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.

Key Stories:

News & Analysis

15 Nov 2016
The American Trucking Associations hopes for a bigger role in crafting 'data-driven' regulations under a Trump administration.
U.S. Capitol building with flag in front.
09 Dec 2014
An amendment that would suspend the current 34-hour restart provision in the truck driver hours of service rules pending further study is buried deep within the omnibus spending bill being crafted by Congress. Will it survive as Congress struggles to pass spending legislation before midnight Dec. 12 to avoid a government shutdown?
06 Oct 2014
Truck drivers — the lack of them and the number of hours they can work — remain the top concern of trucking executives, the American Transportation Research Institute says.
26 Sep 2014
American Trucking Associations Chairman Philip L. Byrd Sr. said the ATA is "bound and determined" to roll back changes to federal rules on drivers' hours of service, and to win revisions in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's Complaince Safety, Accountability program .
27 Aug 2014
A U.S. agency is imposing big penalties on companies that allegedly fired truck drivers for raising safety complaints, and it’s not the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Truck driver
25 Aug 2014
An analysis of U.S. spot market truckload rates shows truck pricing on a new trajectory since mid-2013: a line that mostly heads upward, with shallower “valleys” than in prior years.

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.