Trucking leaders push for suspension of 34-hour restart provisions in DOT funding bill

| June 04, 2014

Editor’s note: The Senate Appropriations Committee passed June 5 the amendment to at least temporarily suspend some of the provisions of last year’s hours of service rule changes. Click here to read coverage of the passage.

hours night truck stopTrucking industry stakeholders and lobbyists are asking Congress to suspend for one year two of the key changes implemented to hours of service rules for truck operators: The requirement for two consecutive drive rest periods from a 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. during the 34-hour restart and the once-a-week restart restriction. 


The American Trucking Associations on Tuesday wrote to leaders of the Senate Appropriations Committee urging support for both a proposed Commercial Motor Vehicle Driver Restart Study and a one-year suspension of two “unjustified restrictions” on the use of the HOS restart provision.

The plea, to Chairman Barbara Mikulski and Ranking Member Richard Shelby, along with Sens. Patty Murray and Susan Collins of the transportation subcommittee, comes ahead of a Thursday vote on the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development budget package for the 2015 fiscal year.


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While the driver restart study, to be based on data derived from electronic logs, has received broad support from both trucking and safety groups, an anticipated amendment to suspend the restart is divisive.

The additional language is expected from Collins, a Maine Republican, and ATA on Tuesday advised its membership to contact senators on the Appropriations committee “ASAP!” to garner support for the HOS suspension.

“These two new restrictions have placed economic hardships on thousands upon thousands of employers, as well as reducing drivers’ wages throughout the motor carrier industry,” writes ATA in its letter. 


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Regulatory enforcement officials, however, have written committee members to voice concerns.

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance “opposes any efforts to rescind or overturn any portion of the current HOS rules, or to defund their enforcement through the appropriations process,”the group said in its letter.


FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro took to the Hill to defend the hours rule and the research behind it. 

Speaking before the Senate Commerce transportation subcommittee, she said the results of the hours changes are in line with the “rigorous” and “unprecedented” analysis used to develop the rule, which included an estimated $500 million cost to trucking.


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“Yes, there has been an economic impact on the industry. We certainly recognized that that would happen,” she said. “The majority of the impact is on the long-haul, over-the-road, irregular route driver.”

As for the safety benefits, Ferro added that the agency did not have recent crash data, “but we certainly do know that it’s having an impact.” 

Sen. Kelly Ayotte, however, questioned whether the restart rule puts more trucks on the road during congested daytime hours – and was therefore less safe.

“We have not seen that,” Ferro replied, noting that the agency would be collecting data on the matter. “It is an incremental impact and it is far outweighed by the improved driver safety.”


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Still, Ayotte, a New Hampshire Republican, said she was “shocked” by reports she hears from businesses about the rule – “and not just long-haul businesses.”

“You’re gathering data, but what I’m hearing from companies both large and small is that they are going to have to drive more during the day and put more trucks on the road,” Ayotte said. “So by the time we have this data, instead of having done the analysis in advance, we have a situation where we’re not having the impact on safety and we’re having a negative impact on the economy.”

Ferro’s formal testimony, in which she outlines the agency’s safety efforts under MAP-21 – the current highway funding program – as well initiatives from the proposed Obama administration’s GROW AMERICA Act, is here.

  • Miguel

    I posted my email, I’m willing to start and have already begun to gain fellowship. I will lead a free union to strike. We all get on here to read, email me, let’s meet in person to discuss plan and timeline and let’s band together. You can’t strike without leadership, I’m offering my services.

  • polack

    The prob Is all the O/O will strike or least most. How you gonna rally these company monkey steering wheel holders. I’m all for a strike shut er down I’m not moving. But get all the company drivers to do it who are not making enough to take a month off and or face loosing there jobs etc. This whole idea only works if they stop too. The ides of charging high freight only will put more money in the companies hands they will still take it for cheap the small companies or O/O will sit no loads nothing will change. The prob we face is O/O are being forced out there goes any real power to protest. You want freedom move to another country. This ones been bought. Not gonna change till the money is out of politics ,no lobbyist , no more company’s are people too bullshit. Fuckin supreme court my ass. Supreme fuck up’s more like. Its a mess bring a broom. Lol

  • Mama Smurf

    What really pisses me off is that they have no knowledge of what team driving is. That means someone has to drive @ night or it’s a super-solo. When people are use to working 3rd shift and their sleep pattern is backwards from Washington then you have a hard time on this 1-5 a.m. shit 2 nights in a row. Well when you’re on a dedicated schedule and have to stay on rotation or loose a week of work then it’s bullshit. 34 hours off is the same no matter when it is. Night drivers don’t sleep during the night !!
    Then when they say “it only effects the long haulers” that really pisses me off. We all don’t run to the rail yard for JB Hunt and deliver 15 miles away around Chicago. That’s not truck driving.
    As for the newbies. These companies like Swift & England and numerous others don’t give a shit about the driver. As long as they have a heart-beat then send them out west into the blizzards, wind & ice and see if they survive or anyone else around them for that matter. Governed trucks that can’t get out of the way of these idiots are just as dangerous.

    As for taking a month off and striking, we can’t afford it. Like to make a statement but that’s not possible for us.

  • Armando Galvis

    Does politics never been in truck, they no even know what a truck look like inside, they need to have a truck experience before begin creating stupid laws, truckers should run the show, and no let this bunch of clowns run us,remember we own are trucks we should put the rules.

  • Armando Galvis

    What this clowns think they are sicologys trying know how to read all truck drivers bodies and tell you when you are tired……stupids! !!!

  • ArmenTheRoadDog

    I think both 34 and 70 hours rules should be gone. Such a waste of driver’s time. There is no reason why I should be sitting around waiting, taking hours away from spending time with my family if I’m already well rested and ready to roll after doing absolutely nothing all day.

  • nsanchez

    well I have read everyones comments about the 34 rule. ive been trucking for 15 years. my brothers were truckers before me and one of the reasons I became a trucker. truckers were a family in itself. they cared and helped each other out in a pinch. its true you can barely get more than a nod from most drivers walkin across a parkin lot. and it shames me that this is what the industry has become. I remember there was a time as an o/o I broke down on the side of the road with a bad air governer on my truck, driver stopped and had an extra one on his truck. he worked on my truck and wouldn’t take no money for the work. that’s back when drivers cared and were proud to be called a trucker. now the government sees us as idiot steering wheel holders and have to be told like a child when to go to bed and when to get now ashamed of the title of a trucker.the more we let the government into our world the less you will see of the common curtisey to each far as some of these truckin schools. well yes they are turning them loose in 80000 lb rigs and sayin be careful but get that load there on time in a 62 mph truck. PLEASE!!!!!! I also agree a shut down would be a great idea. I don’t think a month would be necessary. if we shut down for 1 week the country would soon start to realize how much they rely on us and would appreciate that big truck on the highway. im at home now cause I would not be subject to the governments bullshit inspection blitz. granted there is nothing wrong with my truck and would pass an inspection easily. I just refuse to be a part of there crap and sit in lines for these idiots look me over and try to find something they can put on a piece of paper to make them look good. somebody said that dispatchers should have 3 years otr. I also agree with this. but make sure that it wasn’t 1975 when they had that 3 yrs. things have changed so much. yes I long for the days when you could get on the cb and have a decent conversation about truckin or that crazy spouse at home. those days are gone. I don’t even turn mine on anymore. its just a dust collector in my truck. and if anyone has an ideal as to how we can get that stupid bitch out of Washington let me know im game. so what she rode in a truck..her job requiremnts should be she spend 3 months out of the year out on the road to get a better perspective of what the hell shes talkin about.

  • Michael Szajna

    No Miss Ferro, you have not seen an increase in trucks on the road during increased traffic hours because YOU ARE NOT OUT THERE. Our economy is contracting. What happens if we get a president who resides in reality and our economy actually grows? Guess what you need more of? Yes trucks. Again I ask, when will lawmakers start looking at the unintended consequences of their “willy-nilly” regulations

  • Drew

    I agree with striking but as was written earlier you cannot get two drivers to agree it’s raining if they were standing in it.

  • Miguel

    A company isn’t about to fire their whole fleet guy. I understand your thoughts but broaden your spectrum. Swift with its 5000 drivers wouldn’t live through firing and refilling positions, and that’s just one example. That’s why it’s called uniting, getting the entire company to set the brakes not just one or two.

  • M.j. Zuzich

    It would be quite interesting to know if the AAR(American Ass’n. of Railroads) submitted comments to the FMCSA and the Congressional Committees pertinent to the rule-making process that this contested Hour of Service Rule change(s) boondoggle. Actually -now that I think of it, a published list of all parties submitting comments during this particular rule-making process would most likely be interesting reading also.

  • Mike Mascow

    Preacherman, your right, I was a teamster for a while, the only thing they ever did for me was take my dues. But, the theory of organizing, shutting down, that is solid. I agree too, cheap freight is BAD. I saw a driver who had a great sign on the back of his flatbed saying “No Cheap Freight”. It is time drivers quit taking it. I’d rather run home empty than know some dirt-bag broker talked me into taking a load for under cost. And, for you guys who think your still making money at $1.35 a mile, you aren’t doing your math right, your not paying yourself fair wages as a driver, AND you are not calculating what you need to save to buy your next truck. You can’t just look at the cost of fuel per mile and think to yourself “well, at least I am breaking even or making a few bucks”, no your not! I don’t run for under $2, unless it is a partial load and I can put more stuff in…but, most times I am running for $2.50+, and, if we are heading someplace where backhauls are non-existent, you bet I am figuring in my dead-head miles at $2. You should also calculate time for each stop. If you have to sit for hours on end to get loaded, you better get some detention. I am going off on a tangent…sorry! Best thing you can do as a trucker is talk to other truckers, get them all talking and thinking logically. Preacherman is right, just say NO to CHEAP FREIGHT. I go so far as to tell whoever is offering the cheap freight that they are doing a dis-service to the entire industry not offering decent rates.

  • Mike Mascow

    I emailed Miguel, he emailed me back with a bit on what he plans. This is NOT spam…He is a straight-shooter…if he wants to take on the difficult task of drawing attention to this and organize a strike, I support him 100%. Miguel, feel free to keep me informed on what you are doing!
    Email him.

  • Mike Mascow

    If you look for comments from Miguel, he is looking for support. I emailed Miguel, he emailed me back with a bit on what he plans. This is NOT spam…He is a straight-shooter…if he wants to take on the difficult task of drawing attention to this and organize a strike, I support him 100%. Miguel, feel free to keep me informed on what you are doing!

    Email him at

  • mike

    I 2 feel the same way its ridiculous more accidents less safer do to speeding new drivers trying to make good time with the way we have to drive its not as safety as it was I only hope we can bring the fun back in to trucking God bless

  • mike

    Im in just email me with any info

  • mike

    I think we can start somewhere you start with an idea and make it happen Miguel is in I’m in if we keep pushing will make a difference we can’t give up brother and having the mentality that we have we won’t get far so we have to start some place and stop thinking without the big companies we won’t get anywhere I think if we keep pushing and become one will be taking seriously but we have to start somewhere and im all in

  • lastgoodusername

    what a bunch of bullshit. what about all the lives that Queen Anne was going to save. hurts when the knife cuts both ways, don’t it ATA.

  • polack

    Hey I’m with ya and I agree we have to start somewhere. It should have began long ago. I just am a skeptic lol. I back up what I say but there are a lot of em out there that when it comes to it won’t do it. Lot of hot air. But I’m all for it. You name the time I’ll shut it down in middle of the frickin rd. I’ve had it with big brother breathing down my neck. I can also say it don’t change and sooner than later I’m done. I know a lot guys feel the same way. The gov is reaching a tipping point with all these rules where either things change for the better or they can have this fucked up mess then maybe the rest of the public will see how they fucked it up for them when everything they buy cost them triple and takes 8 weeks to get it.

  • whooops


  • whooops

    hmmm… maybe Too much foreign ownership &/or shareholder investment. Heck, under current regime, aren’t foreigners allowed in our military too now?

  • USMC 69-75

    Not if I shot her firstm, as I know you would too (evil chuckle!)

  • USMC 69-75

    Panther….been saying that for years!
    If it ain’t broke don’t fix it! The old HOS was just fine, rested when you were tired, split log if you needed, etc.etc….only the majority of DOT couldn’t figure out what we were doing. So they have to simplify it for them, and cause us to drive tired!

  • Nas

    As a so called company monkey as previously mentioned I would be more than happy to go on strike. Yeah I’m a new driver. Been driving for 8 months now. I love the job, and safety is a to priority in my book also. I think the 14hrs/ 34hr reset are extremely dangerous. Example: I started my day nice and early 6am. Was only about 15 minutes from the shipper (a supermarket chain). Appointment was set for 8am but I called them and they said I could come in early. Well long story short I waited 7hrs to get loaded. Took a 5hr nap. Didn’t hit the road until about 1:30pm. Drove until about 8:15pm, found a place to park but I just could not fall asleep. I was wide awake because of that 5hr nap. I finally ended up falling asleep around 3:30am. At 7am in the morning I’m getting a call from my DM to see why the truck isn’t moving. I explained to him what had happened and he didn’t seem to interested in hearing it. He told me I should have been hitting the road with only 3&1/2 he’s off sleep. I told him the delivery date also needed to be rescheduled. Even if I started driving now it was never going to get to the consignee on time due to the 7hr hold up. He told me to just get it there. That’s when I requested to speak to someone above him. Basically told them I will drive right now. But that RedBull could only do so much. So when I fall asleep at the wheel it will be your fault. Also made sure to send a message on the Qualcomm as to what happened and that is when they told me they would redefine the load and not to worry. Being held up at the shipper for more than 3hrs happens a lot more often than not. Happened again at Pepsi just the other day. 5hrs to get loaded. It this when you’re not tired and you’re forced to sleep but when you are tired you’re forced to drive. I personally don’t drive anymore when I’m tired. I did it twice after that 7hr what story. I told my DM never again after the 2nd time. I want to get home in one piece and I don’t want to take out an innocent motorist either. I guess I have written too much but you catch my drift. Yes I’m new, yes I’m a company driver, yes I see lots of dangerous issues with the FMCSA rules, and yes I’m willing to band together and strike. Everyone be safe out there and God bless.

  • Mark Platt

    If anyone is going to lead a strike please have a real, concise, clearly stated and well thought out agenda. Perhaps removal of the 14 hour rule, a mandated minimum of 1.5 times the national average price of diesel fuel per mile for legal size and weight loads. A reduction of the gross weight to 73280 lbs and abolishing all split speed limits. Also specific changes making it illegal for states to require special equipment (CARB) or not participate in IFTA or charge any additional road use taxes or fees not covered by IFTA and IRP plates (NY HUT, NM, KY, OR ton mile taxes among other hiddwn taxes). Also institute felony penalties for any law enforcement agent falsifying reports or making up the laws as they go (writing citations for things that are simply not true).

  • David Fleming

    Why do we only get only one re-start a week ? I mean, if one re-start is as good as the next, what’s the difference ? And, as for the 34 hour, Two 1am to 5am’s, No. Doesn’t work for me. Why am’s, any way ? Why not pm’s. It sounds better. I think if you go into a 1am – 5am block, you should be able to leave anytime within that time, too. Makes sense, and ease’s congestion

  • ironeagle

    can simply be said this way bureaucrats that never driven a truck making laws governing truckers and saying they’re for the truckers

  • waypasthadenough2

    That’s a very dangerous thing. Lot’s of commies will show up for that one.

  • BX

    I also commented recently on seeing so many more tire tracks leading into the medians, ditches and woods. The new “safety” rules are forcing drivers to keep going.

  • jan johnson

    Ether fix it or we all quit! I’m sick n tried of being broke! Because we don’t have hour’s and can’t get hours even after you seat for two days. I sick of all your f***ed up idea’s on how you think ferro. You need to go back home and have a baby and stay home.

  • Kent Wilson

    Today’s trucking industry is a PRIME example of what happens when you allow someone to “lead” that is interested ONLY in the MONEY they get from the position they hold. Just because they may have a [degree in business administration, or not; is a friend of some politician] does not mean THEY know what they are doing. The only thing that piece of paper means is: “You were able to pass some idiotic test. Just like a CDL or regular DL means. It doesn’t mean you know what you are doing, it just means you sat in some seat somewhere, and listened to someone read from a book, about HOW things SHOULD be done. Once you have that piece of paper it doesn’t mean you will follow the {rules} you were taught. It is a sad thing but we all know it is true. And THAT, my friends, is what makes it so hard for those of you that do want to do right to do so. I drove truck from 2000 to 2007. (My previous times were incorrect). Then the HoS were usable. The biggest problem we had was the 10 hrs off duty time. We had to use that time to eat, sleep, take showers, and what ever. I had no problem with that. I do sympathize with the present situation you people have to go through. I do hope it can be corrected (put, since it involves MATT’s, AND the government, I don’t think it will change any time soon. I hope and pray that it does, I’m tired of paying $3.00 for a loaf of bread.

  • Kent Wilson

    I agree with you mike. I am currently looking into buying all my food from the producers: Milk from the dairyman, meat from the slaughter house, and produce from the farmers market. Eventually, hopefully, I will not have to go to any “store” to buy anything. Right now, most of my meat comes from the rivers and lakes, no truck has to bring it to me. It may not be much, but it is the only way I can see now to help you guys and gals out. I will do what I can, and I will try and get others to do the same.

  • Wojtek

    totally agree but u know government needs to make money and write tickets for the time if you drive 8 hours go to sleep for 6 and then go back driving because u did not follow 10 hour rest time.

  • mike

    Thank you.

  • lastgoodusername

    i want to go to sleep but i can’t stopping thinking about that picture of Queen Anne in this article. My eyes shut but all I see is horror and thin flesh draped over a droid from the outer world.

  • Jimmy the Greek

    Printing to much money by the FED is the reason you are paying $3.00 ! it now takes $3.00 to buy what .50 got you 20 years ago , your money is worth less so it takes more to buy the things you need .

  • Travis

    The problem with this 34 rule is every one runs on recaps where as before it didn’t take 40 to 50 hours to reset can’t take that kind of time off got bills to pay so we get less rest

  • gearjammer

    I run nights and because of the 1am and 5 am rule I have to take almost 50 hours off to restart my clock! strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.