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. 

Ferro

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.

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  • Bo

    You want to fix what is really broken and dangerous to safety? Get rid of the 14 hour rule.

  • Bob Mcinnis

    Ya the 14 hour rule is horse shit but they won’t do anything about it cause they don’t care about trucks we need to go on strike for a week all of us

  • Mike

    Its simple no trucks on the road from 4pm saturday to 8 pm on sunday. No more 14 block. No more 30 minutes break. They re killing the trucking business.

  • Timekill

    Kill all fucker

  • SafeyMan

    Ferro is about as clueless as posible.

  • clete

    you can’t get two drivers to even say hello to one another passing in the parking lot of a truck stop let alone go on strike,no-body in this country has the backbone to stick together anymore!!!!!!

  • Panther

    get rid of Ferro, and get a truck driver to make up HOS

  • EasyMoney

    How can one say that by putting people on a clock that doesn’t stop will get you to a safer end result? A logical person would see it will make a person rush and pay attention to time rather than performing safely.

  • Jammer

    Since these rules have passed(34hr reset/ 14hr rule) I have seen a lot more trucks going into the ditches and ending up on their sides then ever before, and I have been out here for 29 yrs now. Don’t make any sense, to force a driver to drive when they’re tired. That’s SAFTY? I think not! This Government needs to get real, and use some common sense. Which from all the rules that they are implementing, makes me believe that they have NO common sense at all, and they are out to kill the trucking industry here in the US. I personally, will take a nap if I’m tired, I DONT CARE!!! My SAFTY and the SAFTY of the motoring public is what I’m concerned about, not this political sabotage of this industry. An old timer told me years ago that there isn’t a load worth killing yourself or someone else over. And I live by that rule.

  • Redjeb Mehmet

    14 hour clock is a death trap.

  • polack

    I say we shut down a month all of us. We could get a lot of rules changed. I’m all for it. Shut er down. See how fast those rules get rolled back along with all the other horse shiy rules that have crap to do with safety. If they want safety teach new drivers something that’s the most safety thing you can do along with education of all the 4 wheelers out there who haven’t got a clue. We need to start piss testing all these gov clowns cause there all high.

  • S P

    They have never listened to the drivers and never will. The country will never ever listen to what we say. They believe we are a bunch of Un Educated Idiots.

  • Mike Mascow

    Like the article said, forcing trucks off the road from the hours of 1-5AM every week, two days in a row is retarded…of course, look at who decides all this for us…the most retarded amongst us, the government. I like trucking late into the night, then sleeping till the sun comes up and is nice and warm, about 9 AM. It wakes me up nice. Getting up when it is still dark out, that is for the retards. Look at how full all the truck stops get by 5 or 6 at night, yet, at 8 or 9AM, they are practically empty. Traffic is usually cleared out by the time I am “up and at ‘em”, I don’t have to fight it, and I can roll on down the road real fast and easy. I think there are still a lot of old-time owner-ops out there like me, but, we are a dying breed, and, these HOS rules are killing independents…just what the retards want, force everyone to line up and work for “The Man”, follow their insane rules, put an electronic leash and a camera on every trucker on the road so we know EXACTLY who to blame when things go BOOM. Once the retards succeed at forcing us O/O with our own authority out, you see how much more it will cost to ship something, anything, anywhere…it will skyrocket, if you can even find a dumbass to hold the wheel and drive that way for the peanuts they’ll throw ya….and, who’s gonna pay for all that? The average consumer…and, will any of that extra revenue fall into trucker’s pockets? I guarantee not. By then, I’ll be retired, or dead. You all will suffer the consequences. If I am still alive, I plan to be living in Tahiti. Good luck America, it was nice knowing you.

  • pokey

    The 34hr restart just doesn’t work with mine or others schedule one per week. I may leave out on Friday night one week and Saturday the next, then Friday again. That is not working, to put it nicely.

  • steve

    FMCSA and CVSA claim the 34 hour restart should include two consecutive periods between the hours of 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. Their logic is because that is the “normal” sleep cycle of most people. But, if you don’t use the 34 hour restart you gsin hours at midnight and are then driving during “normal” sleepy time.
    I guess nobody gets it. I have tried and tried yo bring this to the attention of the truckers advocates but to no avail. They won’t listen to ” just a driver”. These rules hsvr nothing to do with safety. It is all about enforcement.
    Look at the 30 minute, mandatory rest break. Local drivers do not need to take one. They work just as many, if not more, hours as OTR drivers. The difference Is that they don’t have to run a log therefore it can not be enforced.
    Maybe somebody with more brains than me or has connections in high places can get somebody in Congress to listen to us. The FMCSA certainly is sick and tired of hearing from me.

  • Miguel

    I’d be willing to host/sponser a type of unionization to our once great industry. Fact of the matter is people need a person to talk to and to start the action, can’t all strike if nobody knows when and how. Furthermore it can’t be a common knowledge thing so organization can’t be made via electronics devices due to the government ability to see and hear everything. So all this said I propose starting a union that acts solely off word of mouth passed trucker to trucker. Seems like a large task but it’s the only way. My email: pletch0122001@gmail.com

    Message me if you’re serious.

  • EBENEZER TRANS

    Lets strike ! All owners lets shot down for a month for our freedom and our kids !

  • Mike Mascow

    It’s a good idea, in theory…the only reason unions were ever formed (and the only time they succeed) is when workers are taken advantage of and feel they are treated unfairly. I for one, agree with you, Miguel, and, it will take people like you to step up, and the rest of us to pay attention. I’ll email you.

  • Mike Mascow

    Only will take 2-3 days to shut down this country. Everything we consume gets on a truck. Even if you grew it yourself, the original seed shipped on a truck. See Miguel’s comment below, email him.

  • Miguel

    Thank you mike for the email. It’s sure to be a slow start but I’m confident. Email me folks.
    Pletch0122001@gmail.com

  • author_industry_of_thieves

    Lets do something different… out of the box… For one month everyone demand 7 bucks a mile vs. a shut down. Most do not participate in shut downs, many cannot afford to even if they wanted to, but everyone can participate in an annual monster rate declaration in protest. That will have teeth, it will help compensate for losses from new regulations, and everyone still gets to work. The big trucking companies will not nor do they ever participate in anything, and those that have contracts one way can participate on their brokered backhaul. The public/brokers/shippers, and the media have heard and seen shut downs, and they are not afraid of them anymore, so again… lets do something different that does have teeth.

  • author_industry_of_thieves

    Too many agencies have directors that have absolutely zero exp. in the field they become the director of. They are mere political appointments. In 2016 when we have the convention of the states, i.e. the states may re-write the constitution, that is a time things will get fixed. One state, one vote regardless of population. NY will be equal to NE.

  • Jimmy the Greek

    The government would send in the new army you would end up driving with a dyke ordered to shoot you if you did not do so !

  • author_industry_of_thieves

    They make the rules in their world, they do not know or understand ours. They know nothing but 7 to 5 type work weeks.

  • author_industry_of_thieves

    De-regulation put a stop to that. Per deregulation act of 1980… ind. O/O’s cannot form a union, they can merely join an Org. like OOIDA or ATA. That is partly why they did it in the first place. I am not a pro union guy, but Hoffa had this nations economy by the n u t t s.

  • author_industry_of_thieves

    ets do something different… out of the box… For one month everyone demand 7 bucks a mile vs. a shut down. Most do not participate in shut downs, many cannot afford to even if they wanted to, but everyone can participate in an annual monster rate declaration in protest. That will have teeth, it will help compensate for losses from new regulations, and everyone still gets to work. The big trucking companies will not nor do they ever participate in anything, and those that have contracts one way can participate on their brokered backhaul. The public/brokers/shippers, and the media have heard and seen shut downs, and they are not afraid of them anymore, so again… lets do something different that does have teeth.

  • Gary

    Being forced to drive 11 hours in a 14 hour period has made drivers dangerous. I never drove tired before this rule came into effect. Now, I am now forced to drive tired all the time. I have been forced to drive 11 hours, then load, chain, tarp in extreme weather which took 12 hours, then drive 11 more hours. That is 34 hours with no sleep. And you think this is safer? I think the person that came up with these rules needs to be punished for the torture they have put us drivers through. It makes me think this generations parents did too many drugs, rendering this generation totally stupid.

  • whocares

    What does it matter if they just suspend the rule for one year?! They should be spending their time fighting bigger issues or at least fighting to get it overturned indefinitely!!! One year??!! What a waste of time!!!!

  • easy454

    from another vetern of 34 yrs you are exactly right my brother truckdriver, I to have noticed more of the same myself , I run tx to the northwest but it is hard to determine whether we are seeing a lack of sleep or lack of experience, but either way there are many problemswith our industry

  • whooops

    Heartily agree. Get rid of 34Hr that becomes 40+ hour due to double day early a.m. bunk requirement.
    Do sleep deprivation testing in driver schools?

    QUIT TRUCKING… if you cant military style work all hours around the clock & ENJOY OPEN ROAD during those hours when the LEAST AMOUNT OF TRAFFIC is ON the ROAD!

    HOW RIDICULOUS! If your body’s genetics & psych needs a work day virtual Monday to always start at 6-8am, then GET OUT OF TRUCKING & GO GET a 9am to 5pm low risk environment job.

    And in addition to ‘political’, what about public safety component, because sand clock 14hr + this double day sit:
    (1) Gives increased access to tamper with CMV if no security system:
    (2) & makes CMV movement MORE predictable to criminals/extremists! NOT GOOD!

    Well, home taking care of family member at moment, but this junk is… (BLEEPING BLEEP) out to lunch! *:)

  • Preacherman

    I agree totally; There is no organization in this industry.I don’t believe union is the answer.You see how much they truly care about there members.Can’t count how many times I’ve seen union pups riding piggyback.But I think trying to get a real shutdown will be just like cheap freight.I would not and will not haul cheap freight.But even though I would turn it down there would be some retard looking for a backhaul or just for fuel and haul it any way.So I know there would be vultures out there just waiting to haul while your not.

  • whooops

    Exactly right, EasyMoney!. Before sand clock rules i never saw so so many drivers ugly close passing me 9-10ft off nose of trk in a crush rush.

  • polack

    Fuckin shoot me then. I bow to no man or women dyke or whatever. If that’s what its come to I’m done and going to Canada aye. Lol. Maybe mexico they got more rights than we do plus I can just cross the boarder now. Lmfao. I’ve owned several busn. trucking is the most fucked up over regulated thing you can do for a living. Anyone who says it isn’t has got there head up there ass to there shoulders or works for the gov in which case the previous applies. Not half this shit makes anything safer. Freedom means shut up do what your told that ain’t freedom.

  • Sam Mitchell

    I Agree with Jammer, 100%, I’ve been driving off & on for over 35 accident freek years, got a clean CA record too, I can’t see making us do a 34 hour restart on the hiway, when I’d much rather be home in Alabama driving my Corvette around or my Harley at home for several days off! I pull over several times a day for naps, my company gives us time to run East to West every week. These book smart truckers in DC aren’t think I got of where are we ALL going to park when we all have to do our 34 hour restart next year when ALL trucking companies has to go on computer logs??? We’re going to be on hiway ramps, walmarts, where ever our clocks stop us!!! Wake up DC, think about what you’re doing to us really!!!

  • whooops

    That’s interest’g. Wasn’t alluding to that(union) earlier, but interesting nevertheless. Been nonUnion because no driving school affiliated w/Union on Internet when signed up & not been driv ‘ that that long compared to industry veterans.
    Gave up my O/O trk bcaus if didn’t know better I’d say it appeared as if, was rolling chop shop for (?) & didn’t but manage to break even since no Mechanic experience background which I recommend to anyone that ask., BUT I sure loved it all the same. Good thing had foresight to put psnl prop in storage. CDL now required to hav street residence address; so, if can’t kinda move in with family while getting trk biz off ground, u can’t do it… ?right?
    Anyway I didn’t know that was why/how OOIDA came about. Problem there, hav heard supposedly trucker friendly talk radio DJs to mostly shut up & go with whatever latest rules or whatever are & reminded me of 2002 or 3 & E.CoastChief of Safety (‘slowest wagon’) pulling out a well rehearsed dog & pony show verbage set yack & extolling drivers in logging class about how HIS company was having say in new rules coming out & they’d b Ok.
    ? Was that that talk show host on his payroll? No. Did host’s advertising support & more regular contact w/who drivers work for alter his driver & public safety focus concerns for industry? I’d say ‘yes’. Shld one of a trucking talk show’s hosts be via driver demand (& changing channel, etc.) be a veteran trucker? Yes.
    I mean, I was surprised how quickly young sounding host of trucker radio show aggressively shut down obviously veteran trucker gent politely in disagreement with new this/that. Young radio host quickly moved on to next caller who agreed with him & supported new ‘x’ whatever choking down trucker annual income & not truly helping public safety.
    So, PUBLIC SAFETY:
    (1) REQUIRE VERIFIABLE AUTOmobile LICENSED driving with a STICK SHIFT for maybe 2 years before entering CDL Driving School & driving CMV.
    (2) CDL TEST must be on STICK SHIFT with NO AUTOMATIC features.
    ●●●●
    &reminds me of something else… New rigs that AUTO-SHIFT & CANT BE TURNED OFF in ADVERSE WEATHR (if i didnt know better I’d say it appeared as if), if not perfect world feather touch on pedal when decelerating or increasing speed, they CONTRIBUTE to LOSS of CONTROL or. 18-wheel drift on ice or hydroplaning in rain or jack-knife, especial if in one of those fuel saver button nose trucks with legal load but trailer nose heavier (happens plenty).
    Ok, thx again. Gr8 forum OVERDRIVE!

  • jdeere13

    My comment on it all is I do wish they would get rid if the 34hr break the hour rule is fine to me we just need to fix somethings about it sleep when need it don’t drive tired get out and take walk more we all need to band together as we have in the past and them we keep this country going.

  • whooops

    mm hmmm. Yup. Sad. Folk dont chat over breakfast at diner style counters way used to. OTR drivers don’t know one another & help one another on Rd way used to.

    … Imagine no cars with teens/families doing summer road trips & imagine alleged declared need for martial law due to natural weather extreme event. Bad roads? Slow down; keep eyes open. Pray that’s our worst problem guys. *:() *;)

  • whooops

    Yes. Good pt.

  • 42 yrs and still acc free

    no get rid of the idiots in washington. stop telling me when i’m tired, i know that myself, and i stop and rest. these people are plain stupid.

  • Paul Rose

    Like everyone has stated, it’s up to the driver. What about those of us whose job requires us to drive at night? Line hauling. .. I normally drive at night and sleep during the day, it’s my job! Now I lose money because someone determines that my schedule is unsafe! Reverse these communist laws!

  • irritated with stupidity

    Focus on rooting out “Renegade” drivers who continuously break the laws and permanently end their careers. Reward those safe drivers with better HOS. Blankets rules won’t work.

    Nuff said. :)

  • Glenn Mallett

    A lot of it is lack of experience in my opinion anyway. Be cause the schools will turn a monkey loose behind the wheels these days with NO MORE RESPECT

  • Glenn Mallett

    THERE IS NO MORE FUN IN TRUCKING

  • Peggy McNeal

    I see the right comments about STRIKING but are any of you sincere? This is enough to make you WANT TO well here is something else that just MAKE YOU DO IT. Mandatory detention paid at MINIMUM WAGE. Do you work for MINIMUM WAGE I do not. Strike for the hos and detention pay. If you can say it then do it. Unify trucking again.

  • Peggy McNeal

    You are so right.

  • Peggy McNeal

    I agree totally.

  • Peggy McNeal

    Then educated them. Show all these stupid idiots just what we do FOR them and the whole WORLD. Without trucks the world shipments STOP.

  • Peggy McNeal

    That is a good start. And make it a law that dispatchers must have at least 3 years over the road nationwide.

  • rc1234

    Ferro is an Obama puppet and is only concerned with her position. Yes, she rode in a truck, so now she is the expert? It is a sorry state of affairs when these bureaucrats in positions of power only know what the lobbyist with the most money tells them…do away with HOS altogether ….let a person’s license and driving record account for something. You can’t legislate stupid!

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