Overdrive Magazine

September 2019

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20 | Overdrive | September 2019 A ddressing one of drivers' larg- est gripes about federal hours of service regulations, the U.S. Department of Transportation published a proposal that would allow drivers to halt their 14-hour on-duty clock and go off-duty for up to three hours. Under the notice of proposed rulemaking published Aug. 22, drivers would be required to take a 10-hour off-duty break at the con- clusion of their 14 on-duty hours after using the proposed pause option, which must be at least 30 minutes long. Allowing drivers to pause the 14-hour clock would help them avoid peak traffic hours and severe weather and ease the impacts of long detention times at shippers and receivers. The rulemaking proposes no change to the 11-hour drive-time limit for an on-duty shift. Though the proposal didn't mark a return to wider options for splitting of on-duty and off-duty time that were available prior to institution of STOP THE CLOCK Proposed hours of service overhaul allows drivers to pause their 14-hour clock, eases restrictions around the 30-minute break and slightly expands split-sleeper options. BY JAMES JAILLET FMCSA says allowing drivers to pause the 14-hour on- duty clock would give them more flexibility in han- dling long detention times at shippers and receivers, as well as delays due to congestion and weather. Most trucking groups back rule revisions Though reaction among truck- ers to the proposed hours of service reform was mixed (see page 4), trucking trade groups praised it. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association lauded the "com- mon sense" approach to hours regulations. "There may not be a one- size-fits-all solution, but the proposed changes are a posi- tive start since truckers don't have any control over their schedules or traffic condi- tions," said Todd Spencer, OOIDA president. The American Trucking Associations commended reg- ulators "for their commitment to an open and data-driven process." The Truckload Carriers Association thanked the U.S. Department of Transportation for its "efforts to understand the legitimate concerns of the industry." The Teamsters Union, how- ever, criticized the reforms. "The Teamsters are concerned about language changing the 30-minute rest break and the ability of drivers to press the pause button on their hours of service clock," said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa.

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