Panel: Hours rule hurting safety, pushing drivers out of industry

| October 28, 2013
What's the real impact of hours of service rules on the drivers?

What’s the real impact of hours of service rules on the drivers?

As a follow-up to last week’s piece on a fleet panel’s examination of hourly driver pay at the American Trucking Associations’ annual convention, there’s this, also from the panel: The hours of service rule that took effect July 1 actually makes trucking less safe and is pushing out drivers in droves. 

Overdrive Senior Editor Kevin Jones goes in-depth on the panel discussion in the second part of his series on OD sister site CCJ — Click here to read it. 


Panel: Paying drivers by hour would be ‘suicide,’ driver pay raise looming

Fleets should be reluctant to abandon paying drivers by the mile, according to a panel of fleet managers, but driver pay is looming.

One of the panel’s conclusions is that the 60-67 age group of drivers are moving on from trucking due to the new regulations and are the “silent victims,” says Werner COO Derek Leathers. Older drivers are also the most qualified drivers, he says, and it’s concerning they’re leaving driving. 

Gordon Trucking COO Steve Gordon echoes the point, adding that while his fleet has worked to give drivers more home time, the current hours rule causes snags and lost time each week that undo the fleets’ work to make drivers’ schedules more manageable. 

The point about detracting from safety came from Dave Osiecki, ATA’s senior VP of policy and regulatory affairs, who said pushing the most experienced, safest drivers out of the industry isn’t a good way to boost safety. 


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Gordon also said the driver health angle of the new hours rule is “ludicrous,” as taking money from drivers’ pockets (due to decreased mileage) and causing them to take arbitrary breaks probably isn’t making drivers healthier. 

Click here to see the full write-up on CCJ

  • Jason Haggard

    This is no secret and we warned the FMCSA that it would happen but they just forged ahead with their newest method of generating revenue at the expense of safety. They are doing exactly the opposite of what they were intended to do and the government is letting them do it. As long as it makes money for Uncle Sam then it moves ahead.

  • Adam

    90 days since the change but no data comparing? Sell bullshit someplace else. HOS might be regulated by insurance companies but they did not just jump up without scientific and supportable evidence and say “well crap…we should just change stuff..cuz we can!”

  • g

    Making drivers Crazier for sure!! morons should go back to DC to something they understand..those responsible for ignorant rule making should be Jailed. They have made the industry LESS SAFE and they know it.

  • g

    The new “NANNY INDUSTRY”..we NEED amilk and cookies break after 8 hours??? What will they think of next?? Everyday some NEW rediculous “rules” to TRY OUT on the TRUCKERS??? What a sick JOKE its become. lol

  • Bam113

    The 14 hour rule is the most dangerous. A driver can not pull over and nap when they’re tired because it counts against the 14 hrs, forced to keep going or be forced to shut down for 10 hrs before they want to, and be late for pu or delivery. Just plain stupid, and a saftey hazard!

  • Bam113

    Let’s not even get started on how stupid the 34 hr reset rule is now!

  • MillionOfMiles

    Maybe “real” truckers should just sit back and let all the
    do-gooders drive the whole economy off a cliff – they’re not too far from accomplishing that goal right now.

    My only problem with the ATA’s sanctimonious grandstanding on this issue is that they are the VERY organization championing all types of government regulation in the name of “leveling the playing field.” EOBR’s (or ELD’s), support for EPA and CARB regulations, speed-limiters…the list is endless. I say let them choke on the world they have helped create.

  • Mousekiller

    The 34 is the brain child of a run amok dumbass and the 30 min break is putting drivers in jeopardy. to have to put up with the 34 is bad enough but to have to find a place to park that is safe is like finding chicken teeth. Rest areas are not the safest place to park, The shoulder on a ramp is a bozo no no. but the revenue has to be manufactured and trucker have the money is the battle cry heard in DC.. Lets force the good drivers out so we can put the illegals to work after DC gives them amnesty.
    After 45 + years driving a truck I too may be one of those that are leaving the industry.

  • ilovdieselsmoke

    the ATA won’t rest until everything south of the border is behind the wheel driving for $10 per day. now if they can just train them not to drink and drive or jump out-n-run from a crash scene. they will also need to super-size cabs so the whole family can live in the truck. it’s a new world order and the experienced-professional American trucker is no longer welcome. i hope this government along with their in-house environmentally / politically correct / socialist lobbyist that we have ignored for so long get everything they deserve. i need another year and i will be gone. after forty seven years out here never imagined the day we would become a third world country where the American dream is fast becoming to live happy like a peasant.

  • mc661419 sunshine driven

    these jerks making the rules should be out here on the road with us having to deal with the stupidity of the drivers trying to get done now what we have to.
    watch them speeding, threw construction zones cause they have to go. and the dam cops just sit there and not do anything with people not just truck but cars that are speeding reckless driving. with they would give us a recourse of where we can send all these dash board cam showing the stupidity.
    let the public see what we are dealing with.

  • Del Ray Johnson

    I am so tired of listening to you guys complain pull the trucks over and resolve how we are going to be fairly compensated. What is going to happen (this time next year) is the slick trucking companies will continue to charge the customers $5 per mile and end up paying an hourly rate of $3.55 to the drivers mark my words.

  • g

    Sure…ATA has been cheer leading for IMMIGRATION REFORM so the Mega Fleets would get all 11Million illegals licensed to drive truck. THIS was their Ace in the Hole….however that ignorant legislation is NOT going to Pass….now ATA doesnt know what to do….they will TRY to Plead “driver shortage” and petition Gov for H2B VISAS for all their Mega Fleet Cronies…..alot of these Mandates are DESIGNED to Make Truckers Quit trucking…so they can get this foreign labor in these trucks for CHEAP..the Gov. and ATA and Rich Mega Fleets are way ahead of the game and in BED can SEE their plans unfolding……this is how they got RICH to begin with. They plan and conive…and lie and cheat and rip off until they get more MONEY!!

  • guest

    I agree…it has become aJOKE.

  • guest

    So True…I have seen the entire family of mexicans hop out at the and all…House on Wheels with “income” they love it!!

  • John

    It’s the same with trucking as it is everywhere else in this country. Get rid of the older, more experienced, aka higher paid, people and replace them with younger, less experienced (aka cheaper) people the companys think they can train the way management wants. The IDIOTS in charge, aren’t paying attention as well as they should though. Eventually those trainers and managers will get replaced as well, then you’ll have companys not only operated by, but also managed by a younger group that doesn’t have a clue how to do anything.

  • bigred

    Amen, Mllion Miles……The ATA hs been against Independents from the start and pretty much made TRUCKING the mess it is now…

  • Tom AndSheila Hurd

    If the senior drivers who now how to run safe and legal even when they are running illegal are pushed out that leave us with immigrants who can keep our fair country going with fine revenue. Lets face it, if you can’t read English it is a police income bonanza and no one will give a hoot if immigrants get harassed

  • Realist

    If you really think that companies make $5 a mile you are sadly mistaken!!

  • Mind Games

    This is what happens when you elect people who will lie to your face all the while they are in bed with mega corps and or lobbyist.
    Welcome to he world of fascist. Not until we get rid of electronic voting machines and change the minds of the brainwashed masses to vote third party we will continue to see the same garbage over and over and over again.
    How many times does a person need to get jacked till they realize it?
    People everyday our voices are growing more and more silent because these lobbyist like the ATA and many corporate owners just sneak up and cover the mouthes of drivers all the while putting a gun to our heads and silence our voices and simply steal our votes away from us.
    We don’t matter when you get down to it thus the why even vote? SNAP!!! Almost forgot! Its customary!!! And that’s about all the vote really is…

  • John Ryan

    Some loads do but the avg. pay is 2.00 a mile

  • John Ryan

    How does it make money foe uncle??

  • bill henry

    you got that right. The ATA rolled over and let the government have their way with an industry they know nothing about.

  • John Ryan

    Yes they did

  • bill henry

    broker freight is killing us, alot of them are charging plenty but paying us only half. Bring back the ICC.

  • John Ryan

    There’s no way you can day in and day out run all the hrs u need to in a 14 hr span per day and be safe. I for one refuse to. when I get tired I pull over. dam the clock

  • Gerald Bryan Bailey

    We seem to have a panel uninformed idiots running(or ruining) this country. They all need to be fired.

  • Gerald Bryan Bailey

    I will add to this, I do have a CDL and I knew when to take breaks. I also knew that if I got done unloading in Kansas City, KS at 6:30 in the morning and needed to be in Troy Grove, IL for another load of silica by 2:00 pm or I’d have to wait till 11:00 pm, I could not take a break. Theses politicians do not know CHIT about anything.

  • Del Ray Johnson

    John you do not have to explain anything to Bill my statement was clearly an example companies on some loads make over $3 the point is mark my words with people like Bill this time next year, or next year companies will announce hourly wage of NET -EFFECT $3 PER HOUR. I bet you Bill does not even know taking into account detention time we make before the minimum wage and the slick trucking companies have obtained an exemption from the minimum wage laws go figure.

  • Bruce at 1600 Watch

    I agree. Who is John Galt?

  • johnny dark

    just a small side note , but on i think is very important. ANYTHING that the ATA does will be good for your master but will be awful for the driver. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.