Teamsters come out against hours changes, ATA still supportive

Night in Nashville, loading dock.The Teamsters Union has voiced its opposition to recent Congressional action to roll back the 2013 changes to federal hours-of-service restart provisions, but American Trucking Associations head Bill Graves is holding strong on the group’s support for suspending the changes.


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Teamsters President James P. Hoffa penned a letter June 9 to the House asking it to not add any amendments to its DOT funding bill that would “delay, revise or replace” the 34-hour restart rules, according to Hoffa’s letter.

The Senate version of the bill came out of the chamber’s Appropriations Committee last week with an amendment to suspend some of the 34-hour restart provisions until more study could be done to back up the rule.

The House passed its Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill June 9 without the amendment.


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Hoffa pointed to the recent high-profile truck crash involving actor Tracy Morgan as evidence to keep the current rules, saying the crash “could have been prevented had Walmart’s driver been properly rested.”

Hoffa also says the 2013 rules protect drivers from carriers who want to “push their drivers to squeeze every possible hour out of them that they can.”

ATA’s Graves, however, addressed the Morgan crash with a statement saying the 2013 restart rules actually decrease safety, as they “[alter] driver sleep patterns and [put] more trucks on the road during more risky daylight hours.”


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He also addressed public reports that the driver hadn’t slept in more than 24 hours — but had taken the proper amount of time off duty — by saying there’s no way the industry nor government action can “dictate what drivers do during that off-duty period.”

ATA and its members “strongly believes that drivers must take advantage of their off-duty periods for rest and that drivers should not drive if they are fatigued.”

Notably, several senators who voted in favor of the restart suspension objected to the rule because of its regulatory overreach. Sen. Mary Landrieu said she is ‘viscerally opposed’ to the federal government’s deciding when people should sleep.

  • Dave Hash

    The new rules don’t allow for any flexibility and put all drivers in the same box. They also put more trucks on the road at peak times when drivers traditionally would be parked. I have no problem having laws saying we must be rested and the hour limits on driving, but to tell me WHEN I must rest is FMCSA overreaching their authority. The new laws have some drivers having to take rest periods when the clock says so, instead of when they need to rest.

  • matt

    It would be nice to go back to when I get off I can take 34 off and drive 5 or 6 hours on Sunday and be fresh for mon morning instead of having to leave at 0500 on mon morning a good 2 hours before sun up. But it is what it is

  • ray

    What the walmart driver did had nothing to do with the restart rules. The new rules have made me run harder than the old one ever did. Until we have representation that actually knows our side of the industry they need to leave us the hell alone and let us do our job.

  • Jason Haggard

    Oh wait just a damn minute, the Teamsters were the very same lobbyists that threatened to stop contributing to campaign funds of politicians if they raised any opposition to changing the HOS in July, now they don’t like it so they want it changed back? I think what they should do is change them back and continue to require teamster affiliated companies to operate under the new HOS …..that would be sweet karma.

  • Jimdog

    Who ever sets the rules should have to do at least a year OTR driving containing dry van reffer flat bed and heavy haul to gain a full grasp of what a tucker goes thru on the road as well as anyone setting the rules then let’s hear there answers then!!!

  • Jimmdogg

    We should nation wide strike till it’s fixed bet they get in gear a whole lot faster so if we lose a couple three weeks pAy it will be fixed or the nations economy wil drop out the bottom as well as stocks so the big wigs will tAke notice

  • NE

    Pass laws, create new rules, force electronic log devices on trucks and thereby force truckers to pay the cost for being monitored, but when it has all been done in the guise of safety by making sure the truck driver gets the rest he/she should, who is going to pay for the guard who sits with the truck to make sure the driver is actually in there sleeping.

  • Jimmdogg

    The days coming if we don’t stand up for our selfs we will be in tents an shacks on the tracks under vidox
    Wait an see or fight as one
    What’s your choice

  • mormon

    If they wanna tell me when I can or cannot sleep, then they can start paying me overtime after 40.

  • Christina Campbell

    You pull in to get unloaded. Spend 45 minutes unstrapping, rolling up tarps that weigh upwards of 100 lbs., then unchain. Wait 2 hrs to actually get unloaded because your waiting for a crain appointment. The actual unloading takes approx 45 minutes. Then you pull out and over some where get your straps, bungies, chains ratchets and tarps put up another 45 minutes to hour. You’ve reached the 5 hour mark now and your waiting on reload info…you’ve already got in an 8 hour day. The last 5 have been off duty so you have time to drive once load info comes in. The people making the rules should be required to have a valid cdl and made to drive..maybe even not entitled to an opinion until they reach the million mile mark….just saying! !

  • DystantThundr

    Pretty soon it will be…….park your truck at a certified parking area with sleeping rooms, go inside, get tranquilized so you are forced to sleep……. Laugh now.

  • Del Ray Johnson

    This is what happens when you are surrounded by idiots and fools let me see the Hoffa/Teamsters is repeating the same nonsense from the so-called news that this W-driver who was immediately charged with a crime carrying a 5-10 year sentence and though represented by an attorney, his attorney said yea go ahead and admit that you/he was up 24 hours before the accident how ridiculous is this come on. But instead of doing damage control for all, the driver what else would we expect! And let me give the people always taken advantage of the rule IS NO UNION official including Hoffa can take his own personal position, opinion contrary to the position and interests of its members, rank, and file meaning the professional drivers at UPS, etc. are IN charge they voted in their Union and guess what can vote the Union out! Hoffa won’t tell his members only thing they need to do is get pissed complain to the NLRB and technically the Teamster can be dissolved I am sure based upon this action the company having to dealt with this fool would be happy! Be safe. . . . .

  • Douglas

    Doesn’t Walmart use Elog? Why hasn’t this driver had any sleep, and how does Hoffa know he didn’t have proper rest? The old rules worked fine and a person didn’t have to push the limits unless mainly delivering to grocery stores and their warehouses that hate drivers.

  • Scott

    Thanks a lot Hoffa! Your not losing money like we are!!!

  • Grizzly6

    I wish I could just stop the clock like we did in the early Eighties . I could pull over and take a nap when rush hour is happening (LA Area). After the traffic calms down a little I would go on my way not having to fight my way down the road.Plus, Im rested and Awake ! Why don’t they give this back to us !

  • USMC 69-75

    Totally agree Del……

  • USMC 69-75

    Unless you have e-log Grizzly, what’s stopping you? I still pull over and nap when I feel like it. Just show it at the receiver while waiting to unload.

  • Twoguns

    Teamsters don’t follow the restart rule anyway we still run on the 70 hour rule

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  • Robert

    Tell the teamsters pay bills or shut up. I won’t those reset hrs back to the way they were. Get rid of the 168 hr rule.

  • Jerry

    Maybe if drivers quit giving away that 5 hrs. and paid about $30. per hour for employee driver and $85. per hr for O/O like we were under union contracts, you would not have feel like you now need to drive all night, to make up for that fact that you worked more than half the day for NOTHING. Point is today’s driver need to quit blamming govt and grow some male organs and take the fight to the employer /supply chain mgt and get sufficiently compensated for ALL the time you work. Before deregulation most drivers were compensated for ALL their work time. But in todays world it is easier to blame govt instead of looking in the mirror. But that would take some guts because drivers would have to put their worrthless jobs on the line picketing the predator employers! When we demand to be paid for that 5 hrs, the so called “log” problem goes away . When we ACCEPT to work for NOTHING for those five hours- look in the mirror to find the problem!

  • Del Ray Johnson

    We need you and couple of other ole timers to form us a new “Union,” an “Association” and a Sergeant WITH Arms to address our concerns!

  • JoAnn Jehoich

    Truckers should be able to take a break when they need to. When they, theirself feel tired and not when the HOS says they have to. Only the driver knows when he has reached his limit and needs his rest. They need to put the HOS back to the original rule. Driving when they don’t need or shouldn’t, doesn’t cut it. Let the driver be the one to decide. Everyone who voted for the HOS rule, should have to spend at least 6 months to a year in a truck doing what the trucker has to deal with and then maybe they would understand where they are coming from.

  • Trick1

    Run into this often..Been driving nights for 20 years can’t sleep during the day nor care for the stress of day driving..So I’m up all night and start my week tired in rush hour traffic when I could be rested and getting miles. These people should be focusing on the lunitic cars and trucks a like..It’s basically lawlesss out here..Where have the quality drivers gone? They are done getting screwed with and got out..Much like the quality Government employees. If you don’t shut up and go with the flow your out.

  • Trick1

    He was awake off duty away from work next we will be wearing a ankle bracelet 24/7

  • USMC 69-75

    Sorry to disappoint Del, but when you can’t get two drivers to agree on how to tie their cowboy boots, trying to get several 100 tousand to join together in a fight for our industry would be futile!

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  • David Boone

    The current and previous h.o.s rules is the cause of all the fatigue related accidents and the ones that need to be brought up on murder charges is the fmcsa and there band of idiots the only h.o.s rules that works is the original one’s because they let us rest when we need rest not when some control freak know as the fmcsa thinks we need sleep the only rule that needed to be added to the original set of rules is the previous 34 hour restart not the one we have now also get rid of that deadly 30 minute break

  • Had enuff BS

    As a ex teamster of 17yrs and a statistic of the great Roadway-Yellow merger. They say that they are protecting jobs but how many true hard workers lost their jobs over that merger to crapy lazy workers?

  • Semaj Dore

    Nation wide strike ain’t never gonna happen it’s a pipe dream better chance if a completely legal 2 weeks of running that would hurt them just as bad better chance of drivers doing this to many o/o and lease drivers running on the edge to quitworking for any time period

  • ilovdieselsmoke

    OK so how many miles has this Jim Hoffa Jr. actually driven a truck to qualify him as some type expert? NO – he’s no blue collar Jimmie Hoffa behind the wheel like his dad. No credibility here! He’s an elected attorney-union leader surrounded by professional speech writers who help Washington leadership take advantage of every opportunity in order to promote their own giant socialism propaganda machines agenda for more big government. I bet they only wished this could have been an owner-operator leased to Wal-Mart with an older pr-emission polluting truck! They could then also have raised the issue of outlaw independents out murdering everyone on the highway with smoke belching unsafe junkers rather than everyone programed like a zombie under new government researches rules of order..

  • Kenn Ashcraft

    In my opinion, UNION is just another way to say MAFIA. They’re an organization of corruption and deceit. I say do away with all unions and make every state a right to work state. If you can’t do the job properly, and with enthusiasm then GET OUT!!!

  • Slayer88

    This is why I’m hanging up the keys when my current medical expires, people like Hoffa and the rest of the government strongarm apparatus

  • Slayer88

    Correct, my company doesn’t do anything for free so why should I?

  • Slayer88

    You solar powered, batteries on reserve at 5am?

  • norman ott

    It looks like to me government wants everyone to be the same. They have taken or will take all the ” harder you work the more you make” out of trucking. I was lucky to have driven back in the 70s and 80s. New drivers then had to drive the POS trucks until they could prove themselves. Today, new driver new truck.


    the new 34 restart as a o/o has eliminated altogether my weekly restart.this rule came from corporations to allow them to run you every single day 24/7 70 hours. when you come close to 70 they simply delay dispatch til morning or late appointment to deliver and gain hrs. midnight.being on weekend over road drivers know your given bit more time to deliver fridays pick up to mondays delivery.moSt times. if you ran hard friday shut down 34 rest sleep AND run the other part sunday late to monday . you could reset every week.YOU CANNOT TELL ME THAT 34 HOURS OFF WEEKLY DOES NOT HELP REST A DRIVER. KEEP UP YOUR BRAINLESS REWRITES OF HOS. KILL MORE INNOCENT PEOPLE ON THE HIGHAWAYS..

  • centerlaneshow

    What B/S coming from the Teamsters I worked for company’s that were unionized and let me tell you they are more babied than any other driver out their all they do is complain. They get paid very well have a mad retirement plan. If they push the HOS back it would mean they would lose money. Lets face it the Teamsters are only about (ME) not the common driver out their which by the way out numbers the Teamsters 10-1. This is not about one organization its about the whole dam Industry.

  • Rkam

    Why doesn’t FMCSA have anything to do with shippers and receivers?
    Already bad enough we pay late fees and they can sit us as long as they want with little probability of paying detention. But they get ‘busy’ or ‘backed up’ with little chance of penalty.
    Our hours are directly affected by them.

  • Harold Mcquait

    once the goverment controls trucking they can control the hole world just like they want it its called socialist party communist

  • Work boots

    Hoffa is wrong. Under the revised restart rules my company would push me to exhaustion by making me work off recap. We run nights so the restart 1-5 was useless. Now I can run my butt off six days and that next day I can kick back and be lazy and rest 34 hrs. This us good. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.