Trucking Hours of Service

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

12 Dec 2014
Changes to truck driver hours of service rules under the cromnibus spending bill could increase truck capacity, giving carriers a quick productivity boost for the holidays.
11 Dec 2014
Opposition by Democrats and some Republicans to the $1 trillion, rider-festooned spending bill is keeping Washington on edge as the legislation nears a midnight deadline.
10 Dec 2014
The likelihood that truck drivers will have different hours of service rules next year is increasing, as Congress wraps language that will change suspend some 2013 HOS changes into its $1 trillion spending bill.
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 .

Commentary

With intermodal loadings in record territory and the railroads pushed to the limit to move the volume, it might seem a bit strange to be sounding an alarm about a slowdown. But the intermodal industry is entering a period of vulnerability after a prolonged period of growth. While trouble isn’t inevitable, intermodal’s near-term destiny has passed to forces outside of intermodal’s control.