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Today’s Pickup: OOIDA joins chorus pushing for changes to 14-hour clock

 Current rules governing hours of service force drivers to drive when they are tired, claims OOIDA, which is why the association is asking FMCSA to consider allowing up to a 3-hour break during the work day. ( Photo: Shutterstock )
Current rules governing hours of service force drivers to drive when they are tired, claims OOIDA, which is why the association is asking FMCSA to consider allowing up to a 3-hour break during the work day. ( Photo: Shutterstock )

Good day,

Late last year, KeepTruckin started a petition drive with the intention of sending thousands of signatures to FMCSA in a push to add a 2-hour exemption to the 14-hour clock. The idea, KeepTruckin head of regulatory affairs Travis Baskin told FreightWaves, was to allow drivers to extend their day when there was a 2-hour delay or longer at a shipper or receiver.

That petition had garnered more than 43,000 signatures as of last month.

Now, the Owner-Operators Independent Drivers Association has joined the effort, sending a letter to FMCSA asking it to modify federal hours-of-service regulations to allow for a 3-hour off-duty break period for drivers, effectively extending their 14-hour day to 17 total hours.

“We think it’s time to seriously address the issue of lack of options available for truck drivers whose schedules are at the mercy of shippers, receivers, weather, congestion, and other obstacles, to operate safely,” said Todd Spencer, acting president and CEO of OOIDA.

According to OOIDA, “truck drivers subject to HOS regulations [would] be allowed a rest break once per 14-hour duty period for up to 3 consecutive hours as long as the driver is off-duty. This rest break would effectively stop the 14-hour clock. However, drivers would still need to log ten consecutive hours off duty before the start of their next work shift.”

The association has also suggested the elimination of the current 30-minute rest break requirement.

“We are in a situation where we have never had more regulations and greater enforcement and compliance with those regulations. Yet, crash numbers are going in the wrong direction, it’s time for a new approach,” said Spencer.

Spencer noted that the 30-minute rest break forces drivers to stop when they don’t need to, yet the rigidness of the 11-hour drive time and 14-hour hard stop forces drivers to stay on the road when they shouldn’t be.

“They force drivers to be on the road when they are tired or fatigued, during busy travel times and adverse weather and road conditions, or when they simply aren’t feeling well,” said Spencer. 

The association added that the current rules are complex, provide no flexibility and do not represent the unique physical attributes of individual drivers, causing drivers to jeopardize their own and that of other drivers’ safety.

Did you know?

According to Politico, President Trump told a bipartisan group of lawmakers he was open to a 25-cent increase in the gas tax to help pay for his infrastructure plan.

Quotable:

“If DOT truly wants to improve highway safety, it should consider amending the existing HOS regulations to foster safe habits rather than prevent them. No one on the road today cares more about highway safety than career professional truck drivers.”

Todd Spencer, acting president and CEO of OOIDA, which is pushing for a change in the 14-hour work day

In other news:

Container freight rates stagnate

Cargo shipping lines failed to extract across the board rate increases ahead of the Lunar New Year slowdown in cargo. (Lloyd’s List)

Trump open to fuel tax hike to fund infrastructure

The Trump administration has signaled its willingness to consider a fuel tax hike to pay for part of its $1.5T infrastructure plan. (Platts)

Freight index finishes 2017 at all-time high

The Freight Transportation Services Index increased 0.7% to finish 2017 at an all-time high reading of 132, the Transportation Department said. (Heavy Duty Trucking)

Cargo theft drops

Cargo theft fell 15% in 2017 as thieves may be switching to methods that produce less risk of getting caught, a new report says. (American Trucker)

Maersk races to stay ahead of Amazon

Maersk is racing to stay ahead of potential shipping competition from Amazon by providing the online retailer with superior service. (Supply Chain Brain)

Final Thoughts

KeepTruckin has been collecting signatures on a petition to request more flexibility in the 14-hour work day for truck drivers, hoping to allow them to take those 14 hours in a 16-hour period when there is a delay at a shipper or receiver. Now, OOIDA has joined the fight, sending a letter to FMCSA requesting drivers be allowed to take a 3-hour off-duty break during those 14 hours, effectively stopping their clock. Flexibility in this rule can go a long way to improving safety, and now momentum is beginning to build.

Hammer down everyone!

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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.

One Comment

  1. People like to throw out "facts" but have only antidotal information. If OOIDA is going to say that accidents are going in the wrong direction, it would be nice if they supported that claim with actual data. Sadly, they also make the claim that drivers are not taking personal responsibility. Do you not think that the true believers of the current HOS will not grab a hold of a statement saying that drivers are being unsafe and blaming a regulation?
    At present, drivers have 14-hours. If a driver feels that conditions are unsafe or they are tired, the responsible thing to do is to do what is safe. How can you say if someone doesn’t take personal responsibility within the current regulations that changing the regulations will suddenly make the person responsible?
    We have seen with the sudden reduction in capacity now that it is harder to cheat that drivers had been giving a lot of time away for free.

  2. It’s unfair for drivers to lose working hours to shippers and receivers causing them to lose money The 14 hour rule as well as the 8 hour rule are asinine and are a detriment to safety IMO I really feel for drivers who load and unload the same day

  3. The rule to allow drivers to stop their clock by going in the sleeper is not new, we were able to do this 20 years ago until fmcsa decided it was to easy to Chet the system but now with eld’s that is no longer a concern so why say 2 or 3 hours let a driver stop and take a nap whenever for as long as needed up to 8 hours without it counting against their 11/14 clock. This would be especially helpful to avoid peak traffic and traffic jams. Not to mention fatigue.
    Common sense folks

  4. Owner operators with 5 trucks or more should havr the eld 4 or less should be excempt
    Adding 2 or 3 hours to the 14 is not gonna fix it
    Just last night i went to a delivery got in the at 11am got out at 3am next day at this type of situation happends all the time so no mattet what
    People will complain what needs to b done is once yo are a the a pick up or delivery the 14 hour stops and once you are out it starts where it was left of cause look i was there 15 hours i slept like crazy so after that i have to do my 10 hour break im not sleepy i wanna drive so b y the time those 10 hours goes by and i have to drive the im sleepy and im force to drive this shit sucks ?

  5. This is the most I have seen Ooida try to do in years, wow is it because OO & Independents went to DC in Oct. ANd we are starting to be heard.

  6. so I worked for the government for 32years before I started driving a truck in my retirement….always wanted to….I like the other 90+% of the world worked 40hrs a week + overtime and I got paid by the hour……I have read the FMCSA…..it does not supersede the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) which is the law of the land….and it clearly states that a work week is 40 (not 70) after 40hrs is time pay is times 1.5. it prescribes a minimum wage of $7.25 dollars an hour. no where in that document is any mention of cents per mile pay…..this industry works illegally, yes if you are rolling at .32 you make $19.20 for that hour of work… but if the company sends you to a shipper and you sit 10hrs you should make $70.25 just for sitting there…..Truck drivers are being treated like indentured servants (slaves) in violation of federal law……McDonald’s workers get paid $7.25 for being at a place for 8hrs then $10.88 an hr after 40hrs…..Trucking companies are in violation of Federal Law……I do not understand why no one cares about this. O/O’s your contractors and you get what you negotiate…..if you made minimum wage and worked 70hrs you would make $616.00

  7. How about we be treated like adults and sleep when we need to instead of some bureaucrat telling us when to. Seems to me I could then sleep when I’m tired and drive when I’m not. Just a thought…. and those who get in wrecks due to fatigue and falling asleep behind the wheel, should have their CDL revoked and never drive commercial vehicles again. Pretty simple to me.

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