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ATA to FMCSA: Abandon hours-of-service changes

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ccjdigital.com/ata-to-fmcsa-abandon-hours-of-service-changes
By CCJ Staff
Published March, 07 2011

In comments filed March 4, the American Trucking Associations again called on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to abandon its proposal to revise the hours-of-service rules and retain the current rules. ATA deems the proposed changes as politically motivated, while it says the current rules are based on science and have been proven to function safely.

“In its current HOS proposal, the agency has abandoned years of objective analysis in favor of speculation and internal ‘judgments’ of critical areas,” ATA said in its comments. “The agency’s approach in the current HOS proposal cannot be squared with its prior factual conclusions and analytical approach; is contrary to the real-world circumstances to which the rules apply; and its financial computations whither under objective scrutiny. In short, the agency is far from making any sort of case that the HOS rules should be changed and the obvious strains in its attempt to justify those changes illustrates how ill-considered they are.”

The current hours-of-service rules, which have been in effect since January 2004, made four primary changes to the regulations then in place: increasing the daily driving limit from 10 hours to 11 hours; increasing the required minimum daily rest from 8 hours to 10 hours; decreasing the number of hours on duty after which a driver may not operate a commercial motor vehicle from 15 hours to 14 hours; and allowing a driver to “reset” the weekly 60 or 70-hour on duty limits with 34 consecutive hours off duty. Under the current proposal, FMCSA is, among other changes, considering whether to reduce the daily driving limit from 11 hours to 10 hours and has proposed to limit the 34-hour restart provision by requiring that it include two periods from midnight to 6 a.m. and limiting its use to once per week.

In its comments, ATA points out that since the basic framework of the rules went into effect in 2004, “truck safety has improved to unprecedented levels” as the “numbers of truck-related injuries and fatalities have both dropped more than 30 percent to their lowest levels in recorded history.” ATA also told FMCSA that despite claims by the agency and anti-truck activists that the reduction in crashes is the result of a slumping economy, “truck mileage has actually increased.” ATA went on to point out that even those who choose not to believe the current hours-of-service rules are
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Hours-of-Service Debate Heats Up at Listening Session

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DOT Safety Regulation Update Fast-Fax™
Week of February 14, 2011
Foley Services Your Single Source for DOT Compliance

Thursday’s hours-of-service listening session gave the motor carrier industry the opportunity to let FMCSA exactly what they thought of the new proposed rules.

The hours-of-service listening session was billed as an opportunity for motor carriers to discuss the proposed rule. If, however, FMCSA was expecting an even handed debate they were sorely disappointed. The tone of the debate quickly turned very hostile, both towards the new rules and the agency in general. By the time it was over there was little doubt that FMCSA had received — to use President Obama’s phrase — a ‘shellacking’.

In this week’s Fast-Fax we are going to share an indicative selection of comments from the meeting’s online transcript. Please note that we have chosen to correct spelling and grammar

Comment From Tom:

As a 38 year veteran of the trucking industry, I believe that you need to seriously consider that you need to allow the split sleeper birth as the way it use to be,as an LTL driver that is important to me as well as many others,time spent at shippers and receivers over 2 hours should be allowed to stop the clock and restart when done,that time can be spent in the sleeper,and could count towards your 10 hour break,as for the 34 hour restart leave it alone it works just fine. By allowing the sleeper birth split the driver will be better rested and will be a safer driver,i have 38 years of accident free driving it is better to rest when the driver feels the need not when the clock says so I hope you give this some special consideration thank you for your time

Comment From Ted Donaldson:

The mandatory break is bad!! As is the whole proposal. The mandatory break may force drivers to stop for 30 minutes in an undesirable or unsafe location, etc. Leave the HOS alone just eliminate the 14 hour rule..

Comment From Mckenzie Claburn:

My dad is a professional driver why would you try to enforce these new rules with the lack of truck parking here in the east, my dads friends lost the son and husband because he was forced even under the old rules to park in an unsafe area because there was no where for him to park, my dad is the safest driver i know and has dedicated his life to the industry and his fellow drivers but if these rules won’t help get him home safely and deal with the shippers and receivers his log book will be a useless tool it is my dad that makes it safe not the rules, thanks Mckenzie Claburn 13 Hudson falls N.Y.

Comment From Maggie Jackson:

I believe the proposed new 10 hour rule would make for more drivers on the road to move the same amount of freight, therefore causing everyone involved to lose money. If the drivers cant make money than we aren’t going to have any drivers to move the products. The entire economy would suffer.

Comment From Michael Alford:

I like the current HOS. However, I would like to see some flexibility in the day where as we the DRIVER can take a break when WE fell that it is necessary. Not be told that at a certain time its nappy time.

Comment From Mathew Pearlstein:

I believe that if we should be allowed to be equal to the men and women in the oil fields. They are allowed to stop their clock when stuck at a shipper or receiver. If the rest of us sit for 4 or 5 hours, we’re not given that option which causes drivers to drive tired, just to make their deliveries on time. It causes drivers to drive faster. If we are to be safer and better rested, we need the same flexibilities.

Comment From Richard:

Have any of us asked to have these rules changed, or was it only because of the special interest groups? I am not trying to slam anyone, I am just trying to understand. Please explain how people that don’t have a life style like we have can dictate what we can and can’t do. Also how they can basically tell us how much we can make by telling us we can’t drive, or work for a certain period of time.

Comment From Erik:

OK here’s a good question... Why mess with the HOS at all? What are they accomplishing? What good will become of the next changes? At our company we have adapted and are using the EOBR’s. Truly, using EOBR’s and driving strictly by the HOS rules have cut down productivity by a 1/3. If anything the automatic logs have helped all our drivers, who didn’t know how to log or apply the rules to their day, log correctly. The proposed HOS rule changes may help the union drivers out there in the world but the owner operators and company drivers that we employ just think the changes will hold them back from making a living and working when they can and feel like it.

Editor: Roxanne Swidrak, Vice President, Operations • 1-800-253-5506 • www.FoleyServices.com • Vol. 111, No. 672 • © Foley Carrier Services, LLC. 2011

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FMCSA Expands Pre-Employment Screening Program

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By TruckingInfo Staff
truckinginfo.com/news/news-detail.asp?news_id=73083

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration added a new feature to the screening program that gives carriers a look at the history of a driver who is applying for a job.

The agency is making data available on co-driver safety and post-crash violations, in addition to the roadside inspection and crash records that employers already can see. The agency said it also has begun showing the date that a driver's safety records were updated.


The Internet based pre-employment screening program (www.psp.fmcsa.dot.gov), gives employers five years of an applicant's crash history and three years of his inspection history - with the driver's permission.


The data is drawn from the Motor Carrier Management Information System and includes the same information that is used by agency staff and state police for enforcement. Drivers have access to the information, as well, and can make the report a part of their application if they wish.


There is a charge to use the system. Carriers with fewer than 100 power units must pay a $25 annual subscription fee and...
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Women In Trucking Association representatives meet with DOT officials

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PLOVER, Wis. — Women In Trucking (WIT) President and CEO Ellen Voie was recently invited to meet with U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood in Washington.  Joining them was Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator Anne Ferro.

LaHood and members of his staff listened as Voie described some of the challenges facing women in the transportation industry and how WIT is addressing those needs.  Issues include driver harassment concerns, safety and security on the road, using technology to reduce physical limitations and other topics.

Prior to the meeting with LaHood, Voie and WIT chair Leigh Foxall spent time with Ferro and her staff exploring opportunities to encourage women to consider careers in typically male-dominated fields.  “Many of the issues women in the trucking industry face
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Updates on the Workforce Investment Act

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CVTA has remained active in opposing the cuts to Workforce Investment Act funding that are contained in the bill passed by the House of Representatives.

CVTA has submitted written testimony to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee which is holding nationwide "listening sessions" on transportation issues.

Former CVTA Chairman Lou Spoonhour spoke before one of the "listening sessions" that was held on Sunday, February 20 in Chicago.
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Coastal Truck Driving School accepted scholarships for new over-the-road truck drivers

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coastal-logoIn partnership with OMCAP, INC., Coastal Truck Driving School accepted scholarships for new over-the-road truck drivers. Each awarded scholarship provided training and jobs placement. Coastal’s scholarships were paid only if the trainee graduated and assured that each scholarship resulted in a new driver. To date, more than 80 residents applied for scholarships; 55 were selected and 50 graduated with job offers. Of the 50 graduates, 44 are currently employed with carriers at a minimum salary of $30,000 per year. This $250,000 investment represents a potential return of $1,320,000 (528% increase) in salaries, alone.

COASTAL TRUCK DRIVING SCHOOL is a proprietary, co-educational institution, which was established in Louisiana in 1985 and is one of the premier truck driving schools in the country.

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Werner Chairman Stepping Down in May

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www.ttnews.com/articles/basetemplate.aspx?storyid=26164

Clarence Werner, chairman of Werner Enterprises and founder of the carrier, will step down in May, the company said.

Werner will remain on the company's board of directors as chairman emeritus once he steps down after the company's annual meeting May 10, Lincoln Journal Star, Lincoln, Neb., reported Friday.

Succeeding Werner as chairman will be his son Gary Werner, currently vice chairman. Gregory Werner, also a son of Clarence Werner, will become vice chairman and retain his position as CEO.

Derek Leathers will become the carrier’s president, the Journal Star said.

Clarence Werner started Werner Enterprises in 1956 with one truck. He owns more than 30% of its stock, the Associated Press said.

Werner Enterprises is ranked No. 13 on the Transport Topics 100 listing of U.S. and Canadian for-hire carriers.

www.ttnews.com/articles/basetemplate.aspx?storyid=26164