Hours of Service Controversy

New Strict Hours Laws Placed on Truckers

Anyone who is familiar with the trucking industry, is most likely aware of the current controversy that has both drivers and companies up in arms.  On July 1st, 2o13 the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (part of the U.S. Department of Transportation) established rules stating that truck drivers were allowed to be on the road for no more than 11 hours in a 14-hour workday, following 10 consecutive hours off duty.   A break of at least 30 minutes must be taken during an 8 hour working period, and their maximum hours per week is 70 (down from 82.)

The FMCSA states that these rules were established with the driver’s safety in mind, claiming that less tired drivers make for safer roadways.  With these new restrictions come strict penalties that are enforced against anyone who exceeds the set hours.  If a trucking company has a driver that exceeds the maximum hours, they can be fined up to $11,000, while the driver can face civil fines up to $2,750.  As can be imaged, these new changes have not sit well with drivers, who have stated that the new rules will cut into their productivity levels.  According to Forbes Magazine, the drivers were correct.  after four months of the Hours of Service Rule, Schneider National Inc. (one of the nations largest truckload carriers) has reported declines of 3.1% on solo shipments, and 4.3% on team shipments (Bowman.)

According to the FMCSA, these new changes will prevent more than 13,000 accidents each year.  They claim that trucking companies will save money in the long term by avoiding costly crashes, but do those savings outweigh the drop in productivity?  Leaves us a comment and let us know your thoughts! 

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Source information: Bowman, Robert. “DOT’s New Curb on Driver Hours Is Hurting Productivity, Truckers Charge.” Forbes. (2013): n. page. Web. 7 Nov. 2013.

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