious united action to stand up for ourselves!.

  • ilovdieselsmoke

    I just read an article where ATA members are pushing their lawmakers to solve the oncoming driver shortage with introduction of new legislation to license eighteen year olds for OTR & recruit illegal aliens to replace the dwindling American driver population. (Funny I bet these genius management types never thought of raising driver or maybe quit stealing so much from their O/Op’s every week!) As so far as the illegal immigrants placed behind the wheel it seems the motor carriers already have a jump on hiring them. HELL, just look around on the roadways. The truck stops are looking more every day like a united nations camp ground & now one practically has to be bilingual to understand the Citizens band radio or many of the new company dispatchers.The only authorized electronics I’ll install in my old Pete will possibly be a satellite radio so when the government finally does stop me for not having their big brother rule enforcer mounted on the console I’ll trade my commercial tag for a set if those motor home license plates….

  • felix sanchez

    Let’s all do one thing, slow down and never get to the customer on time ever, and when the customer try’s to bill you for being late send that bill to the senate they can fit that bills some where.

    people it’s all about control and how much money they can shake out of every driver.

    i thought i was in the land of the free i guess not.

  • vvaillette

    Fact is, we truckers subsidize the entire economy. We pay for it with outrageous long hours, 14-hour days and 7-day weeks during which the OTR companies think they own us. Forced dispatch. Lack of exercise. Limited parking. Every truck stop should have some rental cars. Otherwise, we get a great view of that broken white line and the fog line.
    Guys, we pay for our trade with our health, isolation, family relationships and blood pressure. We love the independence of the road and the feeling of the freedom of the road.
    The FMCSA is trying, thankfully, to bring us out of the 19th century sweat shop level of work relations. Serfs and serfdom. Wage slaves. The FMCSA is trying to give you back your life.

  • Angel Shrader

    i think that these law makers need to do the job that we do out there to understand that what they are doing just makes things harder for us and yeah the newbies DO NOT understand as they are new and could give a rats ass about all of it …they need to leave us alone and let us run they way that we need to and get our job done

  • Terry Massey

    I wrote to my senator and my congressman today, I’m not sure that they will get the letter but I will follow up again. I was polite and to the point my overall concern about “big Brother” watching over me in the name of “safety” but only address one point in this letter ( electronic logs) I didn’t want to muddy the water by blasting them with to many things at one time but if I can get the communications open, there will be more. I invite you to all do the same. See you on the road,

  • Mike Smith

    In essence I agree with you. May problem that r reps can not be trusted. Example: they support the Mexican Invasion without saying so. Unlike you, the problems in r country have gone far beyond my ability to to be polite, things r have become so bad.

  • Jimmy Loyd G

    we should just shut down all truck service for a whole month and see how DOT likes not having food and drinlks

  • Scott Baxter

    They will convince government that the only way they can get affordable drivers is to green card and train the illegals, that way they can reduce rates and put all the rest of us used to be middle classes out!

  • Scott Baxter

    Not to mention Clintons NAFTA deal bringing in trucks over the border…

  • JoJo Klemm

    Will you abolish Hours of Service? Totally abolish it, forever?
    Think of the money that will save for everyone at every level of driving, running a trucking company, auditing, regulating, enforcing, paperwork, distracting gadgets in your truck, expensive software and maintainence for companies, and for enforcers, and what a giant waste of human resources messing with this nonsense. Wow. Abolish it and I’ll vote for ya.

  • JoJo Klemm

    It’s not their life to give. The FMCSA is telling us when to sleep, drive, eat, shower, take days off, take break, what gadgets to buy, what doctors to see….on and on. That is taking over your life and not giving it back. Abolish hours of service; that would give it back. They are making government our employer; we should be getting nice government benefits for all the rules they run our day and night 24/7, more than most government employees.

  • JoJo Klemm

    Hours of Service regulations are a total load of crap, and should be abolished immediately.

  • Malisa

    FMCSA dont know the value of trucker, more presure
    are puting on the worst outcome they are providing for public and the economy

  • vvaillette

    Hey! GhostRider!!
    BEFORE your 11 hours were up, you should have been doing some planning as to WHERE you were going to shut down, now shouldn’t you!!
    I’ve caught my proverbial in a tight spot many a time but somehow found SOMETHING even with just minutes to spare. The EOBR makes my life a lot easier. One less thing to think about and a lot more convenient than paper logs. Now, that’s a headache. Time consuming.
    That mandatory shut down gives you back some of your day that the COMPANY would think nothing of taking away from you. Don’t kid yourself.
    Because of just-in-time and service-watch loads, truckers are under more and more pressure due to loads that have little or no cushion built into them. Dispatch wants to get rid of the bad loads, the too-tight-to-run safely loads. Why do you think they call it ‘forced dispatch’?
    Our REAL PROBLEM is an OTR industry that thinks the driver is a non-profit and has little or no concern about your TIME, your SLEEP or your POCKETBOOK. The turnover rates for truck drivers bear this out.
    Now that should be added to CSA. Truck driver turn over rate!! I’d like to know that before I hired on anywhere–

  • vvaillette

    Actually, a targeted shut down could make a lot of sense—but not to do away with HOS. In the long run, HOS rules benefit all drivers. Yeah, it’s rigid; it’s often inconvenient. But the OTR companies have shown that they don’t care. A key metric that should be added to the CSA is driver turnover.
    You can look at a company’s CSA score and tell a lot about how they operate. If maintenance is high, your CDL is at risk because you’re responsible.
    If HOS is high, you know that the company is pushing drivers to run illegal.
    If safety is high, you know that the company is enforcing HOS while at the same time not providing enough time to make a run in timely fashion.
    If a company has 500 drivers and pays each one an extra $4/day, that’s $2,000 dollars, $14,000 per week. So rather than pay the additional $4 per day, that $14K per week goes into SIGNon BONUSes.
    Rather than improve your working conditions, those bonuses lure new drivers in the front door and guess what. Six months later they’re gone. Because OTR working conditions are BAD.

  • vvaillette

    Hey! Dingus!!
    Maybe you were a large part of the problem! Back in the day, when you say truckers stood together, did they? I think not. This had become a rogue industry with cheap freight rates that robbed O/Os of a decent living. Had truckers stuck together back in the day, we might not need the regulation and inspection level we have now.
    Especially with regard to maintenance. How many times has a company driver gone into the shop with a problem only to be told, ‘There’s nothing wrong with that truck! They’re all like that!’ I certainly have.
    So you run down the road with lights out, brake drums that are so badly worn and grooved that you have a risk that they will shatter, retreads that you can get the end of your finger under because they’re coming apart and it’s just a matter of time…
    The reason large companies have taken over so much of the freight out there isn’t because O/Os had such a great record of excellent maintenance, on-time delivery and performance.

  • vvaillette

    Hey! JoJo!!
    Can you spell d-i-n-o-s-a-u-r? The disregard on the part of trucking companies for your safety and that of the public on the road with you has brought on this level of regulation.
    The FMCSA is just the messenger, albeit with a big stick. These regulations were necessary because BiG TRUCKING brought it on!
    Don’t believe all the phony claims of ‘JOB-KILLING’ regulation.
    The average life time of a trucker is something over 10 years less than what it would be in another industry because of the vibration, noise, lack of exercise, isolation, long hours, lack of rest, poor diet, etc.
    In this case, the government, the FMCSA, really is here to help. Don’t want it? Tough. I do.

  • kiko kika

    i think i’m done trucking i only drive for 11 years to many politics and BS i got kick out for some thing i did not do ..those SOB in el paso texas big blue truck with a oregon plate…so driver be safe good luck for dealing of those politicians and wanna be.. i well go fine me a 8hour job and be home

  • PMWhitejr

    The biggest problem with the FMCSA HOS rules is they are under the impression all drivers have the same exact sleep patterns. All drivers do not need 8-10 hrs of sleep nor do all drivers sleep in the same cycles. Some prefer to sleep at night, others during the day. I normally sleep about 5-6 hours and feel great but I have to stay in my sleeper for 2-3 hours and then piddle for another 2 before I am legal to drive. By the time I get back to driving 4-5 hrs later I can legally drive for 11 hrs, on duty for 14, which could put me driving into 19 hrs without sleep. If the HOS rules included a no penalty “nap period” I could lay down and rest for a bit. With the current HOS rules you could be pushed into driving fatigued but still be legal. We are not all programmed the same but are being treated as such. If the people making these rules actually had experience in a truck they may have a different opinion. Don’t get me wrong, they have accomplished a lot for the betterment of our industry. I would hate to see what would be on the roads if they were not there. Most of the time they base decisions from accident information but how many accidents are avoided by our profession? How many are minimized due to professional drivers? Lastly, how many accidents involving trucks are caused by 4-wheelers but blamed on the trucks? These are questions the FMCSA should be asking when imposing rules upon our industry.

  • SickPuppy

    Ah, Ghost, it’s Quit, but now that you have quit, I see your really not that “Quite”


    Look at who is helping fight this fight and not one mention of OOIDA from any of you. A membership would be the best investment you could make to have your voice heard in DC not only with FMCSA but other agencys as well.

  • mud slide slim

    Why is a woman in charge of truck issues? I would think Ferro
    would have something to do with child safety seats.

  • michael bechara

    33 years never a problem no tickets not evan a scratch i keep a log book and make it the way they want it i drive the i want to drive no one knows or can tell me when i need a break or when to sleep my body tells me when i need a break or when to sleep i’m a pro at this my record shows that . so where is the issue ? why the up roar ? don’t put the blame on the truck driver put it on the people hiring the so called drivers and the dispatchers that push the drivers beyond there limits .Guys and Gals ur the driver the pro ! don’t let anyone tell you how to do your job if a dispatcher or broker tells you to do a load that is pushing the limits say no!!!! don’t let them tell you how to do your job …your the pro NOT them . stand up for your self and demand a pro’s wage after all there not going to do it . you are ! Whats the worst thing that’s going to happen they fire you ! and that would be the best thing to happen to you if that’s how they do business your better off working with a company that manages there time better we don’t need a bunch of know it alls sitting in an office telling us what to do and if they think they can do it better than us them lets take a week off all at the same time and let them try to do what we do maybe that will make them get off there high horse and leave it up to the PRO’S .

  • michael bechara


  • michael bechara


  • michael bechara


  • michael bechara

    100% AGREE

  • michael bechara

    I’m going to write a letter to obama and let him know that the fmcsa and his rule makers are holding our country back from getting ahead in this world lets see if i get a response. after all we are the most single needed asset in america and our job is hands down the most important job in america . think about it …if we stop moving so does america . our voice can be heard loud and clear if we say stop the bullshit or we stop our trucks.

  • Dave

    I see the point being missed here. Dingus is right on some stuff here. I’m not retired. But i’ve been at it for 24yrs. And it has changed. Whoever came at him with the whole maintenance thing. Isn’t the issue. You can have a new truck.If they want to find something wrong,they will. You’ll find with experience.Its a piece of machinery. Stuff can happen going down the road.and you not know it. Point here is. These people keep screwing with our hours of service. And have know actual experience or evidence to go by. A human cannot judge another humans body/mind functions. If i’m not ready to sleep,then what is the purpose of me being in bed for 10hrs. You sleep when your tired. Human nature. God made us that way. And another note. If the they insist on us following all these laws. Then they also need to be on our side a little bit. Get after shippers on sitting times and stuff like that. Or most of all. Give us a break on all the taxes and quit adding more taxes. Fuel is the bottom of the barrel. they are only charging us so much. Because, they know we need it. Then tax us on it. We would like a raise. Maybe if we could get a break. We could afford to pull over for a day. I haven’t had a real vacation in 12yrs. Why? I own 5 trucks. I makeup for the guys that run legal. Thats sad. I have to say that. I don’t want them to run illegal.But, i have to work harder because they do. My trucks run for some of the highest rates out there. But they mean nothing. With all the cost. And damage by the government. And, NO the truckers of today will never pull together. Dingus is right. The last brilliant idea was pulled on a weekend. Some strike. Everybody was home. Yeah! That got everyones attention.(that would be sarcasm)

  • Jeff Letscher

    priceless, old drivers for some reason 33-34 is the magic number, Its similar to the war stories in the diners. YOU antiques on the road are heaftily bothered by regulations that are going into effect that are not to your liking, well what a shock an ageing male unwilling to accept any changes. My point here is this HOW IS A NEW DRIVER TO BLAME FOR REGULATIONS GOING INTO EFFECT BECAUSE OF THE MISSUSE OF THE HIGHWAY’S SYSTEMS BEFORE THEY EVEN BEGAN DRIVING? You oldtimers/babybloomers are the biggest group of whiny do nothings the country has every had. Shoot the Hippies did more than you ever did!!! These regulations are not because of drivers that just started they are directly in result of your neglict to actually do anything. Instead of pointing your arthritic finger, mentor them. You think going out there and flameing the greenhorns is gonna cause unity? You failed on these interstates and you where giving quite the legacy. Keep on being that cool cat that has to proove something. My only hope is in short you who have radios leave them on and start being friendly, you hear a driver getting arguementative say something funny, use less insults, stop pointing the finger, and lastly encourage. Our only chance to keep from a illegal takeover of this industry is to get freindly on that CB, downright homo-helpful.

  • Jeff Letscher

    A shutdown is such a bad idea not one driver will go through with it, and some of you dolts that are suggesting it do not realize there are people that will likely die because of it!!!

  • Mike Simon

    The reality is “trucks don’t commit accidents” drivers do. Hours of service rules, Onboard recorders are all a reaction to the type of people entering this industry! Like the rules, or not! The industry has brought about these rules because carriers refuse to police themselves. The reality is, this industry has had turnover rates in EXCESS of 100% for over 40yrs! How many people do any of you people think that is? Government has to gain control!

  • Mike Simon

    The reality is “Trucks Don’t Commit Accidents” Drivers do! Log changes electronic on board recorders, are in response to the Drivers,and Carriers associated with this industry, and their inability to police themselves! This industry has had turnover rates in excess of 100% for over 40yrs. How many people do any of you think that is? Recycling Drivers is a huge problem, it also spells abuse, so Government has to gain control!

  • Super Services

    We only have 5 trucks, but are willing to help prove a point. On July 1, 2013 @ 10:00 am I will have all drives stop for 15 minutes (safely). Who else is on board?????

  • Bruce Kolinski

    Thank you!

  • Courtlin Woods

    If the gov. really wanted to stop hos valations all they have to do is require companys and brokers to pay drivers by the hour for 10 hours. and time and a half after 10 hours. see how fast trucking companys stop drivers from driving over 10 hours.
    oh derequlation screwed up the industry not the baby boomers

  • martymarsh

    V V, what are you kidding, who did you drive for that your truck was that bad, it would seem to me that people like you are the cause for our problems. If you know it is worn out it is up to you not to drive it, but because they would tell you get your things out of their truck you drove it anyway.

  • sean mcguire

    A shutdown is a very good idea because it would make everybody realize the importance of trucks, and what it is we do as drivers that help enhance the lives of the laming public. It would make a grave difference. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.