Changes to Come in Truck Driver Regulations
One of the more divisive regulatory issues facing the logistics industry in 2017 is a possible change to the number of hours truck drivers can drive during a typical workweek. A rule change was proposed in 2016 by a senator from Maine and could become law this year.
Of course, any changes that affect the number of hours the typical truck driver can drive will have a trickle-down impact on shipping costs. We’re keeping an eye on this legislation on behalf of our customers. Moreover, with a new administration in the White House, the jury is out on how any regulations proposed in 2016 could ultimately be passed into law in 2017.
The trucking industry is vehemently against this measure because it will cut into its income and profits. From an article in Logistics Management, “The Trucking Alliance, which includes such large truckload carriers a Swift Transportation (the largest TL carrier with $4 billion in revenue) and flatbed giant Maverick Transportation, says the 73-hour provision is bad for numerous reasons.”
Here are just a few:
- With Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) mandated in 2017 to verify hours of service, this technology “should guide future changes in truck driver hours of service rules, rather than a political decision by Congress.”
- The Federal Motor Carrier Administration (FMCSA) should maintain its oversight of truck driver rules and regulations.
- A change to the current 60-hour/7 days or 70-hour/8 days limit would confuse drivers and companies.
Also on the table for this 2017 transportation funding bill is an issue regarding speed limiters on all trucks. There is a segment of the trucking industry that supports speed limiters, but others do not. The influential Owner-Operator Independent Driver Association (OIDA) is against the use of speed limiters.
For a thorough analysis of what’s at stake with this bill, and what it portends for 2017, read this original report from Logistics Management magazine: “73-hour, seven-day workweek limit set by Senate panel for truck drivers.”
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