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.
02 Apr 2014
WASHINGTON — Two U.S. House leaders earlier this week asked the congressional watchdog to investigate two studies used to justify changes to hours of service rules for truck drivers, the latest sign the industry isn’t giving up its fight against the regulations.
24 Mar 2014
New software could help trucking companies enforce truck driver detention policies and collect fines from shippers that keep drivers waiting beyond agreed limits.
13 Mar 2014
The FMCSA is close to publishing its much anticipated proposed rulemaking that would require all heavy truck drivers to use electronic devices to complete their daily and weekly logs.
31 Jan 2014
Shippers that were complacent about reports of tightening truck capacity in 2013 could be in for a shock this year, especially if weaknesses in transportation networks exposed by this winter’s severe storms are taken as a warning sign.
29 Jan 2014
Shippers and trucking companies need to clearly spell out detention policies and penalties in contracts and tariffs if they want to avoid federal regulation, a transportation attorney warns.

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.