House bill would undo hours rule, reinstate previous restart provisions

| October 31, 2013

hours-of-service-truck-stopA bill with bi-partisan support has been introduced in the U.S. House that if passed would undo the current hours of service rule and allow truck drivers to revert back to abiding by the hours rules in place prior to the July 1 changes. 

The True Understanding of the Economy and Safety Act (TRUE Safety Act) was introduced Thursday, Oct. 31, and would delay the current hours rule until Congress’ investigative arm, the Government Accountability Office, can assess the methodology the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration used to craft the 34-hour restart provisions in the new rules. 

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If the bill is passed, the GAO would be required to perform the study, and FMCSA would be barred from re-implementing the July 1 restart provisions until six months after the GAO submits its report to Congress. 

The bill is sponsored by Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.), Rep. Tom Rice (R-S.C.) and Rep. Mike Michaud (D-Maine). 

Hanna said the bill would allow Congress and the GAO to assess the regulations “to ensure the rule makes sense and will not actually harm the traveling public and the American economy.” 

“It is wrongheaded for the federal government to impose an arbitrary and capricious regulation that impacts almost every sector of the American economy without first finishing a study on its effectiveness,” Hanna said. “Federal agencies should have an obligation to prove that new rules and regulations do not cause more harm than good – in terms of both safety and costs.”

Rice said the bill will “rein in FMCSA,” which he says has “abused its authority.”

“[FMCSA] is requiring truckers to comply with one of the most stringent parts of its regulation prior to receiving their study’s findings,” he said, adding that the bill would “require an additional study to ensure that our truckers are not being over-regulated.”

In July, Hanna had tried to attach an amendment to a larger transportation bill that would have undone the current hours rule, but the bill was pulled from the House floor July 31 before Congress recessed in August. 

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In August, 51 members of the House, partly led by Hanna, sent a letter to Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx expressing “deep concern” over the hours rule and the fact that FMCSA had not yet reported the findings of an hours of service study — as required by the MAP-21 highway funding law — to Congress yet. MAP-21 required the study results be submitted by March 2013. 

Hanna in a statement about the letter signaled he intend to involve Congress in the hours rule, saying he wanted to “restore some commonsense to this flawed regulatory process.”

Foxx responded to the letter offering support for the hours rule and the research behind it.

In August, a U.S. Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia upheld the hours rule, except for the mandatory break for short-haul drivers, which the court vacated.

More information on the bill, including response from trucking lobbying groups, will be posted when it becomes available. 

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  • JoaquinSotomayor

    say amen to that someone with common sense…

  • henry

    need to go back to the original rules 10-8-70 rule it worked for 80 someodd years

  • James Miller

    About Time Someone did something smart in Government

  • Jim Kennedy

    no, it didn’t say that the previous rules were permanent. it means only until research is done at which point it doesn’t matter because FMCSA will then announce new rules 6 months from then (back to the 34 hr turnaround). “FMCSA would be barred from re-implementing the July 1 restart provisions until six months after the GAO submits its report to Congress.” nd if u thought it was confusing the first time around, u better wait n see the new changes then.

  • Calvin Leak

    We need the old rules back 10-8 when you can split and add the reset

  • chrisbuda

    I get excited once it becomes law

  • Rockwell

    Huh? Someone has the chestnuts to question the FMCSA? How dare they! Is that even legal?

  • Cory Morris

    They need to stop punishing the drivers and hold the dispachers responsible for the crazy deadlines they try to push.

  • Hooty

    There never was anything wrong with the old hrs. The problem if any was with the companies abusing the drivers. The drivers then needed to change companies, not change the rules.

  • Ronnie Heckathorn

    It is funny that they say we need to have these new rules cuz it will be a safe way to drive, Now i have been driving for 15years and i have never been so tried we use to be able to pull over and sleep and get back up and go.that gave use time to rest and did not need to be in a hurry. But now you got to get load on and drive non stop.if you have a 600 mile run lets say you need all the time on your book to get there stopping for fuel eating taken a rest stop all that hits your hours so you cant take your time no more. So how is that safe it should be up to us when we get tired or need a break we are the ones driving not them.but thats right sit there make laws that make drivers roll non stop its wrong i understand that they are trying to help the wrecks on the road but maybe they should look at schools that put drivers out there and job that put a driver with a trainer.there should be some thing looked there to help. making drivers push to get there is not the right way to make things safe.if you are tired you should have the right to pull over and rest then get up and still be able to do your job.instead of driving get tired but knowing if i stop i cant get there now i will loss money maybe my job if i do it to much and my family gets hurt as well. here is one thought they should have to come out here a do this job for 6 months like we do everyday.Some drivers get home every week some one a month some longer drive like that, see what it takes to do this job and make money live as we do cuz many think we make so much out here i hear it all the time. if you cant make the run you miss out on the next load.so there goes the money for your family. They want great drivers then listen to them we love this it is a lifestyle and a job. most of use spent hours and miles learning this world we drive in we are the ones that see how it affects us out there, It can not be learned by books and videos, Its by being out there learning from others putting time in behind the wheel to know what it takes, not someone asking what its like doing math on time and miles to make rules, all that means nothing there is way more things involed then how it looks on paper. So i say come out here put your hand on the wheel make a living for a while then you will see that making us drive the way your laws are just are not right. let us rest when we need to and still be able to get the job done. I say bring old hours back there are goods to both sides of the old and new, but if im wrong then why so many drivers agree on the old hours sure ways better for me and my friends.

  • hsena

    its costing my son money and time at home

  • Bob_Hearns

    Well said, Ronnie. The science of circadian rhythms has won out over trucker’s know-how. We aren’t worth listening to. The bureaucrats don’t think we know anything. I wish they would look in the mirror and then they would find someone who doesn’t know anything.

  • halloween

    Wondering if any of these safety nuts ever calculated out the amount of stress that CSA 2010 & the new HOS rules has put on drivers. The additional distractions are problematic
    and increase the anxiety level immensely, especially when faced with a tight schedule.
    It appears as the gov’t is doing everything in its power to shut down this country. This is just our little corner of it.

  • Lucixir

    Terrible article that explains jack squat, except to those who are already familiar with such rules and regulations.

  • Phil England

    Should have left it alone, now hunt for drivers from people who do not want to live that kind of life and give up everything that makes a life a life.

  • Ted Lapatka

    Definition of Circadian Rhythm: By Brandon Peters, M.D. Updated February 12, 2009: Ads:Melatonin for Sleep
    Hours of Sleep: What Is a Sleep Disorder: Sleep Disorders Insomnia

    Definition: The natural pattern of physiological and behavioral processes that are timed to a near 24-hour period. These processes include sleep-wake cycles, body temperature, blood pressure, and the release of hormones. This activity is controlled by the biological clock, which is located in the suprachiasmatic nuclei of the hypothalamus in human brains. It is highly influenced by natural dark-light cycles, but will persist under constant environmental conditions.
    There Endith The Lesson For Today! Send a Copy To Your :
    Congressmen and / or Congresswomen:
    Senators, Govenors. Mayors, The People @ A.T.A., O.O.I.D.A., Highway Patrol Captains, Police Stations, and Share it with each other.
    OH YEA: One more place, The Silly People, That Write Print, and Email Out These Columns and Magazines:
    GOD Bless UsAll, I Think We Are Gonna Need It !
    In Memory of: of ( BUTTERFINGERS )>>>
    Signed: MILE HI MOOSE ! A Legend In His Own Mind !!!!

  • Mike Hermes

    You’re right Rockwell, how dare ANYONE question the almighty, all-knowing FMCSA….LMAO. I wish these “law makers” would step down from their perch, jump in the seat of a truck with us for a month and find out what we “Really” go through out here.

  • Ronnie R

    11/1983 till 9/17/2013 I quit 30 years. Find someone else to put up with this crap. It is obvious they don’t have a clue what they are doing. Just worry about the rest of the country’s problems and leave the driving to the Professionals, well that is what you call us. I thought professionals were paid well. um

  • Tom AndSheila Hurd

    the trucker strike didn’t do much but it was another straw set on the camels back, large trucking companies have felt the pinch from drivers abandoning the trade and they have the ear of the powers that be to some extent also, if the freight doesn’t get moved they will lift HOS altogether for a while if they need to, Here in the northeast HOS has been removed altogether before in a cold snap when oil wasn’t getting to market drivers could run unlimited hours to get the oil restocked, safety, or so called safety always take a back seat to economics which simply means there was some economical reason they are messing with HOS in the 1st place.

  • terry2u

    We the willing, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible, for the ungrateful. We have done so much, for so long, with so little, we are now qualified to anything with nothing…Enuf said….

  • RobynC

    Don’t bet on it. I’m afraid they’ll just make it worse the next go around.

  • Debieve

    I knew butterfingers..and mile hi moose..they were out of colorado..wonder if its the same ones??

  • Debieve

    Agree…

  • Dvd

    Could solve all of this if all truck drivers stopped for just one whole day. 18 wheelers right down to fedex delivery trucks. we need to stick together

  • Debieve

    Of course its a money thing..geez..he who believes otherwise is as lost and confused as those making these regs..but, only temporarily because they will recover the financial loss and push for the new rules at some point later on, safety is the least of their concerns and productivity is at the forefront of the matter..If you are a human being you will understand that nobody is the same and one size does not fit all..so quit bitching and keep on trucking till you die!!

  • Debieve

    Yes but it won’t happen because most don’t remember what camaraderie is..and some who do won’t because they are about themselves now..

  • mousekiller

    Contact your legislators and tell then how it effects you and give them an alternate idea on how to fix it. i used to work closely with a congressman and he said that if he gets one person to call and say no to a bill . He says that is how he votes .2 for it and one against it he votes for it. No congressman is smart enough know everything about everything. Even his advisory are not truckers.Call or write them but contact them and tell them how this effects you and how to make sensible changes.

  • Sportsbozo1

    After 20 years as a company Driver I quit driving because of all the crazy ass laws this country has imposed upon the truck drivers of this country! As far as I’m concerned the FMCSA and every other card carrying commie can go straight to hell ! Cameras in the cab, time cards electronic, constant changes of hours of duty, and California regulations All suck hind titty…I urge every driver who wants to make a living without 80 bozillion restrictions, to quit driving long enough for this countries powers that be to pull their collective heads out of their asses! I’ll say the same thing I said when I called it a day, F these jokers I’m not looking for a 300 dollar payday and never enjoy one day of my life! I would never suggest you go on strike as Ronald Reagan screwed the Trucker when he passed the Treason act, wherein neither the Air traffic controller or an American Trucker can go on strike legally, to do so is an act of treason according to the laws of this convoluted country. Good Luck to all my comrades who are still fighting the good fight. For all the Congressmen and Senators who keep listening to the morons at the FMCSA, stop it or you will at some point in time be waiting for rotten Vegetables at the local train station.

  • Tony

    And the rest of us who won’t do it need the jobs. It’s tough enough in this economy to find a job. For every working driver with a job, there are several more in training or waiting to go to orientation to start work. You shut down your truck as a company driver, the company will just pull you out of your truck and put someone else in. Not a good way to make a point.

  • jim

    The FMCSA is out of control .

  • Me

    who wrote this article? Read the 5th paragraph! It Starts with “Hanna said the bill would allow Congress and the GAO to asses<—-(this word is spelled accesses not asses) the
    regulations “to ensure the rule makes sense and will not actually harm
    the traveling public and the American economy.” (James Jaillet)Though we do have a lot of them in DC! Just saying!
    I know some rules should be looked at very carefully due to public safety. HOS, I think the pay for both company drivers and owner-operators should be changed to an hourly pay! But Hell what do I know! We are federally regulated why not get prevailing wages for both company drivers and owner operators. I think this would change a lot of the HOS problems! Not to mention save many lives as well! Just a suggestion!

  • smitty

    Now is the time for all the whiners (me included) to take action. We BS on the phone all day anyway, so make a call to your Rep, I hope you know who yours is, and take a stand. Whining over TAKE A STAND. Here is your chance to but a whoa on the out of control FMCSA don’t miss the chance. An body out there have the bill number? We may not be able to organize a strike, worth a dam, but I know we all have a phone.

  • keith

    Its called vacation everybody gets some from time to time??????

  • keith

    You still have 14 hours in the day if you want to stop. Even if you pick the load up in the morning there is no way for you to be there same day during business hours. That means you have 1 day to complete the run if you can’t drive 600 miles in a day, that includes in a 14 hour day you could Ronnie stop and take a 1-2 hr nap it just goes against your 14. If 600 miles at now most highways are at 65 that is only 10 hrs drive time, maybe this driving isn’t for you. I do agree with looking at the 168 hr rule to be able to reset on a weekend would be a lifesaver for the drivers-owner operaters who are sitting weekends but haven,t reached their 168……this would be good to change!!!!!!

  • hacksaw

    now retired to arizona after almost 30 years of a habit of taking 1 0r 2 hour nap in the afternoon I still have the same habit. Often I will stop for that great refresher (siesta) now. My son is driving now so I get direct feed back on How this effects him under the current rules. Not so good at times.

  • DER

    Well said drivers! I told my hubby if the drivers would stand up for all the issues and stick together we would get the results we are untitled to. Now lets YELL about the PAY. Most Brokers / Shippers are not paying fair on TEXAS freight. What’s up with this?

  • James Jaillet

    Fifth paragraph there actually says “assess,” and is correct in usage and spelling. Thanks for reading and commenting, though.

  • Crazy Dave

    As a side note to the hours of service debacle. Southern Minnesota farmers are experiencing a shortage in propane. The Feds (with their infinite wisdom) have “relaxed” the hour of service rules for propane transports. My question is…..If they aren’t concerned about the sleep habits of truckers hauling “liquid dynamite”, why are they all worried about the guy hauling a load of bread? ( Apparently the farm lobby is bigger than the truck lobby!)

  • PJ

    Washington does not know about leaving things alone. If it ain’t broke don’t touch it. They feel that they need to Screw things up so they can say they fixed it. Just like Obomacare and soon to be immigration. They only make things worse.

  • jerry cox

    to many hands in the pie, and to many trucks in texas, if you don’t pull the load someone will , freight to cheap leave it setting , me personaly I have a choice I don’t haul it if it don’t pay , a lot of companys will haul the cheap freight to keep drivers in work, keeps rates down , logistics co. -brokers -cut your pie. basically it is , total control they have been after that for several years , now they change hrs to suit the economy in time of catasrophy hos is not of any importance they just want freight moved regardless of price ,antimosity is realy what it is all about the more we fuss amongst each other we have no leaverage it is a shame the largrst working group cannot come together as one , therefore you need to have more respect for the gay population, at least they stick together and get what they want, yall have a great day.

  • DEMONSeed

    as a truck drive i can tell you the rules are whit out coming sence and were is the useless truckers assocaition they have become irrelvant needs new leader ship whit a sack between there legs it should be the most powerful org. in the USA But as we all know its not it,s a JOKE.

  • DEMONSeed

    the one,s making the rules shit there behind a desk and don t have a clue

  • Paul Miller

    Damn…I’ve been out with a back injury since April of 2011. When I get back behind the wheel next month, I’m not going to know what rules are in place! After 33 years and 3 million miles, I’m pretty sure I have some advice for these lawmakers who spend an hour or two a day pretending they know what’s best for us – but they sure don’t want to hear it!

  • DER

    Jerry Cox, At the end of your reply you made a statement using the word “Gay”. What does that have to do with the trucking business. I don’t care who’s sleeping with who because that lifestyle is GOD’S business. God is the judge over SIN not me. I love all people and I pray for all of us. We all have sinned and come short of His glory.

  • Clinton Seals

    I feel that all of you fellow truckers have a legitimate complaint about all of this stressful and unwanted confusion on the HOS rules . I have been a trucker for over 3 million miles and have about 35 years in the industry and I’m not sure what the purpose of these new HOS rules are for they surely do not benefit us truckers at all ; First of all this one restart in a 168 hr. period and have to take 34 hrs. off duty with a 2 time periods off through the hrs., off 1-5 am is a joke .I as a Teamster did line hauls under the old rules of 70/8 with the 15 hr. rule per day. and was allowed to utilize my own discretion when I was to take a break and not mandated to pull over for a half hr. in 3-5 hrs. yup another joke. These old rules worked just fine for us back then and I feel they would work now but with some modifications with some simpler rules to follow so it gives back the discretional powers back to the truckers and not the bureaucrats so they can either put us out of service or fine us. This seems to be all about them not us because I have been hearing nothing but frustration through out the industry about this ruling. Now my proposal would be of a simpler and yes would hinder some of you but would at least give us that restart with a actual refreshed state of mind for service besides that 34 hr. rule really isn’t sufficient anyway in getting rest . I always found myself chasing my logbook for hrs. of service with the old ways without that restart and do feel that the restart method is a huge advantage to us so this is how I would design our system and that is to go back to our 60/7 or 70/8 and eliminate that stupid mandated 30 minute break in 3-5 hrs. and the 34 hr. and 168 hr. rule . Just let us have our maximum hrs. of up to 11 hrs. of driving and 4 hrs. or 10 hrs. driving and 5 hrs. on duty which ever works for the circumstances in our trucking operation up to a combination of no more that 15 hrs. of on duty in a 24 hr. with the 10 hr. off duty to reload the next day and of course with the provision of the emergency ruling due to possible inclement weather or some other unforeseen emergency situation that allows us to go no more than 2 more hrs. to safety, and to allow us to RESTART any time that we have had 48 hrs. off duty. I feel that this proposal would be a way better and easier to understand and it would give us back control of our trucking discretion and operations besides it also would give the truckers the rest they need to be safe for our highways. Lets initiate this idea I feel that most of you would agree this is a much more simpler way to operate and eliminating all of the stress and confusion as well the unsafe practices that are occurring now just to comply with the current regulations.
    Sincerely to all of you fellow truckers !!
    1979 Oregon State ATA Truck Roadeo Champion 5 Axle Semi-Van Class
    Clinton Seals NW Transport Service

  • guest

    The Nanny Industry…truckers being babysat by Tony Foxx and his jack asses…hilarious when ya think about it. Old time truckers would roll over in their grave. at LEAST there should be some TWERKING involved!! Such a rediculous JOKEthe entire industry has become…WHO in their right mind could take this industry seriously???

  • BunniRabbyt Happily retired

    I retired 4 years earlier than I expected 2 and a half years later I still have nightmares from the abuse I went thru as an O/O pulling flatbed for 41 years. It is now getting worse in the trucking industry You guys are doing yourselves more harm than good by putting up with this crap. But what do I know but you guys will find out if you continue. Believe me

  • haller

    This House circus act should be on the six o’clock news.

  • Marc

    Would be Great if we could work 40 Hrs a week and still Make what we make in 70 to 80 Hours now.

  • EF McHenry

    Say amen to what? The politicians are against anything that gives cuts into the time available to work! The more time avail, the more ATA carriers can get done for less $$$ in the end!
    WHY AREN’T THE POLITICIANS FIGHTING TO STOP EOBRs/ELDs,
    SLEEP APNEA SCREENING
    CSA
    HAIR FOLLICLE TESTING
    DRUG&ALCOHOL CLEARING HOUSE
    IN CAB CAMERAS AND SOUND RECORDERS????