Hours-of-service break requirement top issue with new regs, enforcers say

| July 12, 2013

hours truck stopThough it’s too soon to know exactly how enforcement of the new hours-of-service regulations are faring, the enforcement community to this point has noticed some confusion and many questions regarding the 30-minute break required after eight on-duty hours.

The new regulations took effect July 1 and reduce the number of hours drivers can work in a week, require the 30-minute break and limits drivers to one 34-hour restart a week that includes two periods between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.

States have 21 days to upload inspection data and compliance reviews to SafetyNet, the computer system used by state law enforcement. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, however, says it should have enough data by its annual conference in September to have an idea of how the enforcement community is handling the change.

CVSA Executive Director Steve Keppler says most questions so far about the new rules are about the 30-minute break requirement.

Lt. Thomas Fitzgerald of the Massachusetts state police said traffic stops are taking longer than normal because truck drivers are seeking assurance they are adhering correctly to the new regulations.

Fitzgerald is in charge of commercial vehicle enforcement for the state, and he said the state’s troopers have discretion as far as enforcement is concerned, especially if any violations are over new rules and the driver does not have a history of offenses.

Lt. Shawn Currie, head of the Maine state police’s commercial vehicle enforcement division, says his group is conducting soft enforcement for the first month of the new rules, and that troopers will issue out-of-service orders but are not brining violators to court unless they are repeat violators.

Currie did say, however, there has actually been a drop in violations for truck drivers in the first week of the new rules compared to the previous seven days.

Dave Osiecki, of the American Trucking Associations, said the rules for the 30-minute break do not take into account the extra time it takes for drivers to find parking and get out of the truck. Osiecki is ATA’s senior vice president for policy and regulatory affairs.

Truckers have had nearly as many questions about limiting restarts to once per 168 hours as the 30-minute break, Osiecki said. State law enforcement agencies conducted HOS training in May and June, but the ATA has heard little this month about enforcement.

Jeffrey Davis, vice president of safety for the Motor Transport Underwriters, says the 34-hour restart mandate that requires drivers to take a restart that includes two 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. periods could cause problems. For instance, many of the MTU customers are flatbedders, and their work starts many times at 4 a.m.

Davis said the stipulation that the restart include the same four-hour block could leave long-haul drivers scavenging for an already short supply of parking.

  • WILDWOOD

    THIS COUNTRY WAS MADE BY REAL MEN THEY ARE IN TRUCKING TODAY.CANT DRIVE 8 HOURS, REALLY

  • martymarsh

    Who can’t drive 8 hours? At one time there was a lot of good truckers but most of them are gone now. As far as trucking company owners, most of them where slugs and now their kids carry on the same way. As a matter of fact, if todays trucking is any gauge on real men, there are very few.
    Was you a truck driver before you was a dispatcher?

  • William McKelvie

    EXACTLY, many of us ALREADY stop. Three times a day, every couple of hundred miles, 15 minutes a period, that is FORTY FIVE MINUTES……. HELLO. ANNE FERRO AND SUCKUPS!!! WAKE UP

  • john f

    sounds like you sold your soul to the company and fmcsa, IT is your type of compliance attitude ie: bend over and take it puppet attitude that has the o/o in the boat that they are in. Guys like you who live in a bubble, should keep their conformist attitudes to themselves ! These laws are BS. They restrict us from doing a job properly, all in the name of SAFETY. This is all a ploy by gov’t and big trucking co. to run the little guy out of business, thus eliminating the competition and fair market, so companies like SWIFT and Schneider can control the freight, and get paid by the gov’t to put their flunkies on the road after 3 weeks of training ! So you run your 5 day a week 250 mi. run, play the feds game, as for me, I will continue to be the outlaw they made me into by these stupid laws !! I will comply with their bs when they pay my mortgage, or my kids college tuition, or my truck payment etc….

  • Dirt Dummy

    So it’s been a month and I can now say it costs me on average $400 a week to stop for the 30 minute break. Unlike you over the road guys & gals there is no real trip planning for us. The plant or pit opens at 7am and last load is 3pm dropping it off somewhere between 3:30 & 3:45. So I’ve left home and get to the plant at 6:15 to wait for them to open. I use that 45 minutes as off since the truck is shut off and I can do as I please. Restart my clock at 7 and now have to try to get in the normal number of loads….nope, not happening. If I can get loaded for that last one I have to stop for 30 minutes and then can’t get to the drop off before they close. So this new 30 minute break is costing me a load a day. I wonder how it’s working on state paving jobs where the state a mandates using a transfer box so the paving never stops.

  • Wife of a trucker

    Me to ….but only his truck………..LOL

  • Gary Johns

    There is always a kiss ass around!!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/cody.zales Cody Zales

    So you’re too stupid to stop somewhere and have lunch for 30 minutes isn’t anyone’s fault but your own.

  • Danny Murdock

    There are few places to get a decent lunch.I prefer to snack on raw veggies & trail mix while drive.If my day is 9 hours or less I prefer to just take short pee breaks parking away from the building where I get a bit of a walk to & from the truck plus a quick walk around inspection..A short walk makes me fresh to drive more.Guess that seems stupid to some but at 55 years I have no health problems nor am I overweight,The only thing the DOT has written me is good inspections.Since my program works just fine it would be best that the Government stays out of a drivers business.

  • mousekiller

    1980 was the last shut down. no need to go slow, Just every free thinking driver that is not job scared take a vacation at the same time. As far as the government is concerned robots do as they are programed to do. period. welcome to the world of technology. Only the trucks the government needs and carriers with deep pockets will be exempted.

  • mousekiller

    No! but unless I have to sit at a fuel island waiting for some dumbass to finish shopping it takes me less than 10 minutes to fuel.

  • mousekiller

    I don’t do the 34 restart. I just do the recap and all is good. no biggie. worked with it for lots of years before the new HOS came around. Can do it for more years as long as it is not against the law..

  • mousekiller

    I understand the getting robbed. It is not against the law to have a gun a CMV. State law or company policy dictates it..Carry a gun or other weapon like ammonia in a water pistol or squirt bottle. Legal ,as you use it for cleaning bugs off windshield..