Trucking groups question FMCSA hours study, Congressman says it’s ‘worthless’

| January 30, 2014
Rep. Richard Hanna
Rep. Richard Hanna

Trucking trade groups and even a member of Congress moved swiftly to voice skepticism of the findings of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Jan. 30-released field study on the 34-hour restart provisions of the current hours-of-service rule, which concluded that drivers are more alert and drive safer after a restart that includes two nighttime periods. 

U.S. Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.) in a statement called FMCSA’s findings “worthless” and said the study heightens the need for his House bill, which would at least temporarily revert hours of service rules to pre-July 1 provisions, to become law. 

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“Considering the study arrived four months late, I expected a robust report, but the study is worthless,” Hanna said. “This half-baked study only underscores the need to legislatively delay the rule and have GAO conduct an independent analysis of the study so we can get a credible account of what this rule will truly mean for the safety of truckers, commuters and businesses.”

The Owner-Operator Independent Driver Association released a short statement saying it is “skeptical” of the study’s conclusions. 

“The study does not appear to us to be representative of those actually affected by the newer hours of service so we are skeptical it can be applied to the larger population within the industry.” 

OOIDA released its own study on the hours rule in November, which concludes the hours rule not only makes drivers more fatigued but causes them to lose income and productivity and be more stressed.

The American Trucking Associations also released a statement that says the agency’s study does nothing to justify the hours rules provisions. ATA’s Dave Osiecki says the report “is lacking critical analyses on several important issues,” one of them being the rule’s potential to force more trucks on the road during already congested hours, like during morning rush hour. 

“The study acknowledges that the two or more night restart periods result in more trucks on the road during the day, but it does not address the corresponding safety or congestion impacts,” Osiecki said. 

ATA, like OOIDA, issued a report in November saying the rule costs carriers productivity and causes drivers to be less rested than previous hours regulations.

Hanna in his statement also pointed to this is as a weakness of the agency’s study.

“FMCSA is telling millions of truckers when they are tired, but the study only examined 100 truckers from three companies. In addition, the study’s narrow scope does not address perhaps the most serious issue that could change the entire outcome of the study — forcing truckers to work in the morning rush hour when roads are most congested and dangerous.”

Click here to see Overdrive‘s coverage of FMCSA’s hours of service study.

  • Mercenary Man

    I’ll never call or write these boards again you ask for Drivers input then you do what the lobby’s pay you to do, FAST is a joke and so are the MASTERS of trucking who have never even rode in a rig let alone work full time as a driver , what a joke and waste of drivers O/ON Time

  • William McKelvie

    Hanna is right, but they do not listen to him either.

  • Bruce at 1600 Watch

    Apparently common sense, horse sense and any other kind of sense are all strangers to overpaid FMCSA brass. It’s FMCSA that needs hours of service rules to reduce hours spent on ignorant nonsense with no foundational reality. We should wonder to what extent sleep apnea may be endemically impacting deductive reasoning skills and decison making capacity within the FMCSA offices. Maybe it’s time to mount computer camera monitors so drivers can tune in on close circuit TV and keep a close eye on FMCSA employee facial expressions…are they drooling while they work?

  • jim stewart

    I think the ones who really need to be held compliant for keeping proper log documentation is our elected officials or legislators who dream up these schemes. It appears they may be keeping late night hours within the beltway and not getting their proper rest breaks. As a result they’re making irrational decisions which impact the livelihood of thousands who deliver the nations goods. Somehow common sense gets checked in along with coats and hats before Congress convenes in chambers..

  • haller

    Does this mean all the truck drivers will be getting a raise when the minimum wage is $10.00 per hr ? OR , why don’t I get paid for the half hour it takes me to fuel the truck ? OR , why is everything my fault ?

  • BunniRabbyt

    why does not someone start a petition to oust Anne Ferro from the FMSCA She is like to many politition types truly supporting their own agenda and sticking to it instead of true factuality. A petition only needs 100,000 names before Congress has to address the petition. I have seen Change.Org work for many issues. Although I am a Life Member of OOIDA I dont think they will support it. They want to use Lawyers for everything. I say let the PEOPLE SPEAK and if you dont FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE. The trucking industry is truly out of control with all these outragous regulations. Drivers count your hours especially you OTR drivers what are you really making an hour.

  • General

    I would like know why congress men & senators don’t have a drug sreening program. I think they need it more then poeple who work for a living. any one is paid with tax dollars should have be sreen. Drug & Alc test before they can vote on bills that cost tax payer more money & time.

  • Best Administrator in TN

    Once again a rule in favor of those who suggested it. IF TRUCKERS WOULD SHUT DOWN FOR AT LEAST A WEEK ON A UNIVERSAL LEVEL THEY WOULD LISTEN! I hate to hear the whimps say they can’t afford to do it and then bitch when our elected officials continue to make rules such as this! Guys…states from A to Z need to shut it down for a week. NO FREIGHT MOVING ANYWHERE TO LET THEM KNOW THEY MUST STOP RULING IN FAVOR AGAINST US MAKING RULES THAT WILL NEVER EFFECT THEM DIRECTLY!

  • bigred

    Listen cracker head,,,,,,,Your pay is based on miles and getting your drops off(on time) In this business when your miles are cut and you dont get but two loads a week you are not gonna get any more money. I`m tired of you guys posting about more money when you obviously just got into this business and dont understand jack….One more time, you are NOT gonna get money for something you didnt do in this business…. I see these guys posting about Eobr`s, getting dispatchers of their backs etc. This is a mile paid business and you guys might have to find another career since you don`t wont to work at this one.

  • supersickrick

    Come on drivers I stopped driving in December, and refuse to drive until the Government interference listens to us. I am going broke. It would be nice if more drivers took action rather than complaining and accepting this Pscho-babble study invented in a room full of people justifying their existence.

  • dirtman

    Amen general would love to put all congress and senators on a drug program. also they must be view while doing it

  • Mmoon

    Naturalistic field study. Really?…

    So, the participants included 44 local, 26 regional and 36 over the road drivers. All are employees (the 3 O/O’s contracting w/ carrier might as well be employees.)

    Why not include the little guys? Of the many owner/operator/mechanic/carrier/safety/dispatcher/driver
    types to whom trucking is their life NOT their job, not 1 of them was included in this study.

    44 test subjects were “local” drivers, that’s 42%. Of the trucks used, 44 of them were day cabs. Hmm.

    Local drivers, for the most part, are not subject to the hours of service regulations and, they go home every day/night. What the ____?

    They definitely are NOT “representative of drivers affected by the maximum driving time requirements.”

    I wonder what the average speed is for a local driver. Anybody know?

    Lane deviation data was tossed out for any driving done at speeds below or above 45-65 mph or w/ more than a 1 mph deviation in speed w/in any 1-minute interval.

    So, out of the almost 415,000 miles driven during this study they ended up with “235,575 usable 1-minute records of lane deviation”

    Don’t even get me started with their so-called duty cycles. Give me a break! Hah ha

    I’m all over the place trying to expressing myself, my frustration. Please read the study the FMCSA ordered up.
    One word from the report’s title says it all-

    EFFICACY
    : the power to produce a desired result or effect
    *******************************************************************
    REGULATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION

  • Uncle John

    When did the government ever do anything that required common sense?

  • Uncle John

    Take a “convoy” of trucks from LA to Tallahassee, from Williston, N Dakota to Houston, From Yakima, Washington to Atlanta from New York to Sacramento and don’t stop for nothing and nobody… park em’ in the street around the capital building of each state, take the keys, lock the doors and walk away……..let em’ know we had enough, big protest.

  • Stormy

    And all these studies and research by the FMCSA is taking how much out of the transportation fund? Let’s link this article with the article about congestion and the bankrupt transportation fund and see if we can find a common denominator.

  • Stormy

    She is an Obama appointee so the one thing we can be sure of is she will be held accountable…..NOT!

  • Stormy

    I could wonder all over the place with you. But I followed, understood and agreed with every word you said. It really is impossible to carry on a conversation about any of what is going on because before I got a good start they would be taking me off to the looney bin for psychiatric evaluation.

  • Stormy

    I let a driver go in November and parked my truck in December but unfortunately I think I am the only one who has noticed.

  • Stormy

    How much would you like to be paid for sitting on the side of the road waiting for a service truck to bring you fuel? You could put an owner out of business in no time with that kind of thinking. It sure is easy to spend somebody else’s money.

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  • Mike Kirrane

    When ever anyone is asked about anything going on in Washington it seems no one knows and wasn’t a notified that’s Obama’s favorite excuse

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