— Max Kvidera
Trucking reps knock hours plan
Trucking executives told a U.S. House subcommittee hearing that the proposed hours of service revision would be costly and unproductive.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s proposal would reduce the daily driving limit, decrease the maximum on-duty time limit, require mandatory breaks and change the current 34-hour restart provision. Small Business Committee Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations Chairman Mike Coffman, R-Colo., convened the hearing to explore its potential impact.
Truck-related crashes have dropped more than 40 percent since the current HOS rules were implemented in 2003. But the FMCSA created the “complicated and cumbersome” notice of proposed rulemaking based on outdated truck-related crash data, Coffman said.
“Even more disturbing is that it is estimated that there will be a cost of $2.5 billion annually on the industry if the proposed hours of service regulations are finalized,” he said.
James Burg, president of James Burg Trucking Co., said the proposal would restrict productivity and increase congestion and emissions. It would force Burg to add drivers and trucks, making it necessary for his 75-truck Michigan-based company to try and increase retained earnings by between 20 and 25 percent.
Paul James, president of Colorado-based Rex Oil Co., testified on behalf of the Petroleum Marketers Association of America. His drivers are home every night and the proposal should not apply to short-haul drivers, he said.
In 2009, safety and labor groups challenged the current HOS rule. The U.S. Court of Appeals granted the parties’ joint motion to hold the case in abeyance, pending the issue of a new HOS proposal.
“If the FMCSA promulgates a new rule that is substantially different from the 2008 rule, that may obviate the need for judicial review of the current rule,” the court stated.
— Jill Dunn
Roadcheck finds 14% using e-logs
The three-day Roadcheck 2011, a nationwide driver and vehicle inspection event, this year queried drivers on their use of electronic logging devices. The technology was being used by 14 percent of drivers, said the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, which conducted the June 7-9 Roadcheck 2011.