Channel 19

Todd Dills

Hours debacle covered at news site Politico

| March 06, 2012

**(Overdrive editor Max Heine is posting updates from the Truckload Carriers Association annual meeting via the OD Twitter feed and Facebook page today. Expected to be included among the news are company driver and owner-operator of the year awards. Stay tuned.)**

Click through the thumbnail of the graph here for Politico writer Adam Snider’s brief dissection of the debate over the new hours rule, his reporting tracking primarily in the divisions over what exactly is wrong with it. Safety groups say it’s the 11-hour maximum drive time, the American Trucking Associations new restriction imposed with no quantifiable safety benefit, and both sides have taken the FMCSA to court over it.

Left out of the discussion, as per usual in mainstream reporting on trucking regulations, is any real representative of those who will have to live day-to-day where rubber meets road with the rule.

That’s you, but of course.

Among the more interesting quotes in the story is this one, from House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.):

The theory that a good rule is one in which all sides are unhappy is not true, it really isn’t…. A good rule is one in which the public is protected, that the narrowest use of authority yields the greatest benefit.

“Narrow” might be the last word I imagine you’d use for the “use of authority” bubbling out of the FMCSA the last few years (and this story doesn’t touch CSA). In some cases, of course, industry groups have gotten behind the agency — the Politico story in the end gets to a finale with the American Trucking Associations’ favor of the agency in its battle with the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association over EOBRs and harassment, which we reported on here.

Check out the Politico story and let me know what you think of it.

I’m noticing a couple drivers already putting their two cents in at the Politico site, one making this observation about the 34-hour restart:

A 34-hour restart was designed to give a trucker a long break after his 70 driving hours in an 8-day period. The 34-hour-long break resets your 70-hour [potential cumulative drive time]. And now the FMCSA says you can only have one 34 hr break. You tell me, is one 34-hour break a week better than two? No Brainer.

Here’s another link to the story.

  • david osborne

    as far as driver fatigue why not go back to the old tattle tales. WHAT THE HELL HAS THIS COUNTRY COME TO??? i feel that the 4-wheelers are giving us a BAD RAP. if you look at the number of accidents you would find that they (the 4 wheelers) was the cause or mechanical conditions was at fault. even if the driver(s) did a proper pre-trip some things happen that are unforeseen. so who is it that gets the bad name, it is us the truckers of america. the f****** government needs some say so but i feel that the sombitches are over stepping their grounds. that is why jimmie hoffa was killed. he saw this shit and tried to put a stop to it. more governmental cover-up. i say that the governmental should butt out of this. too many rules rules and regs. the truckers should have the same rights as a 4-wheel i’ll get off my soapbox and tan take a zanax and crawl into my bunk. piss off america bureaucrats.

  • Don Lanier

    Here we go again with the PHDs and Scientists and Transportation experts….oh you mean there were none of those. But the Sleep lobby, The Union Lobby, The ATA lobby all sitting at a table making decisions that effect our liveliehoods, and salarys….when do we get to speak out about these so called DATA, STATISTICS and HOGWASH thats being thrown around these BOARDS. I think we need a panel of trucking operators, drivers, executives, and we need to determine WHATS REALLY NEEDED, Imagine that they listen to drivers, O/OS, Company, Unions, Non Unions, etc, and they take a concsensus amongst them, and form a working set of data to decide how to make men and womens LIVES BETTER AT WORK….

    I hear it every day actual practical solutions that the men/women who DRIVE TRUCKS bring forth, But because we havent made the Million dollar contribution our voice arent heard. Its time for a Drivers Lobby, and time we had a seat at the table.

    If they cant decide on HOS, how do they decide on Sleep, Logs, EOBRs…the decisions are made by CONTRIBUTIONS, Lobbies who cajole and buy the influence needed to affect OUR lives, Its time to speak out.

  • carl larsen

    until drivers get paid for every mile, and every hour they work, they will continue to feel the need to hurry. until the pay issue is resolved the HOS problem is moot. asking for more hours to drive is just asking for the opportunity to work more for free. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.