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Overdrive Staff | March 01, 2011

Owner-operator Rusty Wade of MM American called in to say, “If you put these rules in the name of safety, you’re going to cut my income by at least one-sixth.”

Referring to impact of the proposals on business, productivity would drop 4.72 percent, said Don Osterberg, senior vice president of safety and security at Schneider National. Schneider drivers would get home 25 percent less under the proposal, he said. The average daily mileage would fall from 501.7 miles to 478. To compensate for that loss, the company would have to increase driver pay by $3,000 annually, he said.

William Fields, president of William Fields Enterprises that is leased on to FFE Transportation, said mandating EOBRs would stop companies from pushing drivers to exceed hours limits. “In the long run that would force bad actor carriers, drivers and shippers and receivers to either get in line or lose business.”

On hours of service, he said the rules are working. “The only flexibility I feel that needs to see handed out would be to give the driver a two-hour off-duty window at either shippers or receivers to compensate for the time they force you to wait.”

Dave Osiecki, head of policy and regulatory affairs for the American Trucking Associations, said the HOS proposals aren’t the best way to address cost-beneficial solutions for fatigue among truckers. He pointed out FMCSA isn’t following sound safety research in making the proposed changes. He called the 34-hour restart change an “unjustified overreach” of the regulation.

“The current rules are working,” he said, adding FMCSA should withdraw the HOS proposals. “To better address the causes of fatigue in transportation and trucking, the FMCSA should focus its expertise, energy and resources on sleep disorder issues including screening and training and promote use of fatigue risk management programs.”

— Max Kvidera





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