September 17, 2013
Table of Contents
Effects of 34 Hours of Service 3
Effects of Safety 3
Works Cited 6
As of recently the motor carrier industry has mandated major changes in its hours of service. As of July 1, 2013 all commercial truck drivers and companies must comply with new Hours of Service (HOS) rule per the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The change has caused quite bit of an uproar for commercial truck drivers and companies alike. One part of the policy that stands out is the 34 hour restart; although it raises a lot of conflicting issues and concerns it is being put into place to increase safety on our roads. It’s intriguing to find how one can affect the other in a positive way with a little simple give and take.
One of the major changes of the HOS rule that has heavily impacted motor carriers is the 34 hour restart. This provision requires drivers to have two consecutive rest periods between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. with limititaions on the use of the restart to once a week. Along with these stipulations a 30 minute break in an 8 hour period is required as well. This will limit drivers to 70 maximum working hours in a 7 day work week followed by a mandatory 34 hour gap in which the driver can then return to work. However this has minimal if not any affects on short haul carriers due to them mainly being subjected to daytime hauling.
“It’s those long-haul drivers who are out two or three weeks at a time who will be most affected by this change,” says transportation economist Noel Perry.
This will not only just affect the long haul drivers with cutting back on their overtime hours decreasing their earnings but can potentially affect businesses with just-in-time delivery. It is estimated that the demand for drivers will increase to about 60,000 over the next year or so. With the trucking industry already having a scarce amount of drivers due to specific and sensisitive regulation requirements the implementation of the 34 hour restart will create an even higher demand for truck drivers to fill in the gaps. If the demand for drivers is not met just-in-time delivery will suffer a great deal which can put a wrench or redirection in the suppy chain process, causing companies to outsource other 3Pls or part-time employees increasing overall cost.
“The restrictions are cutting into driver availability, before the change, drivers could use the restart to pick up extra time to fill service gaps over the weekend. With the new requirement for two nights off, Cowan Sytems occasionally must strain to arrange drivers for 24-7 customers” says Steven Wells, executive Vice president of Cowan Sytems.
The strain of having to find drivers to accomadate the gaps in these driving routes is not Mr. Wells of Cowan Sytems burden alone. This is what every company that provides long haul service with their motor carriers has to do. The effects of this new 34 hour restart rule will cause companies to have to ramp up on recruiting; and due to the gap time, means the hiring of part time drivers. With the reduction of work hours per week it is in these companies best interest to increase the wages of their drivers so that the job remains attractive in compensation to its workers and worth while for the part timers.
“If youre thinking about an increase in pay, this is probably the time,” says Noel Perry.
With one of the major impacts of the new HOS rule being the 34 hour restart, a more important reason behind the implementation of this rule is safety. Throughout my research I feel that the safety factor is overshadowed and the focus is mainly on the affects and changes companies have to make internally and in their supply chain due to the new policy. However the number of CMV related accidents has increased by the decade and the long hours induce fatigue with the truck drivers and cause accidents that are often fatal.