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September 17 2018

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September 17 2018 | The Journal of Commerce 33 www.joc.com Government and 150 miles would remain because many trucking companies have a mix of ELD-exempt and ELD-qualifying trips, so installing a device is the practical solution. Providing unity in HOS regula- tions would allow drivers to complete more deliveries per day. Local drivers tend to have many deliveries, many stops, and fewer multihour periods behind the wheel without a break. The FMCSA also will study extending the 14-hour workday by two hours when a driver encounters adverse driving conditions. Few de- tails have been provided about what qualifies under this provision. Does the adverse driving condition have to be unforeseen? Would a snowstorm known in advance qualify as adverse, when carriers can plan in advance? What about a crash that shuts down a major interstate? What about a structural calamity on a highway? Accidents are common, in general, but major gridlock on an interstate is unpredictable. What about when equipment breaks while on the high- way? Truck drivers are stuck in these situations, and shippers must wait and be patient. Supporters of this provision argue that such flexibility would lessen the damage a delay would cause to a supply chain, without harming public safety significantly. A third provision under consid- eration would revise the current mandatory 30-minute break after eight consecutive hours of driving. The revision could take many forms, including eliminating it altogether, even if such a scenario is unlikely. There is a clear safety reason why someone would need a mandatory rest break. Few drivers, if any, could operate a car safely for 11 straight hours without stopping to eat a meal, use the bathroom, or stretch their legs. Few people, if any, could work more than eight hours on a job with - out a single break. There are key differences, how- ever, between a typical worker and trucker. In an average workday, for example, drivers will deliver and pick up freight. Each require loading or unloading, which could take up to two hours or longer. The standard, 14-hour clock includes three hours on duty but not behind the wheel, which covers stops. If a trucker, for example, spent three hours during unloading or loading, this time could be used eating, going to the restroom, sleeping, or walking around while the freight is being handled. Refueling still would be necessary, but an argument can be made that other, critical human functions can be done while waiting. The final provision is the split- sleeper berth provision championed by the ATA. It simply would "reinstate the option for splitting up" off- duty hours. The trade association has pushed the FMCSA to study the issue since 2013, but a pilot project consisting of 200 drivers from large, medium-sized, and small carriers that have completed the North American Fatigue Management Program has been repeatedly delayed. JOC email: ari.ashe@ihsmarkit.com twitter: @arijashe THE US FEDERAL Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) wants to hear from trucking companies and logistics providers about four proposed changes to hours-of-service (HOS) regulations that could provide better service to cargo owners. If approved, short- and long-haul truckers would be allowed to work more hours in specific situations to complete deliveries and increase daily productivity to their customers. Each of the proposals revolves around time. While the HOS regula - tions never changed when the elec- tronic logging device (ELD) mandate was enacted last December, using a digital tracking tool eliminated ways that a driver could cheat on a paper logbook. For example, under the ELD, a driver can't find workarounds to be behind the wheel longer than 11 hours, to be on duty longer than 14 hours, and to drive eight hours without tak- ing a break. Although there are many bad reasons to violate the rules, there also are compelling reasons during real-life situations on the roadway. Unforeseen circumstances, for example, could disrupt service to ship- pers and warrant flexibility for motor carriers. Nor are all drivers or days are the same, so understanding each situ- ation while simultaneously protecting everyone using the highways can benefit shippers and truckers. Among the proposals open for a 30-day comment period is one that would increase on-duty hours of local drivers with a commercial driver's license (CDL) to 14 hours. Under cur- rent regulations, truckers with a CDL can operate for 12 hours without an ELD, if they are within a 100 air-mile radius. Drivers without a CDL can work 14 hours, within 150 air miles without an ELD. The American Trucking Associ- ations (ATA) previously asked the FMCSA to merge the two standards into one policy, but the FMCSA's proposal would only sync the hours. The difference between 100 miles A break on hours US trucking regulators consider changes in hours-of-service rules By Ari Ashe There is a clear safety reason why someone would need a mandatory rest break. Shutterstock.com International | Washington | Customs | Security | Regulation

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