13. January 2012 13:54
At long last, the Department of Transportation released the latest revision of the drivers' hours of service rules. Although they did not cut the 11 hour daily maximum to 10 hours, as many had expected, the FMCSA did establish some tight restrictions on "restarts". Under the new rules, rest periods would have to include the hours between 1 am and 5 am. The weekly maximum work week would be cut from 82 to 70 hours. The revised rules are scheduled to take effect in 18 months.
Most seem to find the rules objectionable. The American Trucking Associations, the owner operators, and even shippers have weighed in against them. Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), chair of the House Transportation Committee, has said that the DOT lacked sufficient data to change the rules. Only the Teamsters have yet to take a position.
Hours of service have been controversial as long as I have been in the industry (which is a long time). Surely there is a solution that won't please everyone, but at least will be satisfactory to most who are affected.
I think they should have left the rules as they were. What do you think?
Image by JoshSemans
Cliff Lynch is Principal of C.F. Lynch and Associates. With over 50 years of experience in supply chain management, he has authored a prolific collection of books and articles on the industry.