Truck Drivers Hoping for Hours Of Services Flexibility in the Near Future
Updated: Mar 16, 2020
Hours of Service has been an ongoing topic within the transportation industry over the past few years. Drivers have constantly put themselves at risk to get to their stopping destination within their time limits, and because there has been little flexibility thus far, many drivers have frequently broken their HOS getting to their destinations. There have been countless pleas from truck drivers about HOS flexibility and change might be coming soon - and about time, since the last HOS change was 15 years ago! The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) has recently made a case on HOS flexibility. FMCSA held an official Listening Session on HOS at the Great American Trucking Show in August and listened to the trucking world express how all they wanted was some flexibility to their HOS. Currently, the HOS law requires drivers to rest for at least 10 hours before starting a new 14-hour workday. Drivers want flexibility within this rule that will allow breaking up the 10-hour rest period in different rest splits. For example, instead of resting for 10 hours before straight, drivers would be allowed to work a 7/3, 6/4, or 5/5 split, which would be much more effective on their hauls. Dividing up the rest hours into different splits will allow drivers to avoid peak traffic hours on the interstate, which would result in less driving time through the congested areas. Drivers also want to eliminate the mandatory 30-minute break from the rules all together. The drivers explained that they get their 30-minute break due to stopping for a restroom break or to get food, so it being a mandatory rule is unnecessary and interrupts their driving flow.
The main argument by truck drivers is that professional drivers should be able to use their professional opinions on how they divide up their day. The drivers emphasized that not any two drivers are the same, so the rule shouldn't be one-size-fits-all - it should be flexible to cater to everyone's individual preferences