What do you think of the new hours rule?

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“I can see some advantages on shorter hauls and some disadvantages on team and long hauls. It really depends on the length of haul. I think drivers will be running out of hours on team hauls; I feel we still need some more clarification and training from the DOT. Shorter length of hauls can recover quicker since the length of driving time is 11 hours. We go from the Northwest to the Bay or Salt Lake City, for example, in that amount of time.”
Steve Tucker, director of operations
TW Transport, Spokane, Wash.

“Two things: It’s better than the last proposal, and the added driving time is a benefit. However, having fewer hours in the workday presents a challenge to many carriers. When you have an operation like UPS where drivers are returning each day, it’s not that restrictive; it’s not a major change. If you’re in a situation where drivers layover, like a lot of the industry, 10 hours is going to cost the consumer and certainly carriers more time and money. If you’re like myself, 11 hours of driving time is really going to help.”
Mike Grandits, central Ohio transportation manager
United Parcel Service, Columbus, Ohio

“We’re still studying it really. In some ways it will help the company, but in other ways it could hurt us. The 70-hour restart will help us, but the 14-hour straight on duty with off duty not counting toward that will hurt us. We’re a regional carrier in the Great Lakes area. Ninety-five percent of the fleet is five days a week, so the 70-hour restart will help on the weekends.”
Keith Zimmerman, general manager
Bowlus Trucking Co. Inc., Fremont, Ohio

“I haven’t had a chance to read it completely, but from what I’ve read so far, the new HOS rules are not helping drivers. Most of them don’t follow the old rules anyway. It’s not going to be good.”
Jason Reardon, owner
J&R’s Landscaping LLC, Earlville, Md.

“I have been in the transportation business for 21 years, most of those as a driver some as an owner operator and now as a safety and compliance supervisor. The new HOS rules still does not address the problem of drivers having to stop when they are not tired. The split sleeper berth rule is dangerous and hard to manage for most drivers. The 14-hour rule is going to be hard for most drivers to figure out.

Once again, FMCSA went to industry leaders for input that either have never been behind the wheel of a truck or have not been behind the wheel for too long, to remember what it was like to stop at 4:30 in the afternoon to take the required rest break, then at 12:45 starting out for a 10-hour drive on less than two actual hours of sleep.

The new HOS rules are as dangerous if not more dangerous as the old rules.

Canada has issued new HOS rules that make more sense, single drivers can’t split sleeper berth, and the extra two hours of off duty-time required can be used in no less than half-hour increments. I disagree with 13 hours driving, but this option gives the driver more flexibility to stop for rest when they need it.”
Ken McKendry, safety and compliance supervisor
Pacific Coast Express Ltd., Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada

“The new rule has good points and bad points, but it’s better than what the original proposal was trying to do under the other administration. They were trying to categorize everybody in scientific terms. You would have to get a tattoo on your arm with a 5, 4, 3, etc., for the DOT to tell the difference.

The new rule is supposed to cut down on fatigue, but people are not looking at the right area. They need to open their eyes. I’ve been doing this for 35 years. Years ago, when you went to a customer, the freight was sitting on dock waiting for you to load. Pressure is going to have to be put on the manufacturing industry. That is the bottom line, no matter how you look at it.”
Barnie Schwiermann, director of safety
M&M Cartage, Louisville, Ky.