Trucking Hours of Service

The hours a truck driver may spend behind the wheel per day or work per week are a basic building block of any supply chain. Shortening those hours can not only cut into a truck driver’s earnings but make delivering goods on-time while maintaining lean inventories even more difficult for motor carriers and costly for shippers.

Changes to the U.S. hours-of-service rules for truck drivers that took effect July 1 certainly reduce weekly driving time for some truckers, especially long-haul tractor-trailer operators. Although truckers will still be able to drive 11 hours and work 14 hours per day, their ability to use a 34-hour restart will be restricted.

As truck drivers feel the the clock eating into miles, motor carriers will be pressured to increase driver pay to compensate and to keep drivers. Drivers may become even harder to hire and keep on the payroll. Shippers may have to adjust their supply chains and cooperate more closely with carriers or pay higher rates.

There’s no question that hours-of-service rules could affect everything from a driver’s weekly paycheck to when a shipment from Chengdu arrives in Sheboygan — and the origin-to-destination cost of that shipment for the shipper. Cargo owners and carriers need to work closely together to keep supply chains running on time.

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News & Analysis

26 Aug 2016
A proposal to mandate speed-limiting technology on heavy trucks would increase demand for truck drivers, U.S. regulators admit.
10 Dec 2015
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association will sue the Department of Transportation in a bid to block a rule requiring truck drivers to use electronic logging devices, the association's executive vice president said today.
10 Dec 2015
The American Trucking Associations welcomed a mandate requiring 3 million truck drivers to use electronic logs by 2017, hailing the safety benefits of the technology. Other trucking groups may not be so happy.
10 Dec 2015
U.S. truck drivers using paper logs to record their work hours must switch to electronic logging by 2017 under a new regulation, a step that means big changes for drivers, carriers and shippers.
20 Oct 2015
Trucking executives fear the potential return of 2013 hours of service regulations suspended by Congress last December, a survey by the American Transportation Research Institute shows.
01 Oct 2015
After collecting thousands of days' worth of data from more than 220 truck drivers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is starting the final analysis stage of its study of the safety impact of its new 34-hour restart rules, which were suspended in December. The agency hopes to complete its study this year.

Commentary

The proposed rule linking truckers' safety ratings to CSA data is an Internet-age vision, but more clarity is needed when it comes to the data and processes that would support it.