RegulationTrucking

DOT to eliminate government’s “heavy hand” in HOS changes

A top Trump Administration official provided more context into the level of flexibility regulators will be considering when trucking hours of service (HOS) changes are rolled out in June.

Speaking on May 16 at the annual Global Supply Chain summit hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C., Jannine Miller, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), said HOS regulations – and making “common sense” changes to them – is one of the department’s near-term priorities.

DOT has been considering “rest breaks and what can occur during those breaks, the length of drive-time versus on-duty, personal conveyance, as well as something as simple as defining what an agricultural commodity is,” Miller said, while aiming to “take away the heavy-hand of government where it does not help the private sector, and make sure, obviously, we’re still protecting all the safety standards that we benefit from.”

Miller’s comments are in line with recent statements from her boss, DOT Secretary Elaine Chao, and from Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator Ray Martinez, regarding the tack the Trump Administration will likely be taking in its final proposed rulemaking as it strives to make HOS regulations more compatible for drivers.

“I can tell you the Department understands the importance of giving you the flexibility [to do your jobs],” U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao told attendees at the Mid-America Trucking Show in March.

The HOS rulemaking is currently under review at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and scheduled to be published for public comment in the federal register on June 7, although that could change depending on OMB’s review process.

FreightWaves SONAR data: average daily HOS utilization (in hours) over past year

Private companies, particularly startups, appreciate the flexible approach regulators under the Trump Administration have been taking on addressing new transportation technology. Speaking on the innovation panel alongside Miller, Jonny Morris, head of public policy at Embark, a developer of self-driving long-haul trucks, said it has been “really great” working with both Chao and Martinez.

“I think in the past the reaction has been, ‘we need new rules for this,’” Morris said. “But with Elaine Chao and her team, they’ve looked at all the existing rules dealing with equipment and operations and said, ‘which of these can we re-purpose, what existing authorities do we have that can ensure safety while allowing these [autonomous] vehicles to be developed and eventually deployed.’”

Morris cited the release in October 2018 of DOT’s AV 3.0 initiative, which includes guidance specifically addressing truck regulations. “We were pleased in that it held us to a very high safety standard that allowed a path forward for us, and resolved a lot of the uncertainty we had at the federal level,” he said.

Asked to comment on DOT’s approach toward autonomous long-haul truck technology such as that being developed by Embark, which claims to reduce costs and speed shipments by eliminating HOS limitations, “we definitely understand and are supporters of efficient freight flow, and the efficiencies that technology and automation can bring about – we’re laser focused on it,” Miller said.

“At the same time, safety is absolutely critical. What we’re really looking for are ways that autonomy can support safety. We think there are incredible safety gains that technology can bring that are maybe even beyond the efficiency gains.”

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John Gallagher, Washington Correspondent

Based in Washington, D.C., John specializes in regulation and legislation affecting all sectors of freight transportation. He has covered rail, trucking and maritime issues since 1993 for a variety of publications based in the U.S. and the U.K. John began business reporting in 1993 at Broadcasting & Cable Magazine. He graduated from Florida State University majoring in English and business.

68 Comments

  1. Sleep when tired, drive when rested. It’s simple.
    I’m sorry to inform you DOT, FMCSA and any other
    Safety organization, but you can’t regulate when
    I’ll be tired. I started driving semi in 1975
    With no chargeable accidents. Safety trumps
    Your HOS REGS. I will keep myself, you, your
    Family, and Joe Public safe, and do it my way.

    1. Thanks for your dedication to safety. It is too bad that Big Brother thinks it has more common sense than you. Especially given their track record when it comes to “common sense”.

      1. I was going to say the same thing. Government and common sense constitutes and oxymoron in my book,to there common sense makes up the oxy part and you can figure the rest.
        I couldnt fall asleep last night when i was supposed to be on my break I laid in the bunk awake. The load was scheduled tight then finally an hour before my break ended i got tired but i still had to oush through to make the delivery on time. Hours of service limitations make things more unsafe than safe because you’re always racing the clock and you are rushed. I would only limit it to 70 hours a week. When you drive or rest is the drivers choice. Since the 30minute mandate i have been driving split sleeper berth for the most part. 30minutes to sit behind the wheel and watch the clock run down. If i have to stop might aswell either make it an 8 or 2….how many of those government goons have even driven an 18wheeler for a period of time?
        Same as my moronic planners and dispatchers fresh out of highschool or college for cheaper entry-level wages,have no clue about life out here.

        1. NONE of the people mentioned above have EVER so much as held a CDL let alone drove OTR. The worst part is the people that wrute the FMCSA have also NEVER DRIVEN OTR. Some have or have had a CDL but are NOT & I repeat ARE NOT real truckers nor have they experienced real truck driving. So when it comes to “rules & regulations, ” expect that they will never be catered to the driver. They are made to protect THE COMPANY when it comes to being sued or anything that arguably not their fault. The first thing they do in any major collision is audit YOUR logs as far back as they can. Then they point out little bits of BS here and there making u look & sound like a “criminal” of a driver. The company ultimately pays because the lawsuit is about money & nobody wants the pennies a driver would be able to offer compared to the possible miilions the company can offer. The driver ultimately loses overall because not only is that collision on his record,,, now he will like get screwed by the little BS HOS violations that really doesn’t mean anything except on paper. If they want to make HOS flexible then they should have a branch of government ran by REAL TRUCK DRIVERS with REAL POWER equal to or greater than any involved in the rules & regulations of the road & transportation. This includes having equal or greater power than the DOT itself. This would give truck drivers equal ground to stand on when it comes to a bunch of people in a room making decisions for & about something they have never even done. No amount of college or political experience can teach what truck driving is.

      2. They do not have any common sense on this issue. I don’t understand how they cannot see the bind they have put trucking companies in. If you think about all the lawsuits that are taking place, you would be amazed at how many use FMCSA scores against a trucking operation to get a settlement. Then, insurance carriers are paying out more money than they are taking in themselves. So, the insurance prices go up and trucking operations are being put out of business because of it. They literally helped create this problem. Imagine lawyers doing something that might help other lawyers…?

    2. That’s right. Smart good real truck drivers know when to stop. School truck drivers do not. The elog dont know when you are tired. At least not yet, nor do I see it anytime soon. What I see is a machine robotic ROBOTS trying to take jobs. An most of , the government DOT whatever you want to call it. Filling their pockets with gold. Most if not all, never drove truck.whose making this stuff up. Stop these schools , stop these companies from talking your money. It’s just STUPID BULLYING. It has never been about safety. I think there are more deaths now than before. Biggest part is above.

    3. dsafritsr@gmail.com hey randy i totally agree i’ve doing this since 1977 we are just different folks when i’m tiredn thats when i sleep it might not be but 30 min or 2 hrs but that’s how it is.shame they won’t put real truck drivers on 60 min and ask us what we really think.and i’m only talking about men and women that have 15-20 or more time behind the windshield

    4. 49 years and you are still driving truck, what have you done with all that money, spend it hanging out on the back party row. Personally I don’t think spending all those years living in a truck is anything to be proud of. Sure glad I’ve done something better with my life.

      1. Not meaning to be sarcastic, but the math is 44yrs…not 49.🤨. Hope what you’ve been doing doesn’t involve accounting! Just saying. Besides…I’ve only been driving for 8yrs, yet I happen to agree with the seasoned vets myself.

      2. JC Gunn. I am really happy you found something better to do with your life than be a truck driver…. people with your mentality don’t need to be behind the wheel of an automobile, much less a truck. And I feel much safer knowing I won’t have to meet you on a two Lane road somewhere.

    5. I totally agreed.
      Gentleman, did you ever open your brain and see what “”””exactly happened out there now”””””????????? With the HOS right now especially with “””””””””””ELD””””””””””””: the fact is we are driving the rig when sleepy but forced by clock ticking, and go to the bed when we are not sleepy. I giving myself the question to all of you out there: you can regulate whatever the law “””””BUT””””” you can not regulate your human body gentlemen, the “””””human body”””” get used to rest and sleep at night, as the same with all the animals, that is the earth naturally. With the EDL and HOS right now we are forced to operate the rig under influencing at most the time.
      You must very wrong with your mind and ur human body when you found yourself is different then my statement above.
      Another fact: did you guy seeing after the ELD regulated, every time when rig get involved to accident it is biger mess and more human life being taken????????? That forced and resulted by new HOS and ELD. Whoever implemented ELD should be charged with murder and go to the jail for that not the drivers not the company.
      Honest and honestly.

      1. I got pulled over in az and my eld was malfunctioning without cell service, after 2 hours of driving. Had a 12 hours break waiting for load, additional 10 after loaded, took fresh start at 9am. Was forced to take 10hr break in the middle of hot day so I could “safely” start driving at 12midnight to deliver at 6:00 am. For the last 6 years I’m not a driver who drives to sunlight. But, DOT is always right in the books. Be safe out there.

    6. RANDY: YOU, AS A PRO DRIVER, IS THE ONE THAT POSSESS THE REAL SAFETY OUT THERE ON THE HIGHWAYS. THE DRIVING PUBLIC IS NOT AWARE OF THE DANGER, AS WELL AS, THE RESPONSIBILITY A DRIVER MUST LIVE WITH WHILE ON THE ROAD. I have driven class 6-7-8 trucks for over 50 years and I am very much aware of what is going on while under the wheel of a large truck. I, like you, have never been involved in an accident where someone is killed! I have never been charged with an “At fault” accident in over 4.3 million miles: I no longer drive now. I still own three trucks, they are up for sale now. Thank God, and some careful and concentrated effort on my part, I have managed to stay clear of that horror. I wrecked my W900 going east on US84 in Alabama February, ’81 due to a woman with 2 kids standing behind her seat, heading west in the rain, failed to stay on her side of the highway. I took the the embankment, jackknifed my rig(flatbed-empty), crashed, the tractor jacked around, the truck, trailer headed backward into the swollen river. The woman never stopped; I nearly drowned in the February cold and the high water in the river. There was nothing I could do but try my damn est to miss the on-coming car with the woman and the two children standing behind her in the back seat. I managed to to just that, never thinking about whether I would die or drown. I did what I had to do in the face of a possible death. MINE! This is the responsibility ever pro driver out on America’s road and highways live with on the daily basis. Not many drivers out there ever have to face that type decision. A pro driver is one that can handle these kinds of situations with the professional manner he or she has learned to handle from true experience , doing what he or she does: DRIVE!! America does NOT know enough about just WHAT IS IT THAT WE, AS PRO DRIVERS, FACE ANY TIME THE DAY OR NIGHT. I write COPY NOW…I STILL MISS THE TRUCKS! GOD BLESS ALL THE “JOCKS” OUT THERE…STAY SAFE!!!
      JamesDeanFisher/O/O driver/copywriter

      1. God Bless you Mr. Fisher. It was a tragic event and even though years ago still haunts you. I hope you reconcile all your ill feelings.

    7. Let the drivers be the judge of themselves I’ve been driving since 95 never fell asleep behind the wheel if I get tired I go to bed I do not drive tired I will not drive TIRED but I know a lot of drivers that are being FORCED TO DRIVE TIRED BECAUSE OF THESE ELDS…. I. Came off the road because of the Elds almost 4 yrs driving local now I have up my own truck because of the Elds the government the this drama the government won’t let us drive our trucks and make the money like we use too it’s all Government bullcrap….

    8. Funny, now I live on NyQuil to force myself to sleep. I am leased to a carrier right now, and getting sick of this BS. I am turning my Authority back on before these idiots kill me. I will run when I want. Enough said.

    9. Exactly, my family has been in this buisness for three generations never an accident on our part. Have you ever noticed that everything they are doing is always centralized around large corporations. What has this country come to when boards and cabinets made of executives from the upper echeolons of america incorporated are sitting there making the laws around there own resources of buisness.

  2. Autonomous trucks are a smear to americans and will put alot of truck drivers out of careers and take the food right out of their kids mouths…

    1. Don’t worry electric trucks needs too much electricity. No one nation can provide so much electricity. So it is just bla bla bla. In America more then 2000.000 truck

    2. I don’t think so, there will still be a “driver” in the truck so they have someone to put in jail if there’s an accident. Colorado should be a wakeup call for every driver.

      1. The driver in Colorado deserves to be thrown in prison. The company that hired him as well as the school that supposedly trained him and himself are all to blame. If a driver flies by a runaway truck exit and kills people, he is at fault. He couldn’t read the signs as they were in English but he still should know at least what the sign meant.. The guy is a murderer its that simple

  3. I am a driver for 19 years and I would say that 10 hours of brake it’s just perfect. Any less will affect safety and lead to more accidents and any more is not needed. Private owner operators of course wants to drive as much as possible for more miles and more money but that would lead to zombie drivers that are very much unsafe on the road for everyone. What I think we need to do is ditch pay by mile but pay by hour. That’s something that would help all of us instead of sitting for 6 or more hours not being paid at loading and unloading places.
    We are working 24 hours a day and away from are families and normal life. We actually don’t have and can’t have a normal life and with this job we should be able to make enough money for 6 months to be off another 6 months to live are lifes and we should be able to retire early. That’s something that needs to be changing about this industry.

    1. Trucking has always been a performance paid job. It has worked well for most drivers who are willing to work. I don’t know of any industry that will pay a years wages for six months work. It would be cheaper for carrier’s to buy autonomous trucks and get rid of human drivers. If you don’t want to be away from home perhaps you should either find a local job or find another profession.

    2. Nobody is asking to drive more that is already regulated. If you are a company driver, they probably compensate all of your time spent in the truck, including 4-6 hours waiting at the shipper or receiver. Owner operators do not get paid if their wheels aren’t rolling. If I drive two hours to the shipper and spend 6 hours waiting to get loaded or unloaded, my day is over but still have bills to pay like I was driving. If they change it, so you can extend your 14 hours day in such cases, that would help a lot. And as for the company drivers, you have nothing to worry about and I don’t know why are you getting into this conversation anyways.

      1. So true..Owner Operators have all the truck exspences from maintenance, IFA, insurance, fuel, permits an it just goes on.. These wait times 6 hours here and 5 hours here cut into our ability to make money. We look at it like if you won’t work for free, why should we. Our truck is our business and we charge for that wait time, sure it’s a pain in the backside to have to haggle with these shippers an receivers that want to make money off your time and pocket book. Have to stand firm on that one…Common sense says “if e-logs could figure out when to tell you to go pee it would” it all looks good on paper and in the boardroom but in reality e-logs makes it unsafe for all on the roadways..It’s just my opinion as the wife of a owner operator that rides along an sees the daily struggles drivers go through..

    3. I have to disagree with u on the 10 hr off. I don’t sleep that much. Sorry. My body just doesn’t need that much. If somebody wants to take that much. More power to em. If I have to wait to take off for 2 or 3 hrs. I’m tired again. Now with saying that, later on in the week I might want more. But they should keep it at 8 hrs off. Just my opinion. Have a great day

      1. I guess you are one of the few that can regulate their sleep or maybe a new driver. If you do this long enough it will wear you down. 10 hours is fine if you’re at home. After you hunt for a parking space, sometimes wait for an hour for a shower, get something to eat , do your logs ,your post trip ,you don’t get 10 hrs of sleep. Are you maybe a company suit ?

    4. It will never change because your desk jockeys and big shots get to sleep at home with their families every night, take holidays off, go to their kids school functions and are way over paid. Someone needs to be voted in that will pay the driver for all hours out. You’re not at home and in their equipment therefore you’re at work. How do we get rid of the ones calling the shots and vote in someone who cares about drivers

    5. 10 hours is to long unless you are one of those steering wheel holders who ride the middle lane holding traffic up and set up in the truckstop playing play station games. I’ve been driving company trucks since 1982 never had a chargeable accident sweep 5 to 5 1/2 hours then have sit till 10 hours is up then ready to take a nap. I have never drove as aggressive in all those years as I do now. Elds are unsafe racing a clock that you can’t beat just ain’t safe. Try Putin off 25 or 30 stops some of us work for a living and want to be home with our families on weekends. Since elds came along I don’t get to stop and eat a good meal always fast food it can’t be healthy, when you put stops off you eat all of your on duty time up then everything comes out of your drive time. Try running n.c. to Maine every week with 25 stops and see how safe elds are. It’s a money racket monthly service fee per truck all about the money they could care less about safety. Sorry I got started and couldn’t quit lol

  4. Government needs. to easy up on trucking when the same rules apply to Seniors who vdrive 60ft RVs and pull another ,20ft behind them with mo special regs regarding licence to drive or automobile drivers who can drive coast to coast without having to stop if they don’t want then gripe.. Most truckers are the best and safest out thier. We know when tired need to stop we are not children. Maybe the people making these rules on truckers should be put in a truck and actually see what we go through from having to sit in a shipper for hours on duty to our 14 hrs continuing to count down even when off duty. Maybe look into these drivers who cannot even read traffic signs or speak enough English to understand how to fuel thier truck. Maybe do something about automobile drivers with me first attitude towards the truck driver by cutting them off in traffic or all drivers who know a lane ends due to construction or accident and riding that lane till there is no more lane then try forcing the rest of traffic to come to a stop or cutting up off ramps to only come down on ramp on other side this is both trucks and cars and force thier way in again .Maybe they need to see how many people are texting or emailing thier cell weaving all over causing traffic tie UPS or accidents.I have. been a truck driver for over 30 years and all the regs you force upon us only lines your pockets and big business.come on out sit your butt in the driver’s seat deal with what we have to deal with just to move the frieght. If you buy it a trucker driver brought it. Back off let us make a living!!!!!!!!

    1. AMEN, Brother…..PREACH IT!!!!!!!!!!!

      Hot shot carrier here but the roads are full of idiot car drivers, and you are exactly right, just like flashing lights on e-lanes, the law doesn’t say stop, it says safely move over………………

  5. Government needs. to easy up on trucking when the same rules apply to Seniors who vdrive 60ft RVs and pull another ,20ft behind them with mo special regs regarding licence to drive or automobile drivers who can drive coast to coast without having to stop if they don’t want then gripe.. Most truckers are the best and safest out thier. We know when tired need to stop we are not children. Maybe the people making these rules on truckers should be put in a truck and actually see what we go through from having to sit in a shipper for hours on duty to our 14 hrs continuing to count down even when off duty. Maybe look into these drivers who cannot even read traffic signs or speak enough English to understand how to fuel thier truck. Maybe do something about automobile drivers with me first attitude towards the truck driver by cutting them off in traffic or all drivers who know a lane ends due to construction or accident and riding that lane till there is no more lane then try forcing the rest of traffic to come to a stop or cutting up off ramps to only come down on ramp on other side this is both trucks and cars and force thier way in again .Maybe they need to see how many people are texting or emailing thier cell weaving all over causing traffic tie UPS or accidents.I have. been a truck driver for over 30 years and all the regs you force upon us only lines your pockets and big business.come on out sit your butt in the driver’s seat deal with what we have to deal with just to move the frieght. If you buy it a trucker driver brought it. Back off let us make a living!!!!!!!!
    R

  6. Some companies assign loads to drivers that are already late for pickup and impossible to deliver legally on time. Logistic planners need more training in calculating load times. Rush hours, terrain, construction zones, location of services and weather have travel time impact. Some drivers leave trailers with maintenance issues unaddressed, causing delays for the next driver and load. Responsible drivers report issues they find, so trailers can receive repairs. Many more rest areas, truck stops and parking areas near customers are needed. Some cities allow no truck parking. Empty lots in these cities need to be converted to truck stops in industrial areas for the safety of all. Food trucks, porta potties, dumpsters and security need to be available at a minimum. Addresses, business names, and truck entrances need to be well marked with lighted or reflective signs at the streets. (Not 60 feet up a driveway, or on only one side of a shed.) Lack of signage wastes time, increases traffic and is surprisingly common. BOLs need the correct “deliver to company name” as many BOLs list a parent company name instead of the actual shipper or receiver. Shippers need to load in a timely manner. Taking 6 hours to load after an appointment is ridiculous. All of these issues have impact on drivers and the ability to get the rest and basic human services they need. Revenue for improvements could be made by patrolling freeway on-ramps. I observed 10 drivers in a row entering the freeway with a cell phone blocking their view as they “merged”. My husband is a responsible, safe driver with a 0 CSA score, and almost 2 million miles in the lower 48 states. I have annoyed people in forty states. Today is YOUR lucky day! Have a safe one.

  7. If safety is the main concern then we need to focus on that but also take into consideration that every person is different. Trucking is a job that requires truckers to be awake and working more than the time alloted. It baffles me how someone can speak on something they have never done and that is who most of these people are. Most of these safety problems are stemming from these big greedy corporations whom force drivers to buck their own rules. Ownere operators have more flexibility to coordinate their schedules according to their hours. HOS is just one part of this problem. Some trucks get multiple inspections in the same day. That needs to change! A single level 1 inspection will kill a drivers HOS for that day.

    1. Only reason they make rules is to make money off the carriers and drivers. It’s never been about safety, but they use that word as thing that sounds good to the citizens. They could care less what is safe or not. If they cared then they would put their self out of a job. Abolish the dot and fmcsa and you would see less accidents and less fatalities cause then drivers might care again about what people think of them.

  8. I have a idea instead of focusing on ELDS focus on these new drivers that the big companies are putting behind the wheel with less than 1 month of experience. Focus on the the steering wheel holders that run down the road with TVs mounted on there dash or watching movies on there phone or tablet. ELDS are not the problem raise the age to 25 for over the road driving, and make the bigger companies train these so called truck drivers more before they can run over the road.

    1. I know a lot of people who have cellphones and tablets on their dash… many use them for GPS. I listen to YouTube occasionally, but I listen to it in my headset and might I add it takes less concentration than messing with the radio constantly especially since I only have to mess with it maybe once every two hours… usually to the news or things that interest me. I’ve been driving 10 years, never been in an accident. I feel like it keeps me awake and improves my focus because well lets face it, boredom is a bigger issue. People talk about highway hypnosis and falling asleep at the wheel… well you get highway hypnosis and fall asleep when your brain is not being stimulated and you aren’t getting the right sleep. There are many places that are very boring like Nebraska, the Nevada desert or the Utah salt flats for example where it is hundreds of miles of nothing.

      I keep the phone on the dash so i don’t need to avert my eyes from the road and reach for it… I get calls all day from my work on top of it since I usually have 4 or more pickups. I think some people just like to complain about things they don’t know how to do and then regulators see this garbage and come up with stuff like mandatory breaks, etc. that end up forcing drivers to work longer for dumb reasons… basically to pull off to a truck stop get parked and eat generally takes an hour… this is an hour that could be just as easily spent sleeping.

      Another issue I have is trucks governed to 60 mph or less… it does not make the road safer for the driver or other vehicles when the speed limit is 75… its essentially the same as putting up an unmarked barricade in the middle of the road. Its dumb, not safe… all you are doing is obstructing the flow of traffic.

      I remember my OTR days and rookie carriers well… I would sit at grocery warehouses for 6 hours and then be promptly kicked off the property at 2 a.m. (over hours might I add, severely) leaving me to try to find parking in a full lot at 3 a.m. or on a side road somewhere in Bumfuk.This is the stuff no one wants to address because its bad for business.

      I guess what I’m saying is you can’t have it both ways… government either needs to make sure shippers are not forcing drivers out of compliance or they need to make compliance sustainable and stop riding the drivers for things they cannot control. I was flat out told at a rookie carrier it was their truck and I was hired to drive it. They did not care about forcing me to break the law and that if I did not deliver on time I could park the truck and walk home… this is the reality of the 800 lb. gorilla in the room the FMCSA does not want to talk about.

  9. The rules were put in place in the 1930’s to protect drivers from having the companies push them into dangerous situations or lose their jobs. Now technology has removed the protections for the driver and the companies see how many hours the government says you can drive and when you have to take a break. So if you stop because you’re tired, the company threatens you with your job or your paycheck. Flexibility needs to return to the driver, so if he needs to stop every two hours to go to the bathroom or just a quick walk around the truck, the DRIVER is protected, not condemned, fired or penalized.

    1. Harassment Penalties
      Any carrier who is found to have harassed a driver will be subject to a civil penalty for harassment in addition a penalty for the HOS violation.

      Reporting Harassment
      A driver who believes he/she has been harassed should file a written complaint within 90 days using the National Consumer Complaint Database at http://nccdb.fmcsa.dot.gov or with the FMCSA Division Administrator for the State (http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/mission/field-offices) where the driver is employed.

      Coercion
      FMCSA also prohibits coercion of drivers. Coercion is much broader than harassment. It can involve motor carriers, shippers, receivers, and transportation intermediaries (brokers and others). Coercion is a threat to take adverse employment action against drivers, or to withhold business, employment, or work opportunities from drivers, to get them to violate FMCSA regulations. Carrying out such threats to punish drivers who refuse to violate the regulations also constitutes coercion.

      https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/hours-service/elds/harassment-protection

    2. I run dedicated. My dispatch is stacked up 2 to 3 loads at a time. Average haul is 500 miles. They keep it just inside of the envelope most times.
      It cracks me up how these carriers try to account for every second. I love it when tihs happens, IE, traffic, slow to load or unload, flat tire or other. It throws a monkey wrench into the day.
      I’m done with this mess in june. I think.44 years is enough. I did the first as an OO. Had plenty of fun. this last 7 as a hired hand on fleet trash. And yes. Their is a big difference between an OO specked truck and fleet trash.
      It’s just getting too weird.

  10. Though this is about Long haul transportation. DOT needs to make sure and follow through that private and secondary companies do not abuse these “loopholes” . Many already are and drivers have to get quite verbal repeatedly to stay safe.

    1. You know BRENDA, it is really sad that we are forced to sit here and wine about the same retarded, misguided, insane regulatory crap for 10 years… probably even longer than that. This is not about safety… its about money… and people are getting pissed off and leaving the industry because of asinine subjective regulation and the fact many carriers pay under .60 cpm which is a sad joke.

      1. Scoots, it’s always been tough. But it was fun when I started in 77 as an oo. No school. No training. I bought a cab over leased it to BJ McAdams and figured it out.
        Now it’s just a job. A bad one. And the trucks today are terrible. We never went in the shop then as we do now.

  11. The company has no concern about/for safety., only compliance w/ DOT regs. If the ” Heavy Hand ” is reduced, it would. be in my opinion as a Driver, detrimental.

    1. Let me correct that statement for you Pat… the companies care about the “appearance” of following DOT regs. The heavy hand always comes down on the drivers neck since the company will shift 100% of the blame to the driver as soon as anything goes wrong. If your over hours its your fault in the eyes of the law… they don’t care what the company said. For this reason I always tell dispatch I am recording the conversation when they tell me to break the law. This is the only way to fight back… legally.

      1. FMCSA prohibits coercion of drivers. Coercion is much broader than harassment. It can involve motor carriers, shippers, receivers, and transportation intermediaries (brokers and others). Coercion is a threat to take adverse employment action against drivers, or to withhold business, employment, or work opportunities from drivers, to get them to violate FMCSA regulations. Carrying out such threats to punish drivers who refuse to violate the regulations also constitutes coercion. The ELD Rule specifically prohibits a motor carrier from coercing a driver to falsely certify his/her data entries or record of duty status.

        https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/hours-service/elds/harassment-protection

        1. the driver coercion rule is a bit of a joke, no one is going to report it
          1. because they do not have definitive proof as most of the instances are either over the phone or are face to face
          2. if they do report it and the company or what ever party did the coercion gets fined they will know exactly who made the complaint as each instance of coercion is very specific in its circumstance and can easily traced back, so now the company will find a “legitimate” reason to fire or otherwise sanction said driver.

  12. I want to know when big brother is going to start addressing the safety issue with the major cause of the problems out on the open road and in particular in metro areas — the car and pick up truck operators? These people are not drivers! The only training they may have received was drivers Ed classes in high school. These people do everything they can to make driving an 18, or 10, wheeler nearly impossible – slowing down in front of us, passing and pulling in front then hitting their brakes, etc. , etc.

  13. When are we going to get a real cdl holding official to oversee our industry,obviously SAFETY CANT BE YOUR GOLE,SINCE YOU HOLD US TO LONG INSIDE 14 HOURS!!!
    I AM FEDUP WITH BLEEDING HEART GROUPS RUNNING OUR INDUSTRY.
    I AM RETIRING SOON TO LEAVE IT TO THE NONCOMMERCIAL PEOPLE!!

  14. That’s just rude some people have a passion and love what they do to help and provide everything you have in your home and almost everything you own came in or on a truck so just thank them for getting it there for you and appreciate it

  15. To start cattle trucks need regulated .if we get it they should more of them are driving tired.loading in California and driving to Colorado, Nebraska and so on as they please is bs . Lots of times I could keep going but eld says no so I know my body . If your going to do one part of trucking do all make it fair makes me want to go back to cow hauling so I can run how I want and make money

  16. I was listening to WJR here in Detroit the other day, and the state of Michigan or AAA released the crash and fatality data for 2018… Accidents and fatalities with four wheelers were dow, big trucks, up 18% over 2017. What happened in the trucking industry in 2018? I like to set the cruise at 63 and try to stay out of everyone’s way. But, I find myself speeding right along with everyone else due to that stupid ELD counting down my hours. I have been lucky so far, and try to run at night when things are quite and less stressful. No more stopping to take that nap to let rush hour clear out, now it is Go Go GO!

  17. yes 17 hours is good for stupid drivers,,,,,, working 17 hours per fo 50000 per year,,,,,,,eld is last chence to fix problem ,,,,,,,.may one day they start paying hourly…… by eld ,,,,,,,,,,driving PLUS ON DUTY …PLUS SLLEPING IN TRUCK 15 ON HRS I ,PLUS FOOD 50 PER DAY,,,THEN WE CAN TALK……THX

  18. OOIDA president outlines hardships truckers face at House hearing
    By Mark Schremmer, Land Line associate editor | 6/12/2019
    756
    OOIDA’s Todd Spencer testifies to U.S. House subcommittee

    OOIDA President and CEO Todd Spencer explains during a June 12, 2019, U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee hearing the regulatory burden that truck drivers must bear.

    In order to fix a broken trucking industry, Congress must first recognize the vital role of truck drivers, OOIDA President Todd Spencer told a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee.

    Spencer served as one of eight witnesses for the Highways and Transit subcommittee hearing titled “Under Pressure: The State of Trucking in America” on Wednesday, June 12, in Washington, D.C.

    “Unfortunately, trucking has been fundamentally broken for years, and conditions show little sign of improving,” Spencer said.

    “Until Congress understands the most important component in trucking is the driver, very little will change. The next steps you must take are clear – help make trucking an appealing, safe and sustainable career.”

    The subcommittee spent about three hours listening to the witnesses’ testimony and discussing the trucking industry’s most pressing issues. Joining Spencer on the panel were Cathy Chase, president of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety; Chris Spear, president of American Trucking Associations; LaMont Byrd, director of the health and safety department for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters; Jason Craig, director of government affairs for C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc.; Rodney Noble, senior director of transportation global procurement for PepsiCo; Deputy Chief Mark Savage of the Colorado Highway Patrol; and Andy Young, a truck safety advocate.

    Spencer, who was speaking on behalf of OOIDA’s more than 160,000 members, focused on informing lawmakers about the hardships and challenges truckers face every day and asking Congress to recognize that many current trucking regulations do little or nothing to improve highway safety.

    “Our typical members spend 250 nights or more away from home and family each year,” Spencer said. “They deal with way too much traffic and congestion and bad and unpredictable weather while working around the schedules of all others in the supply chain.”

    Driver pay
    According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for heavy-duty truck drivers was $43,680 in 2018. While that equals $21 per hour based on a typical 40-hour workweek, it must be noted that it is not uncommon for a trucker to work 80 hours in a week. As truck drivers are exempt from overtime pay, hourly rate for an 80-hour week drops to $10.50.

    “There is a growing recognition that the way drivers are compensated – by the load or mile, not by the hour – is a problem,” said Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C. “Drivers face increased pressure to deliver goods … many factors are beyond their control. For example, congested roads and delays and shipper facilities.”

    Detention time
    In direct relation to driver pay, detention time is a big issue for truck drivers. Many truck drivers spend hours every week waiting to be loaded or unloaded while receiving no compensation for that time.

    “It is a monstrous problem that has actually cost trucking as much as $3 billion a year,” Spencer said. “The way it works out it means that driver workweeks are always going to be 70-80 hours and sometimes more. They are not always working all of those hours, but their time is being controlled by others. The biggest bandits are shippers and receivers, and I should point out that some of them actually have the gall to charge drivers for late deliveries.”

    Young added that detention time can lead to negative safety outcomes.

    “The detention time issue is really key,” he said. “The shippers and receivers aren’t regulated like the truck driver. So, ultimately, the shippers and receivers can abuse the entire federal motor carrier safety regulatory code and then escape liability.”

    Chase recently received a firsthand account of the problem.

    “It struck me as I went on a ride-along and we were sitting there waiting for the load to arrive and be loaded, that I was getting paid and the driver was not,” she said. “There was some irony there.”

    ‘Burdensome’ regulations
    Spencer expressed to lawmakers that more regulations do not lead to more safety on the highways. At one point, Spencer picked up a copy of the 700-page Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations Handbook to give lawmakers an idea about how many regulations truck drivers are forced to follow. However, the regulations have not led to a decrease in fatal crashes. Spencer used the electronic logging mandate as an example. In January, a preliminary study revealed that the ELD mandate has not reduced crashes.

    “Looking at what the data shows, there is a disconnect between compliance with the regulations and improved safety outcomes,” Spencer said. “Most of the regulations that are enforced that make up CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability scores) have nothing to do with safety, but that has been the focus.

    “The rigidity of the regulations sometimes force drivers to do things they don’t want to do.”

    Retaining drivers
    Several members of the panel agreed that increasing pay is a good place to start in the effort to keep experienced and safe drivers on the road. The turnover rate for large motor carriers has consistently been 90% or more.

    “The reasons drivers stay is because of pay, benefits and working conditions,” Spencer said. “The reasons they leave are for the lack thereof. Many of the regulations that are on the books today hold drivers for everything that could possibly go wrong, but none of those really address the frustrations the lost time that drivers will spend in shipping and receiving facilities. We’re talking about anywhere from 10 to 45 hours per week. That puts the work week for a truck driver to 80 or sometimes more hours a week.

    “When someone is considering a career, do they take one that works 40-45 hours a week and you’re home or one that’s 80 hours or more with you being away from home and you don’t make more money? I don’t think that’s a real tough decision … We have to address the economic issues for drivers, how they are paid and the quirks that allow them to work unlimited hours without any kind of overtime compensation.”

    Spencer’s complete written testimony can be found here. The complete hearing can be viewed here.

    Copyright © OOIDA

  19. I LIKE THE KEEP IT SIMPLE SOLUTION, 24 HRS YOU MUST TAKE 10 HR BREAK SPLIT HOWEVR YOU WANT BUT YOU MUST HAVE A 10 HR BREAK. THE OTHER 14 ARE YOURS, LOADING, UNLOADING DRIVING, BUT IT WILL TAKE GOVERNMENT YEARS TO FIGURE IT OUT WHY THE INDUSTRY IS SUFFERING.

  20. Autonomous trucks are not safe you idiots all your trying to do is lower your cost to ship loads by taking jobs from people so you can line your pockets with more profits!!!! And as for you hos no one can predict when someone is going to be tired and you can’t control when someone sleeps you arrogant asses I know when I’m tired and when I’m not besides who are you to control when I work and when I don’t who are you to dictate what I can generate in income each year? Because that’s all your hos do nothing more it’s all about control you want safer roadways then quit allowing these companies to turn these morons out of these so called trucking schools and put them in a truck and send them down the road with no experience whatso ever force these companies to return to the old way of training put a man I. A truck with a veteran driver of at least 5- 10 yrs and force that person to run teams with him for no less than a year or two then if he hasn’t had any problems on roadways or in docking trailer or backing in parking spots basically proving that he or her can safely operate a truck and trailer then turn them loose on there own other than that you b.s. has no bearing on safety!!!

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