Trucking Companies Brace for More Changes to Hours of Service Rules
Posted on Feb 12 , 2013
Newly adapted trucking hours of service (HOS) rules went into effect on February 27, 2012. Further compliance to those HOS rules from the U.S. Department of Transportation will impact truckers and trucking companies once again beginning on July 1, 2013, unless a pending lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia blocks the new rules before then. The new rule changes will limit 34-hour restarts to once per week and will reduce a driver’s average maximum allowable hours of work per week from 82 hours to 70 hours – a 15 percent reduction. The rule will mainly affect drivers who work more than 70 hours a week on a continuing basis. These drivers are mostly a subset of long-haul truckload drivers. Local drivers and less-than-truckload drivers, who rarely work more than 5 days a week, are unlikely to be affected. Ultimately, the goal is to reduce driver fatigue-related truck accidents, therefore improving safety and driver health. Whether or not the new rule will actually achieve those goals is hotly debated, and the American Trucking Association and others have taken the position that the rule is arbitrary and will, at best, only minimally improve safety while negatively impacting trucking companies and motor carriers. We will continue to monitor and update this story as more information becomes available on the pending lawsuit. For now, be safe and buckle up.