DOT’s Foxx defends hours rule, saying it is ‘product of years’ of research

| September 19, 2013
Secretary Anthony Foxx

Secretary Anthony Foxx

Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx sent Wednesday, Sept. 18, to 51 House members a response letter defending the current hours of service rule and saying it is the result of years of research into driver fatigue and safety and analysis of comments from the public. 

The letter was individually addressed and sent to each of the 51 signees of a letter sent to Foxx in August criticizing the hours of service rule and its implementation.

Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.), has been an outspoken proponent of the current hours rule and spearheaded the Aug. 29 letter to DOT head Foxx, which called the hours rule “counter to commonsense” and requested the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration provide it with a date as to when an hours of service study required by the MAP-21 highway funding law — passed last year – would be completed. Hanna also released a statement this week saying he intends to “restore some commonsense to this flawed regulatory process,” referring to the hours rule. 

In his letter, Foxx points to the fact that the MAP-21 legislation “was enacted well after the” final hours rule was published in December 2011. The letter from House members was critical of FMCSA and the DOT for the rule going final even though the MAP-21-required study had not been completed. 

Foxx said the hours rule “is also the result of input from a wide range of stakeholders, including trucking companies, drivers, law enforcement, unions and safety advocates,” in addition to the aforementioned research. 

The data collection phase of the study has been completed, however, says Foxx, who also wrote that the agency is in the “final stages of analysis.” 

A date to which the study will be reported to Congress could not be provided, says Foxx, but the agency is working to get it finished and reported, he says. 

Click here to see coverage of the House letter sent to Foxx last month.

  • g

    Fox aint gonna rock no boat…he has hire aspirations in politics than THIS dumb job….he will be of NO HELP to Truckers he represents his “Handlers” and Big Money.

  • g

    Truckers To Shut Down America…on Facebook has 56,000 LIKES and growing..only up 3 Days…..Most Truckers are getting onboard with THIS solution…not Foxx and his RICH Pals…

  • g

    Foxx is a Clone of Anne Ferro but with a kickstand.

  • Ace

    Where can I see the years of research ?

  • John Scott

    He is another clueless tool of government. Frankly trucking has never been more diverse and their are countless of examples where one size fits all regulations are not effective.

  • John Scott

    Would like to see the big companies get onboard to put some teeth in a shut down. But will never happen. As long as they can fill driver seats they won’t care.

  • Barney

    He just a puppet like the idiots at the DoT

  • Sed

    What a joke!!!

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  • G-Wiz

    I would like to know who these trucking companies and drivers are….. Sounds like BS

  • Chris Harkins

    Clearly this is a lie because if there was any input from drivers the hours rule would be fixed by now…those are the ONLY people who should have an opinion on this subject, not companies, not dispatchers, not unions and not law enforcement. Who regulates these people and the hours allowed to work??? NOBODY!

  • Jim

    result of years of research into driver fatigue and safety and analysis of comments from the public: There in lies the problem….The public does not drive these trucks(all amateurs), professional drivers do, but what we need does not count, and this guy has been on the job HOW LONG. Nobody in the house or the senate, or any of the analyst have EVER driven a big rig cross country, or anywhere else. They are just lawyers and bean counters, no real practical knowledge of how anything in this world works, other than how to pass their own pay raises, and escape the crap they put on us. But THEY will know exactly where you are at all times, YOU know you cant stop the black boxes in your trucks, when are you going to have enough of this _______
    fill in your own blank!

  • MD

    Mr. Foxx, I challenge you to pack your bags and spend 14 days on the road. The O/O will put names in a pool and the name picked is who you will spend 14 days with. I want you to see the real culprit on the highways. I CHALLENGE you to do this, if you even care at all.

  • Thomas Duncan

    Her is some input from a trucker who has spent 3.5 million plus miles safely w/o obeying laws knowing one simple fact;Anytime you take the decision when to work or when to rest from the DRIVER you create an unsafe situation.How about stop hiring irresponsable people and wasting $$$$$ on “studies” and listen to common sense.What does what I did a week ago have to do with what I do today.Logbooks should have on page,,,,the last 24hrs.

  • 2wildT

    I second that challenge and open the invitation to anyone in authority at either the DOT or the FMCSA. Mr. Fox I find your comments to be a complete insult to myself and the 3.5 million professional drivers out here busting our butts for peanuts for your comfort. The new rules are not working. Walk into any truckstop or rest area and see the exhausted faces for yourself. See the drivers asleep sitting up in chairs day and night. The only time I get any rest now, is when I’m actually at home. Companies are now bypassing the restart and not allowing us to shut down for so much as one full day unless at home reguardless of how long we’re out. Feel free to contact me by email, I will be happy to prove this to you. Input from trucking stakeholders, oh you mean the 1/2 dozen large trucking companies and the ATA. I forgot folks in Washington think the ATA and these companies represent the interests of the other 95% of the trucking industry.

  • Cwbintennessee Michael Winton

    Once again….a slap to the face of the American truck driver. Between these ELOGS being pushed onto us and being mandatory and these new HOS, i can’t make heads nor tails of my operation anymore.

    The only people Foxx is ”representing” right now are the ones who contributed the most to his campaign. This is atrocious. Anne S. Ferro should have her ass in the hot seat as well and needs to step down from her position too. The situation with the FMCSA has become unmanageable and the regulations are not products of real world data. They were compiled in a lab and presented on a silver plate the big money people and now it’s being shoved in our faces.

    The time to stand together is NOW, folks. Not drive to DC under some bullshit Facebook pages’ lackluster agenda. We need to stand up for all our rights or we will all be out of a job. All of us. This affects each and every single person in this industry. From office personnel to driver alike. We need to say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. First thing that needs to happen in my opinion, is the HOS needs to be overturned…….NOW.

  • Milton Chapman

    Mr Foxx I would love to see any of these studies and as for the trucker comments you nor the FMCSA have listened to one word that was spoken .

  • Stormy

    Kind of sounds like a Texas two step shuffle but then I believed everybody when they said computers were ” logic ”. I can assure you most of my computer fixes defy logic. But back to the hours of service… Who analyzed what the truckers were saying? What they came up with certainly bears no resemblance to what I read or heard. I saw a lot of money being spent to set up forums so truckers could come in and speak their mind. And then after everybody pretended to listen ”somebody” analyzed what they really meant to say. Queen Anne then created the HOS rule. This took years of research, was published in 2011, put into effect July 1, 2013 AND NOW they are working on the final analysis. So maybe they could stop with the sleep apnea, e-logs and all the rest of their nonsense until they finish what they started over 2 years ago. Excuse me while I go put my trailer before my truck and move on down the road. It’s about break time…. but I’m not napping…. and then it’s almost supper time. A nice salad so I can watch that BMI. $4,000 just isn’t in my budget right now, it obviously isn’t considered a medical procedure since even Obamacare won’t pay for it and my doctor can’t schedule it around my restart.

  • Dan Gerster

    these new hours of service suck. you have to do your 11 hrs and 14 hrs half hr break before 8 hrs and u cant restart tilln u hit 168 hours after being home 4 48 hours or more and then u have to recap to get more hours to work what a big joke it really sucks is you have to drive tired and cant drive when ure rested or yake a break during rush hour stuck in traffic wasting ur precious time HEY FOXX DID U EVER DRIVE A TRUCK OVER THE ROAD??????if not how can u be a judge of us drivers just like ferro no trucking experience!!!!!!

  • guest

    This Protest in Washington is a START…with all of us knowing there is a Shut Down scheduled it is ORGANIZING us….maybe once aMonth we can Protest or Shut Down as a Collective Unit of 1 Million Freight Haulers…..I would not dismiss Oct 11-13 in fact it presents a realistic opportunity to get Started.

  • g

    Yep Anne Baby is a real Hefty bag!!

  • Ronald Sondergaard

    what happen to simplicity….what a complex thing for a person to figure out….go back to the old logs

  • Jesse Harkens

    “The data collection phase of the study has been completed, however, says Foxx, who also wrote that the agency is in the “final stages of analysis.”

    so they just gather intel, pass laws on said intel then make a final analysis in same intel? Standard thinking of the government

  • joe bielucki

    This guy knows nothing about trucking, and will walk lock step with the president in hopes of higher aspirations. These people, in their arrogance, will not listen, nor do they even care. They have the power, you sit down and pay your taxes, and do what we say, because they are just so much smarter than you. Has anyone else had enough?

  • Smitty

    I’m still waiting for someone to explain to me why I need the feds to tell me when to sleep, when to take a break, and what specific hours I need to take off. 34 hours off duty is 34 hours off duty I’m not going to be rested any differently at a specified time. Were robots and the feds as usual failed the common sense test. What companies support this nonsense? The big companies with investers that need tax shelters. One more nail in the coffin for the independent owner operators, they’ll gets us yet unless we get united. They teach little kids to just say no. Maybe its time for us to be grown-ups and just say no .

  • William Flatt

    Why is it these government agencies want to put EVERYONE into a box? I know for a fact there are days when I have to stop my truck that I could drive another 3 or 4 hours. When you try to force people to sleep when they don’t need it they will wake up fatigued. Everyone’s internal clock isn’t the same.

  • chuck

    So if this is what is demanded for anybody that is under this current rule (these are not laws) then just say ok I’m sure they know exactly what they are talking about. You will need to adjust your pay to accommodate the pay cut. Charge a $1.00 per mile to drive there papers to them so they can make more dumb laws. O/O charge $5.00 per mile to hall it. For the liability that is forced upon this industry you should make at least $150,000.00 per year. If you have never been through a commercial accident you should check into what happens you will be very surprised how much liability you have as the driver. If they wish to add more none commen sense rules then just say ok and charge more for your professional service and say thank you could you please add some more.

  • hacksaw

    Things just not will change in that position no matter who is appointed to it. All we have is mindless yes men & women filling them. It is called follow the lead sheep with the bell.

  • Hleeming

    Bull, No politician works that hard at anything, look at all the studies and bills that have been passed, some look like they been created by children.Try this, get off your butt,get a job with a carrier with a bad rep, and climb into a truck. Then tell me how much research you did. What I think is you don’t know the first thing about what a truck driver does, and you probably couldn’t get the truck off the lot. It really makes me wonder what kind of studies the government does, but I will guarantee it does not involve real truck drivers. Just a lot of politician discussing it over a few drinks, On the taxpayers dime, I would say.

  • Julie Delp

    Yes, we are all toddlers and should be told when we’re tired. Obviously if you can’t trust us with such a simple decision, how can you trust us to haul millions of dollars in freight?

    The government is so tied up with Analysis Paralysis that they can’t even regulate themselves properly, so why not let them make some more asinine rules for an industry that they obviously know so little about?

    Why don’t we take this a step further and regulate everyone that drives. If you have a corporate job, a political job, hell….any job and you’ve been on-duty (whether or not at the work location) you will need to log a 30-minute rest break before the initial 8 hours are up (not to be split into two 15-minute breaks) and cannot continue to work past 14 hours total. This includes drive time, social functions as a result of work, dinners, airplane travel to/from work or associated functions, etc. …oh, and time waiting for that plane/car/train/metro/driver.

    Surely THAT would make our roads safer than regulating the professional driver.

    All that these regulations will ultimately end up affecting is the cost of goods and the time it will take them to get there. Just one more black eye for the American economy when we can least afford it, but hey, they’ll have compliance income from fines and tickets to help pay for the studies.



  • michaelt47

    If they tried to regulate all the little wreck causers, they would be voted out of office. Don’t you just love all the time you spend on the side of the road being worked over by a COMMERCIAL TRUCK ENFORCEMENT officer? They all have a different answer to the same question and all will tell you that they do it different. Don’t go to Pasadena, Texas, if you can stay away. We all call it “RUNNING THE GAULET”

  • michaelt47

    CASH COW!!

  • Cwbintennessee Michael Winton

    I sure hope so. Lol.

  • michaelt47

    I got fined 2500.00 for not having a drug policy in the file cabinet and not being drug tested. I told them I did not do drugs and took a drug test within 24 hours of being notified and it came out negative as I knew it would. I drive my own truck and haul a mower around town and have been accident free for 30 years. But I deserved to pay this fine for nothing????

  • michaelt47

    BTW, you or I never see the big corporate trucks pulled over by truck enforcement. They have staff lawyers and not very easy to collect from. But if you are obviously an independent, Watch out, they want your money that could be used for new tires and brakes and other safety items.

  • Tony Scovell

    years of reasherch my ass unless hes been there done that hes still a pencil pusher an thinks he knows whats happening,mayb he needs to get his political ass out there an try to make a living .as much as the rules an regs have been changed since they statred this crazy change a few years ago its caused a head ache for many a anthony foxx chocke on that for breakfast then maybe when you come up for air youll have a little sense,but i dont think so.

  • Julie Delp

    I kid you not….one of my driver’s has been pulled over twice a week for the last month. He gets clean reports, but that does not stop them. And Iowa gave him a ticket for overlength….they forgot about the FEDERAL rule for stinger mount car haulers. I had to call in to his supervisor to get the ticket voided. Not even the compliance officers can understand all the rules!!

  • rufus crank

    Have they looked at stress being a factor in their sleep study? Putting an underpaid driver on an E-Log, in a speed limiter truck,and then telling him/her they have to waste 30 mins of time just because a digital device says they are tired creates stress. If the FMCSA was really concerned about fatigue,they would eliminate the 14 hour rule so that i could stop to rest anytime i felt the need. The FMCSA needs to be issued an “Out of Service” order until it is felt as though they had a firm grasp of our main safety issue out here being on the roads. That being, aggressive behavior by automobile drivers.

  • Lisa Wells

    “Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.), has been an outspoken proponent of the current hours rule and spearheaded the Aug. 29 letter to DOT head Foxx, which called the hours rule “counter to commonsense” and requested the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration provide it with a date as to when an hours of service study required by the MAP-21 highway funding law — passed last year – would be completed. Hanna also released a statement this week saying he intends to “restore some commonsense to this flawed regulatory process,” referring to the hours rule. ”

    Sorry to inform you, writers, but Rep. Hanna, according to this paragraph, would be considered an OPPONENT of the HOS rule, not a PROPONENT. He is not supporting the HOS rule by any means, yet calling him a proponent says he is doing just that. At least SOMEBODY in politics has some modicum of common sense!

    “Foxx said the hours rule “is also the result of input from a wide range of stakeholders, including trucking companies, drivers, law enforcement, unions and safety advocates,” in addition to the aforementioned research.”

    I’d like to know what companies and drivers were allowed to provide input. Heck, for that matter, how about complete transparency and provide information on ALL who provided input? The reason I say this is because I know many, many truckers and industry workers, and not a single one of them is a PROPONENT of the new HOS rules (see how I used that word in its correct context?). I’m fairly confident that the only people whose input was considered were those in favor of the HOS rules, probably people who never spent more than a few minutes inside a big rig and have never seen firsthand what truckers must endure on a daily basis. It is simply impossible to mandate a specific schedule for this industry; there are far too many variables at play, such as traffic, weather, shipper or consignee delays, breakdowns, etc. Truckers MUST be allowed latitude, they MUST be given the right to manage their own schedules. By taking it out of their hands, the government is threatening the safety of not only those truckers, but also of those who are driving the very same roads with them.

    On a final note; Sec. Foxx, you were a moronic imbecile as Charlotte’s mayor, and you have not improved. Give up and resign, before you do any more damage.

  • Allen Hartley

    It’s a product of years of BS and MORE to come!

  • g

    If Obama had a “son” he would like like this chump?? This imbicile “Tony The Puppet”??? He cant even HEAR anything a trucker has to say…..No Sir…..smartly he will be flying in expensive jets and attending catered “meetings”….dressed in expensive suits..he has a hard time understanding anything a Trucker would be interested in……lol.

  • g

    Sambo The Puppet…..Foxx…..what an ANUS.

  • MercenaryMan

    Lobbys er I mean Bribery….artisits, and those 300 dollar lunches, DRIVERS needa lobby, one that takes Congress man on rides around the country and shows them the world we live in….

  • MercenaryMan

    Let Congress take a 30 minute break forcing them to make no phone calls, no discussions, no meetngs they must all sit in there chair and stare out into space, Over half of those old fools would be sleep at the desk

  • guest

    Lies Lies and More Lies by a NEW LIAR.
    Foxx is down at the border helping his Daddy Obama
    push open the gate for all of mexico to run up here and take everything they can get their illegal alien hands on…MORE illegal Aliens to take our JOBS and FREIGHT….this freaky weirdo will be giving the Green Light to mexicans everywhere to get their CDL from Jerry Brown and get to truckin!!!!!!
    The NEW law in CALIF says ANY illegal alien can NOW have a Drivers License…..goodbye jobs for Americans.

  • Proud Trucker

    These new laws and so called safety issues to the truckers, are a joke.. its all about lining someone else pocket, when we as truckers take our jobs, and safety very seriously, this restart weekly clock is a gimmick to try to promote more jobs when all it will do is make good drivers lose income, and bring in more inexperienced drivers.. Foxx you want to crack down on highway safety, than start with the drivers of cars and motorcycles, that cause 99.9% of all trucker related accidents, and us professionals get blamed for it… there was no reason to implement the 30 min break, any otr driver gets out of the truck more often than you think you know… we have real life needs as well, food, restroom, fueling etc etc… all this is doing is causing more problems for drivers than anything… why dont you make it mandatory for car drivers to have hands free devices, not text on the phones, etc etc…. oh heres another thing.. you should make all drivers of cars and motorcycles, pass the basic knowledge CDL test.. so they might understand why a truck cant stop on a dime when they cut them off… we as truckers, are very proud of our jobs..and we should be paid more for it, not regulate us to earn less

  • g

    Somebody has to tell Tony The Puppet what to say…he is too stupid to know anything about this industry…the guy is a hilarious Baboon!!!

  • Stormy

    Let them all tell us their BMI and then slap them with a sleep apnea test if any of the old fools fall asleep at their desk.

    i wonder how long it will take them to figure out that sleep apnea causing “extreme fatique” qualifies as a disability. How many drivers do you think would rather sit this out at home collecting disability instead of trying to figure out how to fit a CPAC in their sleeper and wait for the next round of punches that are sure to follow.

    The next set of changes are due in November….. I know I can hardly wait.

  • Indie Trucker

    I know this is going to make a lot of you sick, but me and my peers who are all leased to different carriers…. Working for us no problem. You guys need to find a different pace of trucking. I actually like the fact that I can say I got to wait until morning before I can leave on a reset instead of taking off as soon as I got 34 off the clock. I suspect as usual HOS isn’t the real problem, pay is. And if you aren’t happy with the profit, time to move on. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.