Court upholds all of hours rule for long-haul drivers

| August 02, 2013

hours-of-service-truck-stopThe entirety of the current hours of service rule was upheld in federal court Aug. 2 for long-haul drivers. The only portion of the rule vacated by the court was the required 30-minute break for short-haul drivers.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia rejected all of the other American Trucking Associations’ arguments against the rule. ATA’s Dave Osiecki said the group is “disappointed the court chose to give unlimited deference to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s agenda-driving rulemaking.”

He did, however, say that the court’s ruling to strike down the break requirement for short haulers “is an important victory.” Short haulers are defined as those who drive within a 150-mile radius of the base from which they are dispatched.

FMCSA in a statement said it is “pleased with the court’s decision.”

“The ruling recognizes the sensible data-driven approach that was taken in crafting this important regulation to increase safety and reduce driver fatigue – a leading factor in truck crashes,” the statement said. “The ruling also provides added certainty for all affected, moving forward.”

The current hours rule became largely effective July 1 and, along with the mandatory 30-minute break after eight on-duty hours, it limits the use of a 34-hour workweek restart to just once in 168 hours and requires that the restart include two 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. periods.

Judge Janice Rogers Brown, writing for the three-judge panel, said the court hopes the ruling will “[bring] an end to much of the permanent warfare surrounding” the rules. “Though FMCSA won the day not on the strengths of its rulemaking prowess, but through an artless war of attrition, the controversies of this round are ended,” she wrote.

“ATA takes issue with the study’s methodology and the conclusions the FMCSA draws from it,” Brown wrote, in regard to FMCSA’s stipulating when these two breaks occur.  “But we must unquestionably defer to an agency’s expertise in weighing and evaluating the merits of scientific studies.”

Also grouped into the case was a lawsuit from Public Citizen, which argued that the current hours rule was not restrictive enough. The court rejected the group’s entire argument.

  • Cwbintennessee Michael Winton

    “The ruling recognizes the sensible data-driven approach that was taken in crafting this important regulation to increase safety and reduce driver fatigue – a leading factor in truck crashes,” the statement said. “The ruling also provides added certainty for all affected, moving forward.”




    This is a joke! omg!

  • dennis de lac

    another snow job from our government aimed at screwing the American trucker. all this is about is how they can harass drivers and write tickets. I always hear its about safety yet I never see dot cops out doing “safety checks” when its colds,snowing, or raining. all this has nothing to do with safety and everything to do with money. as the most powerful group in this country we should stop working for a few days and lets see what the money grubbing assholes in Washington do. last time I looked supermarkets don’t get serviced by railroad and neither do many other things this country needs to get through a work day

  • Malcolm Corse Jr.

    already left a comment but don’t see it here,imagine that

  • Malcolm Corse Jr.

    like I said in first unrecognized comment I would love to be able to work less hours and make a living above the poverty line,but the same rulemakers who make rules about the trucking industry which they know squat about evidently don’t know squat about the rates being the one thing not keeping up with the inflation of everything else that it takes to move products to the stores and their homes

  • john f

    of course the bastards upheld the ruling, they were appointed by our dictator Obama !!

  • Malcolm Corse Jr.

    hitler tried unsuccessfully to clone humans into something of his liking,looks to me like that is what fmcsa thinks we are is a bunch of clones that can be programmed to be all the same all the time,sorry fmcsa,but we are not clones,and we don’t all function exactly alike

  • James C

    This entire farce of a rule is complete and utter BULLSHIT! It’s time we all park our trucks, and make the FMCSA come to it’s knees.

  • Malcolm Corse Jr.

    yeah and guess they figure short haul drivers who have to deal with customers,city traffic on an hourly basis and just a lot more people in general,plus an allowed longer work day don’t need to take at least a half break every 8 hours,looks to me like they would have been the first to be required to take such a break or breaks,being how they are in a stressful situation all their long work day or did fmcsa even think to do a study on that?

  • Bryan N.

    Perhaps it is time we organize another trucking industry shutdown. History has shown we can make a difference as a group. The Obama administration needs to know their place in this country is to help the people not hinder!!

  • Gerry Buck

    Sure, lot’s just blame Obama, again. She was the last judge appointed to that court, and guess, what? She was strongly opposed by the Democrats, and in point of fact did not sit the bench until 2005.

    Janice Rogers Brown (born May 11, 1949) is a federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. She previously was an Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court, holding that post from May 2, 1996 until her appointment to the D.C. Circuit.

    President George W. Bush nominated her to her current position in 2003. However, her nomination was stalled in the U.S. Senate for almost two years because of Democratic opposition. She began serving as a federal appellate court judge on June 8, 2005.
    Anything else Obama trasher? He ain’t responsible for it all.

  • Gerry Buck

    Yes it us, and a tragic one at that.

  • Gerry Buck

    Having driven local and long hail, I have to agree. Funny the mental giants at FMCSA aren’t all that able to figure that out. Maybe if they actually drove a rig???????????

  • Gerry Buck

    Or any day.

  • R Monaghan

    I’m outa here. I only hope for a national strike.

  • Ben

    time to organize a strike and show them how trucking is the back bone of our economy. most of my owner operator drivers are telling me either they will start chaging more or leave the business. so sad

  • HickoryNut

    Just wanted to say to all my trucker Brothers out there, I am 46 drove for 23 years, half that as a owner/operator until was forced out by fuel prices and government bull****, I miss driving over the road, went back in 2011 done it until about a year ago, finally said the Hell with it, being harassed by the police, DOT trying to find parking, harassed buy shippers and receivers wanting 150.00 to 300.00 to unload THEIR freight That They Order, forced at times to use rest area only to be woke up by some ass wipe cop and gave a ticket for trying to get rest and do the right thing. Then they say it all about safety well maybe they should teach their Cops a little Curtsy and respect not to wake up or harass the poor driver out their trying to rest or do his job. Believe me it has nothing to do with safety just a bunch of Rich ass politicians and high power people that have nothing better to do or the common sense to make a smart rule or law, instead have to make it so confusing that they cant even figure it out. what a joke, I think the only way going to get anything done is you drivers and companies are going to have to stand together and say enough is enough, Shut done and cripple the economy, show the Big Wheels that with out Truck Drivers You WILL HAVE NOTHING! I was a Driver and I no without You Guys busting your balls and sacrificing your families that I cant get everything I need to take care of my self or family, So A Big Thank You Drivers for what you do for me. I Unlike Them Do Appreciate YOU! maybe they should get out and ride with a Real Truck Driver, Live the Life for A Bit, be shown how hard it really is, be harassed and ticketed and told you cant let your truck idle when its 100 degrees outside, see if they can figure out how to sleep when there burning up or freezing, ya I no that will never happen cause their never going to give up their lifestyle to see the real Truth. Be safe Brothers and come home to your Families.

  • Dj Albariño

    Labor Day week end,let’s take all week off,


    When are all you owner operators going to get together and shut down for a week? I myself have no problem with it just need the rest of you all to decide when.

  • Mike Smith

    So, the judges rule again. People who don’t know crap about driving. “Judge Janice Rogers Brown, writing for the three-judge panel, said the court hopes the ruling will “[bring] an end to much of the permanent warfare surrounding” the rules.

    I want to see this FEMALE judge rule that ANYONE in this country must have to stop driving after 8 hours. I want to see her rule that all police cannot idle their cars & to run their a/c while parked. I want to see this judge rule that Mexicans can be cops in our country to help us cut taxes in 1/2 because cops get paid to much. I want this judge to rule that men should be allowed to take the kids and make women pay men child support.

    Our government is out of control. Judges are ruling against American citizens & supporting the wrong things, IE. Mexican trucks coming on to our soil. They support communist health insurance, health ins. that will pay for the birth of the 6 kids 3rd world savages are having in our country, to out breed us. They support Mexicans in our country. It’s time to start developing a list of all these entities, who profit off of all this. They support drug testing which is a violation of our 4th Amendment right.

  • Mike Smith

    Has anyone recognized that this Obama minority nazi Admin. has put minorities & woman in so many of the major departments in OUR GD country, IE FMCSA, negro, FAA a Mexican, the Department of Immigration, for GODS SAKE is a foggen Mexican. What the GD heck is going on? What’s going on is the terraforming, as they say in sy-fi, of our country. Our country is being turned into a Mexican/negro country with all minorities against us; at our expense, extinction. Just look at So. CA. We are in deep crap fellow countrymen, and everyone must say so so that it is less possible for them to track people.

  • rebecca keele

    where ass all of the remarks are good points until all and i do mean ALL owner operators unite and take a stand this is what it will be the fmcsa controlling the trucking industry so here we all are whining and complaining instead of fighting to take back our jobs we all need to unite and agree on terms before we shut this country down and it would only take 2 days not a week

  • Mike Smith

    I’m ready.

  • No Reform

    Plenty of ads for Chofer….drivey trookay……call Jose pronto por Trabajo…48 estatos…..those are the chumps that will do this job today….it is better than their Mud Hut.

  • bigred

    I beg to differ there Gerry, you apparantly missed the part about this ruling gonna create 16,000 jobs in the trucking industry. This is, albeit, a farce as drivers are now quitting everyday because they sit in parking lots most of the time, Obama`s way of trying to create jobs in an industry he just severly crippled and in the long run will destroy hundreds of small companies. This is nothing but another socialistic move aimed at weakening the US and destroying this nation….But you keep up the good work of supporting this bunch Gerry and your ignorance to this industry is clearly blinded by your ignorance to this government.

  • bigred

    It is almost time for big VACATION that we all need to take at the same time. What is happening here and in trucking is somehow getting a lot of us where we need to be..

  • kiko kika

    all i hear is whining i give it to you guys you know how to say to some body what to do but you can save you owned thing you know they well tell you guys when you well wipe your rear and how many paper you can wipe on your owned fat rear…mexican said mexican rule no habla english

  • Shawn L Hubbard

    Where’s the data to back your assertion that drivers sit in parking lots most of the time? I work with 45 drivers who don’t sit unless they’re forced to take their now-defunct 30 minute break.

  • Shawn L Hubbard

    If this ruling is enough to break your spirit, you shouldn’t be in the trucking industry.

  • Shawn L Hubbard

    I’m seeing more whine here than I’ve ever seen in Napa valley. Reading these comments, you would think the world’s coming to an end. The ones who say we should strike, how about getting off your ass and organize one? The ones who complain about Mexicans, why don’t you look in the mirror and ask yourself why you’ve carved out a niche in life where you’re forced to compete with third world workers? The ones placing blame deserve to be driven out of this industry. If you can’t adapt to a changing business environment or decide to work for less than you’re worth, you have no one to blame but yourself.

  • TruckerGuns

    This decision is (almost) guaranteed NOT to be granted certiorari unless there is a circuit split (which I think is impossible here unless a similar challenge can be filed in another forum under Article III), and it’s brought as an “as applied” challenge, so otherwise, the best hope is a petition for “en banc” review (which I doubt). I’m happy (for now) that the 30 minute break BS for “short haulers” was struck, but how could a court reasonably affirm such an ambiguous and unconstitutionally vague rule as the new 34 hour restart??? Oh, I forgot, ambiguity and “unconstitutional vagueness” (“Connally v. General Construction Co.”, 269 U.S. 385, 391 (1926)) wasn’t part of the challenge, and it wasn’t challenged by someone who was not for it from the beginning. Good Lord… Some groups need lessons on plaintiff recruiting. Sorry, just saying…

  • Bryan N.

    I do not know how to go about organizing the trucking industry, but it is time! I am open to organizing a shutdown. Remember how it helped the trucking industry in the past? This president needs to know this country is a free country! I do not tell Obama when and how long to rest and or sleep!!

    Any help with this idea is welcome!! Let’s get this done!!

  • Jim Bradley

    All i can say is;
    “I got that deep, deep, really deep, deep a$$ trukka $ounde”
    “Got it smokin 3 packs of chokes a day, eatn gunpowder ba da pound”….
    “Once was blind but now I $ee”
    “Lost but now Im found”
    “Thanks to Jesus in my heart and that deep a$$ trukka $ounde”…
    Get the $ signs when related to trukka$…
    The $ they getn slown us down in our truks, at pics and drops and stupid laws.
    Where are the rules/laws concerning criminal delays at our beloved shprs/recvrs not paying any $ til 2hrs or not at all..
    They must pay more for their lack of urgency and holding drivers hostage for 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14/24hr periods of time..and I mean the companies get away with compensating drivers minimum wage and many times not at all…….

  • Don Walker

    Safety? If anything these rules and the set before these are causing these drivers with computers holding them to everything, to be forced to drive tired because they cant stop and nap without messing up the very structured day. Not everyone is the same when it comes to sleep needs. I,ve been driving since 87 and not had an accident but if I try to change my habits and adhere to this nonsense it will endanger me and others.
    Im ready and will park my trucks if we can get that together. Its time to stop this ridiculous attack on our livelihood.

  • terry2u

    Welcome to the “new” United States Of America…
    Brought to you, courtesy of our “Lord & Savior” President Barrack H. Obama… God help us all…

  • John Aalborg

    Remember “Freedom of the road” that drivers used to believe in? May the regulators all be sentenced to swallow child-proof bottle caps and those “for your protection” seals for all eternity.

  • No Reform

    Chofer..mucho trabajo drivee trookay…..Ads all over the Southwest for spanish speakers to take the jobs of AMERICANS. Trucking is targeted for total Domination.

  • No Reform

    No FREEDOM now….only cops with GUNS telling YOU what to do.

  • Mike Smith

    It’s about time Americans start speak out here on Overdrive & everywhere else for that matter. Stop the “namby pamby” talk, & get serious. We are under attack by our own government, (“the new King George government”), that has overthrown by the businesses & corporations that profit. And we need to get angry, and talk the angry talk.

  • Gerry Buck

    Maybe you should go back to school and learn to read what is written. My answer was to the assertion that Obama was responsible for the judges sitting on the bench that made this decision. My point was, and still is, that he ISN’T responsible for all the problems we have today. If you would pull your head out of your hatred for Obama, and take a GOOD hard look at what has happened in the last 50 years, you would see that it ISN’T just the democrats that have been ruining our country, nor just the politicians, everybody has contributed to it in one way or another. Including you and those that think like you do.
    No, I don’t claim to be any better. Like I said, we ALL have contributed to the problem. And making up ‘statistics’ doesn’t help.
    As to not knowing anything about the trucking industry, I spent 25 years of my life driving trucks, and I know things have changed since my health pulled me off the road 15 years ago, but I still remember more than you think I do.

  • Ed

    How about a class action law suit against fmcsa. All of us drivers should start this and as well a suit over our mandated pay cut

  • Rdwarr

    More of Obama’s appointed MORONS not having a clue to the trucking industry. NONE of these rules make it safer. In fact they make it more unsafe. It has caused me to push more. It has caused my company to try to get more work done within the 168 hrs. I get no rest. I only get enough time off now to cover the 2, 1-5 am times. I have to push myself, tired or not to get the work done. The 1/2 break is a joke. I take it while unloading. On duty or Off duty doesn’t matter, that is how stupid the DOT is. When are they going to get people in the DOT that are smart enough to know anything about trucking?

  • EF McHenry

    You Sir have no idea what your talking about. You have been rightly criticised by commentor Gerry Buck who is 100% correct is saying Judge Janice Rogers Brown was nominated by George W. Bush in 2003. In fact Brown declares herself a anti-govt radical. Why don’t you do your homework before opening your mouth. It’s people like you I can’t stand! They don’t know what they’re talking about, they follow strong cult like leaders like conservative talk radio hosts and are usually Fox news junkies!
    Both political parties today have imposters within their ranks. And the establishment within each party and about 1 click away from each other. THERE’S NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THEM!

  • EF McHenry

    100% Correct! Good comment

  • Tom AndSheila Hurd

    This whole thing totally amazes me, drivers are the most powerful group on planet earth and have the country, even the world by the proverbial balls and yet we all set back and get told every move to make even when to take a bathroom break, how many hours to sleep and when and the fines are staggering, If everyone would just agree to stand together, no judge, senator or even the president would stand in the way, world leaders would even put pressure on our enlightened government to get out of the way so they could get their goods to and from the ports, but go take your mandated bathroom break, and make sure you set a whole 1/2 hour on the throne or you will get a fine for it.

  • Linda Kay Guiette

    Ok guys, do you know who your senators and representatives are? And do they realize just how serious this whole ruling is in the transportation industry? I would guess they do not have a clue. So LET THEM KNOW! There are a lot of truckers and they can have an impact! Flood them with emails and let them know that you do have choices and what those are. No empty threats, but make them realize what would happen if the industry shut down for a week in protest. No food delivery, no fuel delivery, no freight at all!

    Independent truckers are the backbone of the transportation industry. Show your power by contacting your representatives and letting them know what you want! Quit grousing and do something!

  • BunniRabbyt Happily Retired Th

    Maybe I am retired but I feel for you guys and gals after having driven 41 years I say this Get a shutdown going or shutup Nobody in Washington is reading this column. You are going to have to make some noise this has went too far. I went thru 3 shutdowns at least we made enough impact I lasted 41 years but I could not live with this new crap they are throwing at you. OOIDA grow a set this YAK YAK is not working. That is all I got to say

  • ttalbot

    amen brother 10 years owning my business and last year dot came in and found some minor logbook problems driver did not sign inspection etc. fine $4100.00 wow!! then called wanted to come back in 3 months later and do it all over again told them to kiss my ass was not going to spend 3 more days with the assholes in my office closed the business and walked away 6 drivers out of work guess that’s their job creation put us out leaves more freight for the Mexican trucks I feel for you good luck if everyone shuts down I’m behind you still got 2 trucks left would love to go back to work but not till get the pricks in fmcsa under control

  • Mike Smith

    “The ones who complain about Mexicans, why don’t you look in the mirror and ask yourself why you’ve carved out a niche in life where you’re forced to compete with third world workers?”

    Why don’t you ask why we have 3rd world savages in our country? Because people like you only have brains enough to run a business, whereby, the only way you can succeed, is to use these slave labor scum allowed into our country by this corrupt government, bought & paid for by businesses & corporations, that profit off their cheap labor & the there massive numbers of diapers they sell them.

    Obviously you have no sense of our history. Remember from sea to shining sea. Remember the Alamo.

    We do have someone to blame, you, & those like you you stupid a$$. People like you should be hunted down, tried & shot for your treasonous nonsense, PC statements. I’m sick of it.

  • Jr

    I guess what you don”t understand about the worst President we have ever had and Obamacare is it that they are going to create lots of part time jobs which makes him look good. And this will force employers to change full time jobs to part time . I am an employer in the trucking industry and I pay all of my employees insurance 100% for now but since Obamacare the rates have increased 30% in 2 years, Cant do this much longer.
    Let us not forget that any ticket a cop can write is a revenue source for the state and local government , there will alway be something to charge you with until goverment stops spend money they don’t have and stop sending it to undeserving Muslim countries.

  • martymarsh

    Now that is correct, it’s called divide and conquer and anyone thinks they have a side lives in a fantasy world. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.