Background Image

The Trucker April 15-30, 2014 : Page 1

www . thetrucker . com A pril 15-30, 2014 V ol . 27, N o . 8 Hours of Service hits just keep on coming; lawmakers ask GAO to review two studies Football lessons good for life Emmitt Smith told delegates to the annual Truckload Car-riers Association convention last month that the lessons he learned in the football world, such as “strive to be the best you can be” and “personal sacrifices are sometimes nec -essary to achieve goals,” have proven true in other areas as he began his life after football. Page 8 The Trucker : LYNDON FINNEY Trucking moves forward ........ 3 Trucking not simple now ........ 4 Drivers of the Year ............... 10 Best Fleets to Drive For ....... 12 Most Influential Woman ....... 15 Truck Stop ........................... 28 Tonnage on the rise ............. 31 Regional Rewind ................. 37 Team Topics ......................... 39 Future at Bendix .................. 43 Around the Bend ................. 55 Eastbound & Down .............. 56 Prime Performers ................ 57 Navigating the news WASHINGTON — Back in the days before news talk and sports talk radio dominated the air-waves and before digital recordings caused turn-tables to be put out for scrap, the local hero was the deejay, the disc jockey with the long wavy hair, black pants and white T-shirt who spun the big hits of the day and was the idol of teenagers. “The hits just keep on coming,” he would in-tone between records. Nowadays, the “hits just keep on coming” could be applied to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the current Hours of Service rule. The latest big “spin” on HOS is that House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chair-man Bill Shuster, R-Pa., and Highways and Transit Subcommittee Chairman Tom Petri, R-Wis., have requested that the U.S. Government Accountability L yndon F inney and d orothy C ox editor@thetrucker.com dlcox@thetrucker.com Office (GAO) evaluate two studies used to justify changes to federal HOS regulations. “I continue to hear concerns from drivers and companies in Wisconsin and around the country about the impact of this 34-hour restart,” Petri said in a prepared statement earlier this month. “We need to make sure the requirements are based on sound facts and actually improve safety rather than just overwhelm the industry with another onerous regulation.” “Millions of American truckers are critical to the flow of commerce in our country, and we have to be certain that any changes to regulations im-pacting their ability to properly do their jobs and earn a living are well founded,” Shuster said. “Concerns have been raised that these regu-latory changes may have been enacted without proper data or analysis, and if the administration is going to change the rules on truck drivers, we need to know that the changes were thoroughly vetted and will improve safety.” S ee HOS On p 20 m It’s not necessarily a hit with trucking, but the HOS platter just keeps spinning with more new twists. The Trucker : ROB NELSON The annual Mid-America Trucking Show held in Louisville, Ky., each March may be big busi-ness to some, but it’s family time for many of the truckers who visit the show. Here, Aidan Reeves, 5, of Jeffersonville, Ind., left, and Owen Wegner, 4, of Watertown, Wis., man the wheel of a floor model Peterbilt. Coverage of MATS begins on Page 3 and continues in the Equipment section. There will also be show coverage in the May 1-14 issue of The Trucker . five star drivers deserve five star careers Safety Stability Integrity Respect Driver Satisfaction The Trucker : APRILLE HANSON Company drivers, owner-op-erators and company employ-ees all give a big “thumbs up” to working at American Central Transport. Following Page 34 Five-Star Fleet

Football Lessons Good For Life

Emmitt Smith told delegates to the annual Truckload Carriers Association convention last month that the lessons he learned in the football world, such as “strive to be the best you can be” and “personal sacrifices are sometimes necessary to achieve goals,” have proven true in other areas as he began his life after football

Hours Of Service Hits Just Keep On Coming; Lawmakers Ask Gao To Review Two Studies

Lyndon Finney And Dorothy Cox

WASHINGTON — Back in the days before news talk and sports talk radio dominated the airwaves and before digital recordings caused turntables to be put out for scrap, the local hero was the deejay, the disc jockey with the long wavy hair, black pants and white T-shirt who spun the big hits of the day and was the idol of teenagers.<br /> <br /> “The hits just keep on coming,” he would intone between records.<br /> <br /> Nowadays, the “hits just keep on coming” could be applied to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the current Hours of Service rule.<br /> <br /> The latest big “spin” on HOS is that House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster, R-Pa., and Highways and Transit Subcommittee Chairman Tom Petri, R-Wis., have requested that the U.S. Government Accountability<br /> <br /> Office (GAO) evaluate two studies used to justify changes to federal HOS regulations.<br /> <br /> “I continue to hear concerns from drivers and companies in Wisconsin and around the country about the impact of this 34-hour restart,” Petri said in a prepared statement earlier this month. “We need to make sure the requirements are based on sound facts and actually improve safety rather than just overwhelm the industry with another onerous regulation.”<br /> <br /> “Millions of American truckers are critical to the flow of commerce in our country, and we have to be certain that any changes to regulations impacting their ability to properly do their jobs and earn a living are well founded,” Shuster said.<br /> <br /> “Concerns have been raised that these regulatory changes may have been enacted without proper data or analysis, and if the administration is going to change the rules on truck drivers, we need to know that the changes were thoroughly vetted and will improve safety.”<br /> <br /> The FMCSA said the studies in question led the agency to amend the rule that had basically been in place since 2004 in order to reduce fatigue among commercial vehicle drivers, which the FMCSA cited as one of the major causes of accidents.<br /> <br /> The big changes involved three regulations, all of which have been repeatedly called into question by legislators and trucking industry stakeholders:<br /> <br /> • The unlimited use of the 34-hour restart provision is now restricted to being available only once every seven days.<br /> <br /> • Any 34-hour restart must include two consecutive 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. time periods based on the domicile of the driver. In other words, if a driver living in the Eastern time zone is driving in the Pacific time zone, the required period is 10 p. m. to 2 a.m. Drivers were required to comply on July 1, 2013. It has had the effect of extending some drivers’ restart periods and cutting the number of hours they are able to work.<br /> <br /> • A 30-minute break that must be taken no more than eight hours after going on duty was added. HOS critics say the break often turns into an hour of lost productivity since the driver must get off the interstate, find a parking place, park and then reverse the process at the end of the break.<br /> <br /> All in all, industry executives and drivers alike say the current rule has decreased productivity by 3-4 percent and many say it has caused more fatigue as well.<br /> <br /> FMCSA on Jan. 30 released its field study on the 34-hour restart which said it validated findings from the lab study FMCSA used to develop the new restart. “ … Characteristics of the CMV drivers who participated in the naturalistic field study” were listed as 44 local truck drivers, 26 regional drivers and 36 overthe- road drivers.<br /> <br /> Furthermore, 48 drivers were intermodal; 32 were dedicated; seven drove temperaturecontrolled freight and three were van truckload. Three were owner-operators contracting with a carrier.<br /> <br /> The FMCSA defended the authenticity of the studies in question.<br /> <br /> “Using the latest sleep science, data-driven analysis and robust input from stakeholders, FMCSA carefully updated the Hours of Service rule to provide truckers with the time they need to be well-rested, alert and focused on safety,” FMCSA spokesperson Marissa Padilla said in an e-mail statement to The Trucker.<br /> <br /> “We are confident in the scientific studies and analyses that support this life-saving rule, which is effectively mitigating fatigue in truck drivers who work the most extreme schedules — an average of up to 70 hours a week.”<br /> <br /> Petri held a hearing on June 18, 2013, about the new requirements and concerns from lawmakers about the impacts on the trucking industry. “I’m receptive to the concerns of many of my constituents who argue that a one-sizefits- all approach won’t provide the flexibility some companies need …,” said Petri at the hearing.<br /> <br /> “Since Congress directed the Department of Transportation to issue a rulemaking on commercial driver Hours of Service in 1995, the regulations have been in constant litigation, which has led to confusion among the trucking industry and enforcement community,” he continued.<br /> <br /> “Every stakeholder that is impacted by Hours of Service regulations has passionate beliefs on the correct way to implement them, so it’s no wonder that litigation has persisted.”<br /> <br /> The American Trucking Associations, a staunch opponent of the new HOS rule, lauded the move by Shuster and Petri.<br /> <br /> “We appreciate Chairmen Shuster’s and Petri’s leadership on this important truck safety and operational issue,” ATA Executive Vice President Dave Osiecki said.<br /> <br /> “ATA believes any new requirements affecting millions of professional drivers must be based on a sound research foundation, good facts and relevant data analyses. Congressmen Richard Hanna, R-N.Y., and Michael Michaud, D-Maine, also deserve a great deal of credit for focusing attention on the unintended consequences of these new Hours of Service rules. ATA looks forward to GAO’s evaluation of the studies at issue.”

Celadon

Using a screen reader? Click Here