Speakers support hours status quo
“By reducing the number of hours drivers can operate every day, it would necessitate the use of more vehicles whicvh will lead to greater traffic congestion,” Petrancosta said. “Further, reduced industry capacity will result in higher shipping costs, which we will have to pass on. Reducing the work day from 14 to 13 hours will result in less wage-earning capability for our drivers. While the individual driver may be earning less, our company costs will increase as more drivers are needed,” he added.
Frank Silio, a driver and trainer at Covenant Transport, echoed the comment that current HOS rules should be retained. On the proposed 34-hour restart, he said, “It would add to a large frustration of finding adequate and safe parking for trucks. It would put an economic strain on the driver and the companies. Why add this financial strain now after a slow and long economic recovery this industry has endured.”
Todd Spencer, executive vice president of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, reiterated the need for rules flexibility for drivers. He also cited the negative role of shippers and receivers on drivers’ schedules, health and safety and fatigue and their ability to comply with HOS regulations. “The overwhelming majority of drivers are not happy with any reduction in available driving time, the mandatory half-hour break or the two overnight midnight to 6 a.m. rest periods required for their 34-hour restart provision,” he said.
He added that some OOIDA members suggested that if a reduction in driving time should be considered, it should be focused on newer drivers with less experience and those more likely to get into accidents.