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By Staff Reports | October 01, 2009

Groups seek overturn of hours rule

Consumer, safety and labor groups have petitioned a federal court for permission to pursue a third round of litigation to overturn the hours of service rule.

On Aug. 27, the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, Public Citizen, the Truck Safety Coalition and the Teamsters sought review of the rule in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Court officials had yet to schedule oral arguments.

The organizations asked the court to vacate and remand the rule made effective in January by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. FMCSA had adopted as final 2007 provisions of the HOS interim final rule. The groups charge the agency failed to consider the health consequences of letting truckers work more hours.

In 2007 and in 2004, the same court overturned previous HOS decisions in favor of the petitioners. The FMCSA had no comment.

The Union of Concerned Scientists and the Society for Occupational and Environmental Health are among the organizations supporting the petitioners as a friend of the court.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, the American Trucking Associations, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Industrial Transportation League are among those who have intervened for the defendant.

— Jill Dunn

Ohio trucker wins custom rig

LogBookOwner-operator John Lacusky of Cortland, Ohio, won this 1998 International 9400 customized by the Chrome Shop Mafia during the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas. The prize was the highlight of the Win Big With Custom Rigs sweepstakes, sponsored by Overdrive’s Custom Rigs. The tractor contains a reliabilt replacement engine, covered by a three-year, 300,000-mile warranty from Detroit Diesel.

Big increase projected for UCR fees

Fees under the Unified Carrier Registration system would more than double under a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration proposal published in the Sept. 3 Federal Register.

The minimum fee, which applies to a one-truck operation or to a broker or freight forwarder, would go from $39 to $87, while the maximum fee for for-hire and private carriers with more than 1,000 trucks would rise from $37,500 to $83,412.

Several factors drove the need to increase fees to provide the $113 million necessary to provide states with the revenues they received under the Single State Registration System.

One reason for increasing the fees was a change in federal law last year that eliminated trailers from the calculation.

Another is the low rate of compliance with the registration requirement. Between 80 percent and 90 percent of carriers operating 100 or more trucks have registered under UCR. But the compliance rate among brokers and freight forwarders is only 16 percent, and fewer than 60 percent of single-truck operations have registered.