Hours of Service Changes Considered by Department of Transportation

Wyatt Bechtel
August 21, 2018 04:38 PM
Regulators with the Department of Transportation are willing to listen to possible rule changes regarding hours of service.
Since the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) regulation went on the books many members of the trucking industry, especially livestock haulers, have pointed out the issues with hours of service rules enforced through the regulation. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced on Aug. 21 it is now seeking comments from the public to possibly revise the hours of service rules.
The soon to be published Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) is where people can send feedback in regards to hours of service. The comment period will last for 30 days.
The four areas under consideration for revision are:
1. Expanding the current 100 air-mile “short-haul” exemption from 12 hours on-duty to 14 hours on-duty, in order to be consistent with the rules for long-haul truck drivers;
2. Extending the current 14-hour on-duty limitation by up to two hours when a truck driver encounters adverse driving conditions;
3. Revising the current mandatory 30-minute break for truck drivers after 8-hours of continuous driving; and
4. Reinstating the option for splitting up the required 10-hour off-duty rest break for drivers operating trucks that are equipped with a sleeper-berth compartment.
Two petitions pertaining to hours of service rules can also be addressed in the public comments. The petitions include:

A petition filed by Owner-Operators Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) in regards to the 14-hour on-duty limitation.
A petition filed by TruckerNation pertaining to the 10-hour off-duty requirement.
FMCSA will hold its first public listening session for ANPRM on Friday, August 24, 2018, in Dallas, Texas, at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center beginning at 3:00 p.m. local time.
Several industry groups were thankful to FMCSA for its willingness to listen to problems with the hours of service regulation.
“The agency is finally listening and now the door is open for truckers to make their voices heard and to spur real, common-sense changes to the hours-of-service regulations,” says OOIDA President Todd Spencer. “This rulemaking needs robust participation from real truckers so that the next incarnation of the hours-of-service regulations is not written by corporate trucking executives and anti-trucking groups that have no understanding of the realities of over-the-road trucking.”
“NCBA will continue to work constructively to find a long-term solution that gives livestock haulers the flexibility they need within Hours of Service to protect the welfare of animals in their care. The proposals released today are a positive step towards focusing on needed changes to Hours of Service, but more specific changes that address the unique realities of the livestock hauling industry are still needed. We will continue to work with FMCSA to provide flexibility for the livestock hauling industry,” says Allison Rivera, Executive Director of Government Affairs for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA).
Several changes to the ELD and hours of service regulations have been proposed for livestock haulers in the past year. One of those potential fixes is the Transporting Livestock Across America Safely Act (TLAASA) proposed both in the Senate and House of Representatives. Those bills include changes to hours of service on-duty time maximum hour requirement to extend it from 11 hours to a minimum of 15 hours and a maximum of 18 hours of on-duty time. Unloading, loading and waiting to do either while parked wouldn’t count in the calculation of time on-duty.
There are number of other proposed changes within TLAASA. However, more time is likely needed for Congress to resolve the issue so there have been additional extensions voted through in the Senate and still to be voted on in the House.
Story Credit: https://www.porkbusiness.com/article/hours-service-changes-considered-department-transportation

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