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

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.
A truck with motion blur in sunlight
30 Jun 2014
NAPLES, Fla. — Truck driver hours of service rules could evolve to become more flexible, but only following concrete safety gains and reduced fatalities on U.S. highways, a federal regulator told trucking and logistics executives at the SMC3 Connections 2014 conference here.
18 Jun 2014
WASHINGTON — A former head of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has blasted truck critics for “political opportunism” in falsely implying a recent high-profile truck accident is tied to an effort to rollback new federal rules for truck drivers.
16 Jun 2014
The furor over the truck crash with a limousine van that killed James McNair and injured comedian Tracy Morgan is spurring demand for tougher truck safety regulation, including stricter hours of service rules for truck drivers.
12 Jun 2014
Debate over driver fatigue and how many hours truck drivers should spend behind the wheel exploded on the national stage this week after an accident claimed the life of one celebrity and injured another.
05 Jun 2014
The U.S. trucking industry scored a rare victory against new federal hours of service rules after a Senate committee voted to suspend the revised restart provision.

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.