OOIDA survey latest to show hours-of-service rules cut pay, increase driver fatigue

| November 20, 2013
I-40 east of Nashville during the morning rush hour

Unintended consequence? Drivers and industry advocates are saying the new hours of service provisions are dumping them out on the highways at the most congested hours of the day, dinging productivity, increasing stress and likely not improving safety.

A full 65 percent of the 4,000 truck drivers surveyed by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association said the new hours of service rules have caused them to receive less income, while 46 percent report feeling more fatigued since the new rules took effect. 

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OOIDA released the results of its membership survey Nov. 20. Its conclusion, OOIDA says, is the new rules “have a negative impact on truck drivers’ ability to drive while rested, operate their businesses efficiently and make a living,” according to a press release. 

Of the respondents, 56 percent say they have lost mileage and per-week loads hauled because of the new rules. Drivers also said via survey comments that they don’t have as much home time and they have increased stressed. 

The American Transportation Research Institute also released a study this week that said drivers have lost income, miles and at-home time to the rule, in addition to feeling more fatigued and more stressed.

More voices on hours | As Congress prepares to hear small-business trucking’s concerns on hours, in this special-edition podcast find further voices of Overdrive reader owner-operators on the July 1 hours changes’ economic and safety impacts.

The podcast is a follow-up to podcast published Monday, in which drivers said they need more professional discretion. Click here to listen to that one.

Todd Spencer, OOIDA’s executive vice president, says FMCSA “micromanages” drivers, and the new rules take away from highway safety rather than help it.

“Instead of providing the flexibility to drive when rested and stop when tired, the new rules have put drivers in the position of driving more hours than ever and in the worst traffic conditions, and spending less time at home,” Spencer said. “How is that safe?”

The new hours provisions, which became effective July 1, restrict drivers’ flexibility, disabling them from working around unpredictable factors like weather and traffic, OOIDA says.

Moreover, the restart provisions — the two 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. periods and the once-per-168-hours requirement — exacerbate the problem of waiting at shippers or receivers, which OOIDA member respondents say has forced them to lose time at home. It’s also caused them to try to take on shorter hauls and decreased their income, OOIDA reports.

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The American Trucking Associations also Nov. 20 reiterated its stance against the new rule, saying it hopes FMCSA and Congress “swiftly address” the rules and the problems they’re creating for the industry. 

“From the outset, ATA was confident the hours-of-service rule changes were based on politics, not data,” said ATA president and CEO Bill Graves. “Well now we’re seeing mounting evidence that rather than solving anything, these rules are creating many problems for drivers and fleets alike.”

The U.S. House is holding a hearing Thursday, Nov. 21, in which it will hear testimony from small businesses as to how the hours rule has impacted their operation. 

ATA in the announcement voiced its support for the TRUE Safety Act, a bill proposed last month in the House that, if passed, would delay the new hours rule until the Government Accountability Office could study FMCSA’s methodology in creating the rule. Click here to see Overdrive‘s coverage of the bill. 

  • guest

    FMCSA has Spoken!! The Rules will Stand…..Comply! Obey!
    Conform! Be Monitored! While they bring mexicans up here to take your jobs and freight…….Welcom to the NEW TRUCKING……more rules on the way….not less! OBEY!!!

  • guest

    SILENCIO!!!! (silence you slaves)……you will be replaced by a mexican soon enuff…..Nobody cares what ur opinion is…that should be plain by now!!!!! The AGENDA calls for Obediant slaveboys…..hauling freight CHEAPLY……3 mexicans in every trucks is the GOAL……The NEW Trucking really doesnt include you OLD buzzards…..lol

  • John Ryan

    Your 100% right

  • EF McHenry

    OOIDA has a good record on fighting regulation! But not the ATA(American Trucking Association)! In fact with rare exception, the American Trucking Association is actively pushing one regulation after another; regulations that attack the driver! Here is a sample of the stuff the ATA is constantly pushing, sometimes in stealth: Speed Limiters, EOBR/ELD, Red-Light Cameras, In Cab cameras, Sleep Apnea Screening, Smart Way Emission standards, CSA etc. I could go on…. So I could really care less about their position! And If OOIDA doesn’t fight the Mandatory Sleep Screening that’s seems to be coming over the horizen, I’ll be good and done with them as well! Isn’t it strange of all the regulations leveled against this industry, the HOS rule is the only one that’s got the congress and the ATA up in arms. Think about why that is.

  • fmsca kapo

    There are thousands of drivers on line waiting for your jobs……….you coolies realy should stop being a nuisance!

  • KerryES

    OOIDA has been fighting the sleep apnea issue. In fact, our members just had a victory over the FMCSA on that in October. Here’s the story: http://www.landlinemag.com/Story.aspx?StoryId=25866#.Uo4vG9K-rwo
    Now FMCSA can’t skip the full process. They’ll have to play by the rules and give truckers a chance to stand squarely in their way on this.

  • g

    Yea!!! Coolies…..the modern trucker is a Coolie……he will be a Mexican soon….every construction site in America has illegal aliens WORKING and collecting PAY that should go to returning VETERANS…..the next industry in the Sights is TRUCKING….Low wage is all that matters not citizenship.

  • guest

    Mega Fleets are ALREADY screening and testing for Sleep Apnea candidates…the trucker today is a Guinea Pig to be poked and prodded and “tested” and Monitored by a Host of NEW interested parties who LOBBY to get the CONTRACT to do all that Poking…Electro Log companies….Apnea Testers. help WRITE the legislation to Harness the driver into their GAME…..all about MONEY……if it doesnt PASS today it will soon…….Big Moneyed Interestes aint gonna give up….they want to Get RICH.

  • MercenaryMan

    I want to know how ANYONE can force you to be screened, to be tested, THIS IS NOT LAW, if a carriers wants me to take that test sorry, not happeneing, Ill find another, Dont be fooled, this is not a LAW…its not even Guidance now, its got a long way to go before its Law, right now drivers are bing blackmailed, FORCED to take the tests, holding your job hostage till you conform, NO…I WILL NOT BE BLACKMAILED.

  • MercenaryMan

    MONEY IS THE OBJECT $$$ YOUR MONEY, Not the companys, if they want YOU to be safe why arent they paying for it all. why should a working man be forced to subsidize a Industry of Voodoo Statistics, 3000 dollars is allot of food off a familys table, and until I see more ADMINISTRATORS TESTED, they can shove this garbage right up there A$$

  • Pingback: Trucking groups question FMCSA hours study, Congressman says it’s ‘worthless’ | Professional Safety Support

  • Pradeep Bhanot

    We have been addressing this challenge by doing our part to reduce driver wait time at the yard.

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