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Overdrive Staff | January 04, 2011

In addition, FMCSA proposes to require that drivers take a break of at least 30 minutes before driving more than seven hours straight. That 30 minutes would be part of the mandatory one-hour off duty.

Another concern in the industry was whether FMCSA would change the requirements for restarting cumulative on-duty time. The limits are now 60 hours in seven days or 70 hours in eight days following a 34-hour rest.

The agency proposed to leave the restart at 34 hours but with a significant restriction: Restarts would have to include two periods of midnight to 6 a.m. In addition, drivers would be explicitly limited to a single restart in a seven-day period.

FMCSA left in place the strict limits on use of the sleeper berth that the agency adopted in 2005.

Todd Spencer, executive vice president of the owner-operator Independent Drivers Association, says the group is analyzing the proposal. “To make additional safety gains, the next hours-of-service rule must be more flexible to allow drivers to sleep when tired and to work when rested,” he says. “The rules must encourage truck drivers to get off the road when they are tired and must not penalize them for doing so.”

Bill Graves, president and CEO of the American Trucking Associations, says the proposal is “overly complex, chock full of unnecessary restrictions on professional truck drivers and, at its core, would substantially reduce trucking’s productivity.”

– Avery Vise



SHORT HAULS

OCTOBER’S Freight Transportation Services Index increased 0.2 percent from its September level and 10.2 percent over October 2009, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics said. BTS reported the Freight TSI has risen 5.7 percent over the last 17 months, after declining 15.3 percent in the previous 10 months. The index has increased in 13 of the past 17 months.

CLASS 8 TRUCK orders for major North American truck makers in November totaled 26,005 units, a 38 percent increase over October and the highest monthly order level since May 2006, FTR Associates said. November marked the fourth consecutive month-over-month increase in orders.

NEW ORDERS of dry van trailers more than doubled in October from the prior year, leading total net orders of commercial trailers to a 33-month high, according to ACT Research Co. Eight of nine trailer categories tracked by the company increased year-over-year.




Arrow Trucking ex-employee paychecks OK’d

Almost a year after Arrow Trucking’s closure, a bankruptcy trustee requested court approval to pay more than $1.97 million in priority wage claims to former employees.

In November, Trustee Patrick J. Malloy III proposed distribution of $2 million to a 16-page list of former employees. After removing duplicate or inadvertent entries, he filed an amended proposal for a lesser amount Dec. 2, according to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma.

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