Trucking Industry Calls on Congress to Suspend HOS Rules

Trucking industry executives told the House Small Business panel that the new hours-of-service rules, including the 34-hour restart provision, are counterproductive during a hearing on the rule on Nov. 21. 

The panel, which is chaired by House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee member Richard Hanna, listened as executives said the rule forces drivers to spend more time driving during peak traffic hours, is costly and decreases productivity. Those testifying also said the rules are unnecessary and are not likely to result in any measurable health of safety benefits. 

FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro defended the rule, saying FMCSA has continually improved safety on the nation’s roads. 

The hearing came just days after the American Transportation Research Institute released its survey in which carriers said they had experienced productivity losses and increased costs due to the rule. The independent trucker group OOIDA also released a study on the effects of HOS, in which it revealed that 46 percent of drivers surveyed stated they actually felt more fatigued under the new rules.

In his opening statement during the Small Business panel, Hanna said. “Small businesses are greatly affected by changes to trucking hours of service. Whether it is a small carrier transporting goods along the West Coast or a local grocery store awaiting a delivery shipment, when truckers are slowed, small businesses suffer,” Hanna said. 

Duane Long, chairman of Raleigh, N.C. based Longistics, was among those who testified on behalf of the trucking industry. He said the impacts of the rule were particularly hard on team drivers. "They resent the intrusion of the government on their daily work routine," he said, "they resent the new restart restrictions and the effect they are having on their ability to make a living."

HOS will also affect warehouses and distribution centers and cause shippers to reevaluate their networks, Forbes reported

American Trucking Associations Chairman Bill Graves called on Congress to support the TRUE Safety Act, a bill introduced by Reps. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.), Tom Rice (R-S.C.) and Michael Michaud (D-Maine) to suspend the new rules until an independent review is done.

Mindy Long's photo

Mindy Long

Before launching a full-time freelance career, Long edited NATSO's Stop Watch magazine. Prior to that Long worked as a staff reporter for Transport Topics, a weekly trade newspaper, covering freight transportation, fuel and environmental issues. In addition to covering the transportation sector, Long has written, reported and edited for a variety of media outlets. She was the Washington correspondent for WCAX-TV (CBS) in Burlington, Vt., a criminal court reporter in Chicago and a freelance copy editor for Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine in Washington D.C. Long hold a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in Evanston, Ill., and a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Westminster College in Salt Lake City.More
Source:
NATSO News Weekly (NNW)

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