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KeepTruckin moves ahead with petition to alter 14-hour clock

KeepTruckin says that data indicates that truckers who faced detention times of 2 hours or longer are more likely to speed once they leave the facility trying to make up for lost time. ( Photo: Shutterstock )

Company has collected 43,000 signatures of those hoping to provide drivers more flexibility when detained

Back in November, KeepTruckin launched a petition drive asking FMCSA to provide a 2-hour exemption for long-haul drivers delayed at a shipper. The exemption would allow the driver to essentially stop their 14-hour clock for up to 2 hours and take that time as off-duty time, giving the driver 16 hours to complete their day.

That petition has collected more than 43,000 signatures to date.

“The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s stated mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle related fatalities and injuries. The hours-of-service rules are critical to realizing that goal, however there is one requirement for property carrying drivers that does not serve its intended purpose and fails to reflect the reality of life on the road — the 14-hour limit that prohibits driving after the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty,” the company said.

The company, which provides ELDs, said it conducted research on data collected and found that drivers who are detained at a shipper or receiver facility drive an average of 3.5 mph faster following an “extended detention event” of at least 2 hours in an effort to make up for lost time. Seventy-five percent of drivers suffer such an event as least once a week and 35% must wait at least 6 hours once a week on average. In all, drivers are faced with seven extended detention events per month.

The survey also found that 81% of drivers feel pressured to make it to their next stop on time and 32% admitted driving faster after being detained.

The petition came about because the company believes that while the 14-hour rule is intended to reduce fatigue and fatigue-related accidents, it is actually having an adverse effect as drivers try to make up for lost time.

In 2016, DAT Solutions conducted a detention survey of 257 carriers and 50 brokers and found that 63% of drivers spent more than three hours at a shipper’s dock waiting to get loaded or unloaded. Of those carriers that responded, 54% said detention times of three to four hours were typical and 9% said five hours or more was common. A full 84% said that detention is among their top-5 business problems. Brokers had a different perspective, though, with just 20% saying that detention was among their top-5 problems.

Carriers are rarely paid for detention, the survey found, leading to the issues that KeepTruckin is seeking to address: drivers speeding trying to make up for lost time.

“Driver detention is an urgent issue that must be addressed by our industry,” Don Thornton, senior vice president at DAT Solutions, said in the survey release. “It’s a matter of fairness. Many shippers and receivers are lax about their dock operations, but it’s the carriers and drivers who are forced to pay for that inefficiency.”

Travis Baskin, head of regulatory affairs for KeepTruckin, tells FreightWaves the petition is moving forward and that the company hopes to “engage the government in meaningful ways going forward.”

The company’s data experts are continuing to collect data and are reviewing that regularly, Baskin says, looking for safety-related information to make definitive determinations on overall safety in each hour of work, i.e. are drivers no less safe in hours 15 and 16 than they are in hours 10 and 11. The data sets are also bringing in information on locations that regularly detain drivers. That information may or may not be published at some point, but it will be used to bolster engagement with the government on reforming hours of service.

“We don’t want to be making accusations that are not grounded in fact,” Baskin says, adding that the ultimate goal is to “have a driver’s day dictated by the driver.”

Any meaningful change, though, will likely require a rethinking of hours-of-service rules.

“The rules that we operate on were based on studies that couldn’t take [accounts for] the technology we have now,” Baskin notes.

KeepTruckin will continue to collect signatures for the 16-hour exemption with the hope to soon submit it to FMCSA to start a dialogue. In the meantime, most reaction to the idea has been positive, Baskin says.

“Frankly, there has been some mixed response, but largely the bulk of the responses have been positive,” he says. The industry is learning that “hours of service doesn’t work in the real work [in some cases] and ELDs are helping to expose some of that.”

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight covers general transportation news and leads the editorial team as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and fleetowner.com. Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler.

15 Comments

  1. Great article, good insight into this side of the story. I would counter there is a flip side, although perhaps not unrelated. As a major food shipper, we are seeing about 30% compliance to appointment schedules with most of those an hour or more late. This means that the dock needs to try and "work in" the late truck while those who arrived on time are loaded to their appointments. Depending on the time of day, it can take 2-6 hours to work a truck back into the load schedule as we don’t typically have much room in our daily load plan. As I write this, it is not lost on me that in many cases, it could be the previous location that caused the truck to be late to our dock, seems to be a very vicious cycle. I do agree that amending the HOS rule to allow for dock time as "off-duty" is a good thing, although, I’m not sure if it will improve the on-time pick up metric.

  2. They need to make it where if the driver goes in sleeper birth their clock stops all together so when a driver is tired they can take a break and still have their time remaining when they stopped to finish the road and have less tired drivers on the road

  3. Go back to the old rules. 10 on 8 off and you could split the time or stop the clock, run 5 take 4 off all week long. We don’t need 16 hr work days. The old way worked, period.

  4. I know this drill all too well. I have been detained multiple times. The problem I find is that the carrier still expects you to make the pickups/deliveries on time when delayed an excessive amount of hours at the shipper/receiver (thus leading to drivers speeding). Many times I have been detained and still to this day have not been paid for it. Let me tell you a story. Before I start many factors came into play here. This warehouse is notorious for problems as I witnessed many drivers coming and going out of the warehouse office on their phones visually upset. I show up on pickup day (Sunday) about an hour before my pickup time and nobody is in shipping/receiving. Guard shack tells me to come back in the evening. I come back in the evening. Same thing nobody there. I get told by a different guard to come back the next morning at 6AM. Show up at 6AM. Still nobody there. They tell me to come back at 8AM. Come back at 8 and they finally show up in the warehouse. Keep in mind that this load is now almost a day behind already. Shipping office tells me I’m like 2-3 days late. I’m not sure if this is what they tell drivers so detention doesn’t get paid or if I actually was late (I’ll probably never know). I explain the situation and they understand. This was supposed to be a pre-loaded trailer so you would think it would be ready to go. Oh no it turned into a 17 hour live load plus almost a day because they aren’t open on Sunday

  5. NO! Just make Shippers/Carriers/Consignees pay a detention pay from arrival to LD/UNLD to cover that time that the driver is being held-up and there will be no time to be made up. HENCE, it will cut down on detention CONSIDERABLY. What is right is right! These companies have been taking advantage of the drivers since deregulation. They should have gotten their fill by now. Now, it’s time they started paying decent pay.

  6. You are welcome!
    1-80 hours a week!
    2-11 hours every 24 hr period
    2a-24 hours are 0000-2359 daily
    2b- 11 drive hours not to be
    Exceeded per day
    3- 8 hours rest required between two
    Consecutive 8 hour drive periods
    4- 4 hours rest required between two
    Consecutive 6 hour drive periods
    5- 30 min rule still in effect
    6- eld still in effect!
    7- PROBLEM SOLVED

  7. I am the President of a trucking company and the son of a trucker. The answer is too fix the shippers and consignees. Until Carriers make the driver the priority instead of the customer we will continue to have these issues. Charge after 1 hour for detention and nothing more than 2 or you pull the truck and they have to pay for out of route miles or redelivery. Too many carriers don’t want to take the stance and then continue to wonder why they have empty trucks or poor utilization weeks with their fleets. You can do 10 and 8 because I like that as well but we should be doing both not using 10 and 8 to solve the detention issue.

  8. We need to do away with the 70 hrs and just have a 14 hr day..11 hrs drive

  9. As a professional driver with an aptitude for seeing & understanding some things rather quickly and easily.
    I get where you guys are headed & i like how you’re trying to make an honest effort in approaching the government.
    With that said, I felt obligated to respond in efforts to contribute my small but meaningful part due to the fact that I’m hoping we are on the same team here.
    I’d be reluctant to use the driving up to 3.5 mph faster in this case. It’s going to fuel their already lit fires to put speed limiters on all trucks.
    So please don’t let that come back to bite us all again with speed limiters.
    The only real place I’ve seen any faster driving has been by the"larger companies" and that’s ONLY at or near truck stops so far.
    And btw, let’s face it about these elds. They’re not going away unfortunately.
    This is the digital era , point blank & straight up. Some of us don’t want to like elds for reasons each our own.
    Yes I kinda like them but the HOS?
    The HOS defiantly needs serious reconsideration.
    Let’s 86 our 14hr rule . And or come up with something more reasonable / sensible..
    I suggest starting all over with the HOS and applying new rules and regulations with SAFETY being OUR GOAL.
    That’s it from me boys and girls. Thank you for your efforts in all that you do. Sincerly , RC

  10. I think your headed in the right direction but I don’t feel it is enough. I pull just one trailer so when I arrive at any distribution center I do not have the luxury of dropping my empty trailer and picking up a loaded one I have have to live load and unload at these places and it has taken form two to eight hours and at that time I am responsible for nothing I can sleep watch t.v. eat the point is that this burns up my fourteen hour clock which cost me in productivity as well as revenue and this situation applies to all small companies and single owner operators and the only way I can see to get this problem resolved is either by letting your clock stop at the dock and start after you have loaded or since the government wants to get so involved in our industry they should make it mandatory that all shippers and receivers pay a steep detention fee for all the time it cost us.

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