What changes would you like to make to the hours-of-service rules?

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No information has been made public yet on the new hours-of-service plan that is in the final stages of review within the white house. We asked CCJ readers what changes they would like to make to the rules.

“The biggest change I’d like to see is to base it on a 24-hour day. I really think the ATA proposal that was basically rejected last time was on the mark, and that’s where I would like to see it land this time. How close it will be to that is yet to be seen. Basing the hours of service on a standard 24-hour day is one of the most important things; not 12, 14 or whatever they proposed last time. Another thing I’d like to see happen is to not restrict a driver to an extended off-duty time so he has to spend an inordinate amount of time in one place. In the old rule, drivers would have to remain 12 hours in one spot. That’s a lot more time than he needs to rest. Can you imagine sitting in a truck stop for 12 hours? Drivers would hate that. Whatever the off-duty period is, the split sleeper berth ought to be retained. Drivers should be able to split off duty time.”
Roger Amhof, president
Amhof Trucking Inc., Eldrige, Iowa

“In the situation we’re in – we’re a wholesale service provider and deliver to lumber yards – we can only deliver from 8 to 5. This creates a problem. There’s so much dead time in these yards, and we may need to make 8 stops in a day’s time. You may only be getting 6 hours under your belt in drive time each day. We could be at the end of 5 days, but only have driven 36 hours in the week. The DOT needs to allow more time for down time or remote time. Waiting counts against your 15 hours – you get 15 hours of work a day, including 10 hours of drive time. There should be some sort of a waiver for deliveries, like severe weather conditions where you can log an extra two hours of driving. We’re killing ourselves. We may have only driven 36 to 42 hours a week, but the driver has spent 60 hours working. He can’t do it by logging off duty. We pay hourly. If the driver is sitting one to one-and-a-half hours, he has to log it, and it counts against his 60 hours. If he doesn’t log it and we pay him, then we have a problem with the DOT since our time sheets have to match log books.”
Kyle Kos, transportation manager
Reid and Wright, Broomfield, Colo.

“The clock restart has to be one of our top issues. We want to re-start the clock at 24 hours. We would like 14 hours on and 10 hours off. In the government’s 2000 proposal, drivers had to take a break every couple of hours, and they couldn’t drive from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. The 2000 proposal also called for a weekend in the middle of the week and it divided drivers into five different classes. We would like to eliminate these proposals from the new policy.”
Vern Garner, chairman of the board/CEO Garner Transportation Group, Findlay, Ohio
and ATA Chairman

“Currently you can work 60 hours in 7 days, but I’d like to be able to keep a day off and not have it count against your time when you’re doing your recap. For example, when you take one day or two days off during the week, you should be able to start fresh when you come back to work. But that (change) is never going to happen. Other than that, the rules are pretty simple – fill your paperwork and logbooks out right, and you’re OK. Fill them out wrong, and you’re in trouble.”
Bill Novak, dispatcher
Novak Trucking Service LLC, Laona, Wis.

“It would behoove us, since we’re a multiple stop carrier – we make from 3 to 12 drops for each load – to have a 12- to 14-hour work day. The last hours-of-service proposal suggested 10 hours of rest, but the DOT wanted that to be 10 hours of straight rest. No matter what kind of work you do, where are you going to take that rest? There are not enough parking places for all the trucks. That would really change shipping habits. If necessary, we could live with 10 hours straight, though, since we put generators on each of our trucks for our drivers. But that is a very expensive piece of entertainment.”
Terry Haas, president
Haas Carriage Inc., Sellersburg, Ind.

“I think they should leave it alone. The only bad part about it now is team driving. If you take an eight-hour break, they don’t realize that an eight-hour break is not a full eight-hour break. They’re not accounting for any time that it takes, for instance, to get cleaned up and eat supper. By the time you’ve done that, you kill a couple of hours before you can rest and get back up in time to get ready. The driver is actually only getting a five-hour break. I guess it really depends on the person and what they do, but I like it the way it is.”
James Hosmer, safety manager
Cands Inc., Frankfort, Ky.