Truckers have until Oct. 7 to file comments on FMCSA’s hours of service proposal

The morning of Thursday, August 22, at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, attendees at the Great American Trucking Show were already hard at work submitted formal comments on the FMCSA’s recently published proposal to change the hours of service.The morning of Thursday, August 22, at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, attendees at the Great American Trucking Show were already hard at work submitted formal comments on the FMCSA’s recently published proposal to change the hours of service.

Trucking industry stakeholders and the public at large have 45 days — until Oct. 7 — to file formal feedback for the U.S. DOT to consider when crafting a rule to overhaul federal hours of service regulations.

Comments can be filed at this link, via the regulations.gov rulemaking portal.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration last week announced a notice of proposed rulemaking that outlined preliminary options for reforms to federal hours of service regulations. That NPRM was officially published in the Federal Register on Thursday, Aug. 22, which opened the public comment period.

At GATS, which opened today in Dallas, Trucker Nation is hosting something of a comment drive at the Red Eye Radio booths — before the show opens at the booth and stage in the Hall A lobby, then at the RER booth on the convention floor during show hours. The intent, says Andrea Marks, Trucker Nation communications director, is to “remove the barriers” to commenting, such as they may be. The organization has connected laptops on-hand for filing online comments, faxable forms, and self-addressed stamped envelopes truckers can take with them. Also available is material summarizing the proposed changes with logbook examples. Last year, the organization petitioned the agency for more liberal split-sleeper options than were ultimately proposed in the NPRM.At GATS, which opened today in Dallas, Trucker Nation is hosting something of a comment drive at the Red Eye Radio booths — before the show opens at the booth and stage in the Hall A lobby, then at  the RER booth on the convention floor during show hours. The intent, says Andrea Marks, Trucker Nation communications director, is to “remove the barriers” to commenting, such as they may be. The organization has connected laptops on-hand for filing online comments, faxable forms, and self-addressed stamped envelopes truckers can take with them. Also available is material summarizing the proposed changes with logbook examples. Last year, the organization petitioned the agency for more liberal split-sleeper options than were ultimately proposed in the NPRM.

Proposed changes include allowing drivers to pause their 14-hour on-duty clock for up to three hours and extending the split sleeper berth options for drivers to include splits of seven hours and three hours.

The agency also proposed more flexible limits around the 30-minute break requirement and allowing drivers to extend their 14-hour on-duty window due if the face adverse conditions like weather or traffic congestion. Lastly, FMCSA proposed expanding the short-haul exemption that could allow more short-haul drivers to skip keeping records of duty status.

FMCSA Administrator Ray Martinez last week encouraged industry stakeholders to comment on the proposal, saying the agency would lean on the public comments to guide development of the final rule.

Read more about the changes via Overdrive‘s coverage of the proposal last week.

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