Channel 19

Todd Dills

Flex time — ATA lays down support for sleeper berth/HOS flexibility in comments to feds

| April 22, 2010

The latest wrinkle in the ongoing debate over potential changes to trucking hours-of-service regulations, for which so many drivers have offered various proposals for injecting flexibility into the system, is the biggest trucking-company organization in the nation’s support for codifying split rest in the sleeper berth. “Allowing shorter documented sleeper berth periods [other than the currently mandated 10-hour rest period] would promote safety and health,” ran a portion of the American Trucking Associations’ comments on the questions posed by the hours-of-service listening session organizers. (Full comments are available here in a 15-page pdf.)

Allowing a short period for a nap, by which ATA recommended extending the 14-hour window by the same amount, in addition to a perhaps codified longer period would, the comments say, encourage “circadian-friendly naps, [promote] shorter continuous driving periods, [help] to reduce highway congestion, and [increase] operational flexibility.”

There’s that flexibility word again. While ATA’s comments stop short of the kinds of radical operational flexibility many drivers would prefer, as my recent posts about Wisconsin-based Jeff Clark’s and Canadian Tom Balaz’ own ideas for rewarding safe drivers illustrate, perhaps they signal that changes to the better for drivers may be on the way. Thoughts?: tdills [at] strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.

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