House letter questions hours of service implementation

| September 03, 2013

hours truck stopIn a letter to Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx last week, members of the House said the July 1 institution of the new hours of service rule was “counter to commen sense,” given that the agency hadn’t waited on the results of its field study before the rule went final July 1. 

The letter specifically calls out the 34-hour restart provisions for being overburdensome and costly. The regulations restrict drive flexibility and increase costs for “the already over-burdened trucking industry,” the letter says, and the costs will be passed on to American consumers, they write.

Fifty-one representatives signed the letter, which was written to ask that a date be given to Congress for when the agency expects to submit the findings of its study to Congress, as required by the MAP-21 highway funding law. 

The law actually required FMCSA to submit the findings by March 31, 2013, but the agency didn’t. The rule obviously went into effect without the results of the report. 

The letter says the trucking industry is a “pillar of the US. economy,” and, as such, any restricting regulations of the industry should “be backed by factual, statistically-valid and data-driven studies that are fully completed and analyzed before the proposed rule comes into effect.”

Click here to read the letter in its entirety. 

A court ruled Aug. 2 to uphold the restart provisions of the rule after the American Trucking Associations had sued to overturn it.

  • Jason Haggard

    I want to know who in the house signed this letter and who didn’t. There were several points presented to Rep. Bachmann (R, MN) along with a petition with 1,500 drivers signatures on it asking for a suspension of the new HOS rules. There has been zero response from her office.

  • Todd Dills

    Looks like the link to the letter was misapplied. Get back to you shortly on that.

  • Montway Auto Transport

    We’ll see what happens, but this sounds like it could be good news.

  • Todd Dills

    Jason, Check the link near the bottom of the story to the letter now — it goes to the correct place. I can say that Bachmann is not a signatory.

  • William McKelvie

    I have it, where do you think they got it? Guess Wilson spread the news. Boy oh boy who can you trust these days, LOL. LMAO!

  • Robert Hunt

    Now, Mr. Foxx the ball is in your court let’s see if you will step up to the plate and do the right thing. Throw this 34 reset out the window and let us breath.

  • Tom AndSheila Hurd

    Same ol same ol, we break a law that doesn’t affect anyone and we get fined and shut down, FMCSA breaks the law that affects every driver, shipper, and receiver in the country and they get asked to comply, They didn’t produce the study because it didn’t show what they wanted it to show so they imposed the law anyway, not because the roads are now safer but because they have other reasons for wanting to diminish driver productivity.

  • Kevin J. Reidy

    You got that right.

    The 34 hour restart study cited by the FMCSA to support the current rules change was the one done in 2003 *before* the last set of rules came into play.

    There is no current data that supports any changes to, or indicates any valid reason to change the current rules regarding HOS in any way, as no study has been done as to the effectiveness of the first 34 hour re-start rule after it came into play.

    The FMCSA arbitrarily created new rules out of thin air that included the two 1am to 5am segments in the 34 hour rule, and imposed them on the industry unilaterally.

  • Tom AndSheila Hurd

    Ok; now, does everyone know why the new FMCSA rules were put in place? follow the money, or in this case follow the politics. By decreasing driver productivity Mr. Obama can boast more employment hires and that he reduced unemployment in his term in the White house, no one will care how he did it. Obamacare is also doing the same thing, national and local chain stores are terminating all full time employees in favor of part time 30 hour minus workers so they will not be responsible for even dealing with health care with the exception of managers only who will be full time, the health care triggers even more because the chain stores are no longer even paying vacation time or benefits at all, just straight hourly pay for work done leaving current workers in a bind because now they have lost hours, benefits and will have to find a way to afford health care or get fined too.

  • Truckman

    What do you think the chances are that if left to their own discretion most drivers would drive when they felt safe driving,would sleep when they were sleepy and would take a few minutes a couple of times a day to just walk around the truck,check tires,check the oil,stretch the muscles out and basically re-group? Personally,I think the huge majority of drivers would hold themselves to a higher standard for safety if they didn’t have to burn up so much energy trying to comply with wrong-minded mandatory (if not predatory) laws.

  • Jon

    Was stopped on I-135 in Kansas last week for a level2 Inspection. I asked the officer a question about the new hours of service 30 min break and he told me that Kansas has not adopted the new laws. So which state has and have not?

  • Coffeeclue

    Why is the reset bothering everyone so much? Reset is actually a tool that’s used to get you on the road faster, not slower. In 8/70 situation, if you’ve burned up your hours in 6 days, the reset will get you moving faster, instead of waiting for two extra days to have your hours caught up. The rule is that you can’t drive more than 70 hours in an 8 day period, so if you plan it right, the reset is not needed at all.

  • William McKelvie

    Well duh

  • NO longer a truck driver

    From my understanding, it depends on when your last duty day ended. If it ended between 1 am and 5 am, your restart time starts at 5 am regardless of when your duty day ended. Then you must have two each consecutive 1 am to 5 am periods off duty. In short if you end your duty day at the wrong time, you could sit for 3 days.

  • Guest

    Oh the Milk and Cookies 30minute Mandatory?
    Oh in Kindergarten every child needs that.
    More supervision is needed boy and girls….Anne Ferro will tell us all what to do……
    Autn Anne knows best…dont question authority…
    just obey kids…..

  • Guest

    No WAY…Foxx will NOT rock the boat..he aspires for Higher Office…..he will go with the AGENDA of his HANDLERS….no benefit in bein “friend of the truckers”….political suicide there…

  • Bradley Hayes

    Bradley Hayes
    I agree with George Carlin. This is just another example
    of the top 2% maintaining excessive control in order to keep
    the money in their pocket. When so many on site judgment
    calls are necessary on a daily basis it’s frustrating to have
    to deal with the regulations set forth by someone who’s
    never been down the road 1 mile in a semi. Sure they can
    do the math, anyone can do the math, but a drivers schedule must maintain a certain amount of flexibility. We’re constant-
    ly hitting delays of one sort or another. I find the new
    regulations force me to drive when my time would be better
    spent taking a nice break. They force me to be in a hurry.
    I use to never get sleepy, now I do. The regs just don’t
    fit my driving style. I almost get the feeling, with all the
    overbearing regulations, they want to make all my daily
    decisions for me. Well, if things keep getting worse and
    only you can do this correctly, here are my keys.

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  • espfan

    With the old rules, when I burned 70 hrs in 5 days, I could have gone off duty for 34 hrs and restart my log. FLEXIBILITY is bigger issue however. I restarted my log in Cali. Drove to WI, reloaded to FL but new rule says that I can only restart 168 hrs after the beginning of previous restart(in cali) . I live in Indy and I wasn`t supposed to stay home with my 3 months old and 2 year old for restart but had to drive to hit 168hr margin placing me in GA(not that I did, fuck these rules) and spend wonderful 34 hrs at a truck stop.

  • Tom AndSheila Hurd

    Do what I did when the 1st round of HOS changes hit, I got out, I still have trucks but hire guys to drive, I can’t drive by the new rules and won’t drive by the new rules, I can’t sleep 10 hours and I can’t start in the evening and be cornered into driving all night to keep in the 14 hour window

  • Robert Hunt


  • BunniRabbyt, Happily Retired

    I say it again Boys, Shut Em Down or Shut It Up. You are being treated like little kids by Washington and it is driving up your anger. Your Manhood and your ability to provide for your families is under attack. I say fight back fight Fire with Fire. I am telling you this will all effect you as it goes on year after year. Been off the road over 2 years still have nightmares what the trucking industry treated me as. Body is broken down and the old anger stirs up when I read about this stuff. You will reap what you sow

  • Slim

    Stupid remark !

  • Paul Haller

    I believe a one week national shut down would solve this problem and others in their entirety.

  • Cwbintennessee Michael Winton


    Pull out them wallets people! Lol!

  • Eric

    The problem starts with the trucking industry, driving the truckers to long to hard and not enough family time. The next problem is when on the road truckers have no protection or back up if some fool tries to steal from them. The next problem is government . The truckers have ambulance chasing lawyers on their ass every time some jerk pulls out in front of them and the get hit. I think trucking companies need to run districts where the driver drives a certain distance then another driver takes over. This works for the motor coach companies. This would result in home time and less driver fatigue .

  • John

    If you don’t have a total of more than 8.75 hrs per day, total for all on duty AND driving time. That might be ok, if you only do drop and hook or local, all day, every day. But when you sit at a dock 2 hrs to get loaded or empty, plus your pre/post trip inspections, fuel, etc. that leaves you about 5.5 hrs of actual money earning time behind the wheel. At $0.35, 50 mph, x 5.5 hrs, = about $96 per day.
    And if that’s all you’re driving, you’re probably home 2 days or weekends anyway!

  • martymarsh

    When all the brains in Washington realize that you can’t regulate rest then they will be on to something, now all of you go to bed.

  • martymarsh

    Hey, don’t try to bring common sense in to this, we are dealing with Washington.

  • martymarsh

    I THINK most of us know this, but it still can’t be said enough in case someone don’t.

  • martymarsh

    Seat belts was the test, now we have to sit down and shut up.

  • martymarsh

    More proof you can’t regulate rest.

  • Thomas Curran

    If you tell a driver he has to take a break or he wants to take a break because he’s tired or sleepy but it still goes against his hours, he’s not gonna rest because it’ll make him late somewhere else or he’ll have wasted his hours.

  • unwildbill

    How about this?
    Studies of people shut off from time cues, no clocks, underground with no sunlight, show that they revert to a 25 hr day, therefore companies that rotate shifts should rotate to the later shift to stay in sync.
    So make it 12 driving hrs out of 15 instead of 14 a day.
    11 hrs off duty, splits could be 8/3, 8 1/2/2 1/2, or 9/2.
    The 7/8 day times remain the same.

  • Mind Games

    Follow the money….

  • Mind Games

    Can you say strike???

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  • Go Truckers

    Yep..more RULES..great…while they allow illegal aliens to
    haul dope around our Country…really great…..doing a fine job destroying America AND Trucking.

  • John M. Baxter

    My God, Congress actually doing its job! Can it be? strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.