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Todd Dills

Oops: Appropriations bill may have done away with 34-hour restart entirely

| February 12, 2016

2015-11-03 17.31.48

Turns out the 34-hour restart-related item in the late-2015 Congressional appropriations bill may have done a little more than was intended. The intent of the item was to reinforce the stay of enforcement of limitations on use of the 34-hour restart that were implemented in 2013 and which the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration continues to study as to their effectiveness, as required by law.

But read what the appropriations bill actually states relative to the restart, and it becomes clear that not only did it extend that stay and put limitations on FMCSA’s ability to reinstate the restrictions — once-per-week use of the restart and inclusion of two 1-5 a.m. periods — it essentially nullified the restart entirely.

Here’s what the appropriations bill says (the final report mentioned would be the as-yet-unissued report from the recently concluded study of safety effects of the pre-change restart versus the post-change, limited restart):

None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act or any other Act may be used to implement, administer, or enforce sections 395.3(c) and 395.3(d) of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, and such section shall have no force or effect on submission of the final report issued by the Secretary… 

Related

Required 34-hour restart study finished, advances to next step, says FMCSA boss

A Congressionally required study of truck operators and FMCSA’s 2013-instituted 34-hour restart regulations has been completed and is now under review by the Department of ...

That’s the key part of this, and what exactly does 395.3(c) and 395.3(d) refer to? Those are, essentially, everything in the regulations pertaining to the restart. And since the appropriations bill’s language doesn’t specify an alternative to those regulations, as the Truckload Carriers Association noted this afternoon in a message to members…

…then there is no restart provision to abide by. 

That’s DOT’s recent interpretation at least, according to TCA. Now, before you go back to recapping entirely, take note of the rest of that message from TCA:

As discussions around this issue remain fluid, we are instructing our carrier members to keep their fleets operating as they have always been as members of Congress seek to reach an agreement on the best way to proceed. In an email to its Executive Committee, of which TCA is part, ATA has put forth options which they can use to negotiate with lawmakers. Of those options, the parties involved, including TCA representatives, have selected what ATA perceives to be the most flexible option on the table. The selected option consists of the following:

Total weekly cap of 75 hours in any 7 calendar days

  • Retains 60/7, 70/8 rules.
  • Taking an off-duty period of 34 consecutive hours or more allows the driver to exceed the 60/7 & 70/8 limits, up to the 75-hour, 7-calendar-day cap.

Related

Hours regs starting to ‘look like the tax code’

"Pretty soon our HOS rules are going to look like the tax code." --Tom Strese, commenting on news of another niche exemption request from the ...

We’ll update more when we have word of any final solution, as changes wouldn’t go into effect until certified by DOT in concert with lawmakers. As TCA noted, “as of today, we are continuing to operate as we did yesterday.”

At once, reminds me of Tom Strese‘s sage words from about a year ago as the exemptions to the milk-and-cookie break really started to pile up: If we’re not careful, Strese said, “pretty soon our HOS rules are going to look like the tax code.”

Can you live without the restart? Keep it simple, so to speak — or as simple as recapping can be? Stay tuned for more…

The 34-hour restart’s complicated limbo

Here's the latest. Nothing about the 34-hour restart will change until FMCSA issues its certified report on its mandated comparative restart study. If the report ...

68 comments
kyle
kyle

The problem here is we r all JUST talking, just like we do at ta around the coffee bar. If u want it changed do something. Quit bitching and let's us as drivers show the country what power we have. Let's stand together and drive our trucks to Washington and force there hand in making a fair law that protects us as all this was intended to do. Some old timers will remember when drivers banned together and by the time they got to Washington it was already fixed. I will GLADLY block a interstate with my rig in protest, I will gladly park in Washington and poop on their parade. But will you? As Americans we used to fight for our right( against great britan, civil war revolutionary war etc.) And now we cower to greedy lobbyists and corrupt politicians. Name the day and I'll be there. Name the day and I'll deadhead all night if I must to participate in our trucker revolution, or our you waiting on the sidelines like your told waiting for more corporate beuracy to fight for you like ooida. Start a revolution if you really want something done in our interest...

LadyAngela Marie Trotter
LadyAngela Marie Trotter

I want to go before Congress and the FMCSA, wondering if I should get a petition started to present. Anyone any favor of this?

Robert Smith
Robert Smith

I need an interpretor to interpret these uninterpreble rules???????

Yolonnda
Yolonnda

Truck drivers ain't smart enough to remember all that we have to tell them when to drive when to take a break when to sht and when to get off the pot with out the little box in their truck they would be lost running around like chickens with no head

Tim
Tim

Why are you even on this site? You have no clue on what we are discussing. Go drink a piss jug. You can find one at Walmart.

Bill
Bill

Don't mind her. She's the welfare mom with 11 kids, (checks) that sucks off the taxpayer. Just a troll whose last old man was probably a driver who got sick of her whining, picked up a load and never came back. What a looser.

LadyAngela Marie Trotter
LadyAngela Marie Trotter

Excuse me. First of all We are DAM SMART!!! You need to be THANKING US that you can walk in any store in the country and buy what you need when you need it. You're simply one of those americans who are CLUELESS when it comes to a PROFESSIONAL DRIVER. You aren't a driver so you have no idea what you're talking about. You wouldn't last a day on a truck. So kindly keep your smart ass comments to yourself....We don't just get in the truck and drive. We pre-trip the truck, making sure that it is safe. We check to ensure that the cargo is securely loaded. We have to deal with more than you will ever have to deal with in your little mindless existence. So do us all a favor...and get off this topic. You are BEYOND CLUELESS!!!

Brad
Brad

Sorry my fellow US drivers. I am a Canadian trucker; not a new-canadian truck driver (towel on head). I do not drive into the USA anymore which up to about 2 years ago I truly enjoyed driving in your country but with these stupid regulations the US has is rediculous. The 14 hour rule is totally retarded. Who in the hell come up with that idea? I know ,the same guy that invented robots. Our hours of service rules in Canada really are great. drive 13 hours, 8 hour off duty or split berth equally doing 10 hours off duty. Can take breaks through the day not taking away from your 14 hour day. The people who make up these rules should not be so arrogant and see how well Canada has made this simple thing work. No offense brothers!

Allan McCullough
Allan McCullough

HOS rules are better in Canada but I wouldn't like the speed limiter deal, and I drive about 62 mph most of the time. Also I carry a gun and I hear they don't approve of that up there.

pupeperson
pupeperson

Virtually everyone making comments is saying essentially the same thing. Experienced, knowledgeable people are emphatically saying what is needed is more flexibility regarding the HOS regs, not more restrictive, unwieldy and unworkable regulations promulgated by eggheads with little if any practical experience. I too have 40 or so years and millions of miles behind the wheel, and I agree whole heartedly with all of you. To me, the fascinating thing is how intelligent, educated but inexperienced in the art persons can possibly believe in their gut that they know better than those of us with a lifetime of real world experience in the wide gamut of trucking operations about what is needed and what will work. It's irrational on its face. As Spock would say, it's illogical. That leads one into at least considering one or more conspiracy theories involving alternate modes (rail) or mega-carriers trying to stifle or eliminate competition. What else makes sense? Safety? LOL, we all know the safest way is the way we used to do it (driving while awake and alert and sleeping when tired) with some tweaks that offer more flexibility, not less. The rubric of safety and "everything for the "chil'ren" and treating us as though we are ignorant and incompetent by ignoring our input doesn't pass the smell test. It's like intentionally ignoring the best evidence available:"Whattaya mean the Islamic State is Islamic?" DUH! Any gains in statistical safety are the result of vastly better equipment that is easier and more comfortable to drive, has far better brakes, visibility, conspicuity, forward lighting and you name it than the trucks of even the recent past. Those statistical gains would be even greater if some of the HOS regulations, namely the 14 hour rule, the current, ignorant split sleeper rule and some others were done away with. My suggestion is that the FMCSA issue a blanket exception notice that let the Industry police itself with respect to HOS for a period of time and compare the results against the current stats. What are they afraid of? The proof that their meddling is counter-productive? The proof that they've done more harm than good trying to justify their existence? The entire "Gubmint" needs to be trimmed down and the FMCSA would be a great place to start...

The White Knight
The White Knight

Rates are down, freight is more scarce...it would be nice to be able to work when the work is there, and not be subject to some HOS rules made up by nit-wits and jackasses who not only have never been inside a semi, they don't even know how many sides it has (FYI - the answer is more than 4!) BTW - that is a FUN question to ask a rookie and is my qualifying question for all new-hires. Some weeks I'd like to work 80-90 hours because we are busy...I might want to do that 2 or 3 weeks in a row, and then, maybe I want to take 4 or 5 days off. I should be entitiled. This is America, not USSR. Let me decide when to work, and for how long. You want to go back to 10/8 rules? Fine...11 hours is enough driving...but, I don't need 10 hours off afterwards. Yet, 14 hours is a pretty damn long day for anyone to work...especially if I have to jam it all in, take a 30 min break to eat and take a dump? Really....who the hell thinks they can work like that and be at the top of their game? Once again, these rules are made by nit-wits and jackasses. What can we expect?

Jihad Lives
Jihad Lives

Now we have to hope congress can do the same with elogs!

Yote Anders
Yote Anders

there are none so blind as those that choose not to see..... no profit (kickback) for your congressman if they can't force you to buy elog and services...

CP3
CP3

Call them and email them . Let them know what the elogs will do and the 14 hour rule as it is , is the problem with safety .

Kevin Jones
Kevin Jones

Smh the more these people go and come out of school the more stupid and foolish they become may God bless them. It's going to get worst.

DonM
DonM

The 14 hour rule that states that your time is up 14 hours after first going on duty needs to go. And companies should not be able to force a driver to take a reset. The driver should only use this option if he chooses to do so.

Steve Bixler
Steve Bixler

HOS Not for Drivers Anymore In 1935 the Federal Government passed the Motor Carrier Act to begin regulating Trucking. In 1939, The Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) wrote and enacted the first Hours of Service (HOS) rules. When the HOS rules were first written, they were meant to protect drivers from unscrupulous Motor Carriers who were literally driving their drivers into the ground by forcing them to work dangerously long hours to deliver the freight. The saying was, “If you can’t handle it, we will get someone who can”. These rules remained in place, basically unchanged (and working well), for the next 65 years or so. Around that time, some public interest groups, and mega-carriers, decided these rules were no longer good enough, and started to pressure The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to make changes. Eleven years, and many changes later, we now have in place a system that allows these same unscrupulous carriers to micro-manage their drivers day to the point where they are once again, literally driving the drivers into the ground. By using ELD’s, these carriers monitor the trucks by the minute, and can constantly communicate with the driver to keep him moving for every available minute of driving time. With no flexibility for the driver to make informed choices based on traffic, weather, or driver fitness, we are expected to start at a prescribed time and put in our 14 hr. day with no delays or breaks, other than those mandated by FMCSA, regardless of what we, as drivers, see to be safest. If FMCSA truly wants to make it safe for us on the road, we have got to have the ability to choose when it is best and safest for us to do our job, not our employers. The FMCSA has got to forget about mandating ELD’s, as anyone using them can cheat anyway, and rewrite the HOS rules so we can once again be safe on the highways. If they truly want to do what is right, they need to set up a panel of actual truck drivers to help rewrite the regulations as we are the people that truly know what works, and what doesn’t. This is what I told Scott Darling last October when I met him and Jack Van Steenburg at a meeting. Although they listened intently to what I had to say, I'm not sure either one on them truly understood a word of it.

Tomahawk
Tomahawk

What do they expect us to do? Wait until we're as confused about all of this BS as law enforcement is? Do they actually WANT freight to stop moving? It's beginning to look like it. The tail isn't wagging the dog, it isn't even attached to the dog anymore. Anyone with any sense of self worth would be ASHAMED of the joke this has become, and just back off and start over. Like maybe revert back to what worked so well for so long. But oh hell no. Not them. They know too much. (sarc) It's truly pitiful. And they don't have a clue. This would be funny were it not for the fact that I'm up to my eyeballs in this business, so it's far from humorous. Makes me sick.

Shadow
Shadow

They change these damn rules so often and are making them so confusing that I have no idea what I'm supposed to be doing. I guess when I get stopped and checked they will let me know in the form of a fine. I wished they all would just leave us alone and let us get the job done and get paid. Sorry country we live in when government has to play around with the working person just to justify their job.

BACK OFF !
BACK OFF !

I'd like to see no set rules, just guidelines, like ; 12 hr. on with 8hr. driving and 3hr. on duty not driving, or 11 hr.driving when not using the 3hr. on duty not driving. With a 1hr. lunch / dinner or split it up however you want to use that 1 hr. a day personal break time included as part of your on duty time , and 12hr. off duty 10 sleeper time and 2hr. paperwork, laundry and shower time or however you want to use your time, with a two-day reset every 2-weeks after back to back 7/12's . It's based on an old shut-down schedule they used out in the chemical plants.

Thomas Duncan
Thomas Duncan

This is what happens when people that have no clue try to control individuals decisions.Why not just stop treating everybody out here like children and show some #^&%!_£ respect for hard working people! Hold individuals responsable for their actions and not everyone else just because they happen to have the same occupation! It is sickening what is going on in all this.

Magilla
Magilla

Just get the damn clocks out of trucks period ! Your killing me with the elogs , I don't stop to eat anymore and it forces me to drive when I'm dead tired , at least with paper I could stop , sleep and fix it the next day , o god yes I cheated but I was in a hell of a lot better shape cheating than I am now. 44years of drivin and I got a three month DOT card and ya know why , because he government is killing me. I don't remember the last time I stopped for a meal during the day , all because of staring at that damn clock.

Mike Roda
Mike Roda

Pretty soon we will need a law degree just do this job. The politicians should spend more of their time attempting to fix way more serious problems in this Country. I would love to see the 10 & 8 rule returned. It was easy to split & parking was always available. What will the Feds do when nobody wants to do this job anymore? Force us to drive?

rollin wit 9's
rollin wit 9's

Listen up, let me make it clear why this is unclear: 1. Government wants to limit how much you drive but... 2. Government is unhappy with you taking more than one 34hr in a week.

Bailey
Bailey

Get rid of the 14hr rule n let's deal with traffic at our leisure..... you want to push for space on crowded highways.....this 14hr rule puts us where we don't need to be.....I don't want to b next to your kids when someone screws up...but this 14hr rule puts us there....once we start we can't stop....IT DOESNT TAKE ROCKET SCIENCE to figure it out...as far as the 34hr restart leave it be....or go back to the old rule n have two days off in order to get back your 70....you guys r making laws u have no clue about....you guys never been in a truck....just sit a desk 7 to 5 go home...try raising a family based on your laws

L. B.
L. B.

9 to 5 in most desk job cases....with an hour lunch in there, must be nice.

Walter H
Walter H

This is exactly why I will always run The old school way! Outlaw scribble books... Because the Damn pencil pushers should have to drive OTR for a min. Of 24 months before they can even speak on the subject....

Bob
Bob

This is what happens when you try to write one set of rules for every type of trucking.It can't be done. Anybody who has been in trucking for several years knows you set up every trip by when you leave and when you need to arrive. When you have done this for many years and someone comes along to tell you that you have been doing it all wrong all these years. The fact that they have never been in a truck shouldn't have anything to do with it because they are smarter than you are. They need a real job so they wouldn't have time to think up all this crap. You don't need to change everything that's been working for the last 70 years. Things change or their own when they work better. THINK ABOUT IT.

rollin wit 9's
rollin wit 9's

I just don't know why you guys always need to mention guy X has 20+ years experience. After the first 6 months i knew elogs were sh!t, knew how i could run and have been and will always do better, much better on paper. I wont budge it, till i can fudge it! Let that be a lesson to y'all.

rollin wit 9's
rollin wit 9's

Hehe, no but i was on them for about that long sad to say

CP3
CP3

The HOS are the problem . A lot of us have been saying . I'm behind OOIDA fighting the ELD mandate in every truck . I agree 8 hours off in the sleeper or off duty , 11 - 12 hours drive time in 24 . This can be figured out . I have nothing against VA tech but why do we need to pay them millions for studies when I feel sure some of the 20 plus year drivers would be glad to give them a in cab living the life and having to follow the rules in place . The 14 hour non stop clock is a major problem . Drivers having to speed to beat the clock , so instead of asking drivers why and trying to figure it out they proposed speed limiters . I personally don't understand why the fmsca thinks they can regulate safety instead of giving drivers the flexibility they need to be safe and I have a question about the new driver corcision rules . Who does the money from the fine go to ?

Scott Cochran
Scott Cochran

Ya know the 34 truly is not about tweeking the system to be able to run more hours in a normal week.. But more so about the logic that every other American takes 2 days off and starts a fresh week. Heck doctors interns and nurses work 16+ hours daily some for months straight with no days off and they cut people open, stick needles, and ultimatly hold someones life in there ablitity to perform there duties.. So technically the limitations on hours driven in a week has no real merit other than someone whining about not getting time off... Sorry cupcake ur out here to work not be on vacation... Although i raise the the question.. Why is it someone at a plant or manufaturing facility can put in 80 to 90+ hours a week with no days off but for some reason the Government thinks its unacceptable in a truck?

scootweather
scootweather

this story is wrong. (d) A driver may not take an off-duty period allowed by paragraph (c) of this section to restart the calculation of 60 hours in 7 consecutive days or 70 hours in 8 consecutive days until 168 or more consecutive hours have passed since the beginning of the last such off-duty period. When a driver takes more than one off-duty period of 34 or more consecutive hours within a period of 168 consecutive hours, he or she must indicate in the Remarks section of the record of duty status which such off-duty period is being used to restart the calculation of 60 hours in 7 consecutive days or 70 hours in 8 consecutive days. (c)(1) Any period of 7 consecutive days may end with the beginning of an off-duty period of 34 or more consecutive hours that includes two periods from 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. (2) Any period of 8 consecutive days may end with the beginning of an off-duty period of 34 or more consecutive hours that includes two periods from 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/title49/section/395.3

BACK OFF !
BACK OFF !

Holly shet, the Pasadena police Dept. gave me a reading comprehension test that read something like these regulations and at the end of the test they told me they didn't need any dish washers, lol !!!

Pachy Dermetitus
Pachy Dermetitus

Stop thinking you can make enough rules to fix everything FMCSA, and congress. good grief you guys are like a band of idiots who are so busy making club rules nobody can strum a note in edgewise. At some point we are going to have to play music or stop calling ourselves a band. Congress has the authority to promote, facilitate, and improve interstate trade, not infringe on it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

scootweather
scootweather

actually this would be an act to "improve" interstate trade

mousekiller
mousekiller

A simple fix. Allow us to stop the clock for things like avoiding rush hour traffic. Stopping to eat or take a safety nap. Let us decide when to stop and for how long with out penalty. NO PENALTY like there is today. for a good many years we managed to survive safely by being able stop the clock. This too will help reduce the parking situation as Driver can change the time of day they like to run now. Dump that useless 30 minute break for rest. You have to be kidding.Rest?

redjeb
redjeb

The 14 Hour CLOCK is a death trap.You can't put time on safety.

Walter H
Walter H

Tell that to your heart surgeon Driver. Bet you he is working more hours then you pulling 24 hour shift at the hospital... And look how much they get paid

Thomas Duncan
Thomas Duncan

You are spot on and being "compliant" today is too damned dangerous.Screw the rules I am totally sick of being treated like a damned child!

redjeb
redjeb

The 14 hour clock forces drivers to drive tired trying to beat the clock instead of stopping and resting. It forces drivers to drive threw rush hour instead of waiting it out.