I thought the new Hours of Service (HOS) Regulations made sense, and that there wouldn’t be much controversy about the new regulations. After all, the new regulation just put back into place the old rule. The old rule required drivers of 80,000 pound tractor trailers to stop after driving 10 hours.  The law was changed under President Bush to allow truckers to drive 11 hours, an extra hour over the prior regulations. So the proposed regulations just put things back the way they were. No harm, no foul, the government gets a do over because they messed up when they extended the HOS to 11 hours. Not a controversial move I thought when I first read it. WOW was I wrong! The trucking companies hate this proposal.

But why? Studies, such as the Penn State study (“On the Relationship of Crash Risk and Driver Hours of Service”) presented by Dr. Paul Jovanisat the 2005 International Truck & Bus Safety Security Symposium in Alexandria, Va. have shown that " the crash risk is statistically similar for the first six hours of driving and then increases in significant steps thereafter. The 11th hour has a crash risk more than three times the first hour."  The 11th hour of driving is therefore 300 percent more dangerous than the first hour of driving. Of course the longer a truck is in motion the more money the trucking company makes. Should those profits really come at our, the public’s, expense? 

Don Schneider was able to make the Forbes 400 list as a Billionaire as the owner of Schneider trucking. Perhaps an industry that creates BILLIONAIRES can think about public safety… at least this once? Most drivers would also appreciate being limited to 10 hours of driving. They know that 11 hours is to long to be on the road. There is a reason they call trucks rolling sweatshops. 

Here is hoping that the industry outcry doesn’t overcome common sense on this. The 10 hour rule is far safer and simply puts the industry back where they were before the Bush expansion. It should be the law.

  • Kevin

    you have no idea what you are talking about . Does not suprise me at all . Heres what you do . take off your suit and tie , leave your gold card and check book at home . put on a pair of jeans, pack enough close to last you a month and climb in the truck .With in the very first two hours of being out here , you will be forced to see what goes on out here and what we drivers go through each and everyday. You will be forced to see why there are so many accidents involving big trucks and cars . You will be forced to see what little money we make and you will see how poorly we are treated by dispatchers , you will see how so many of us are forced into pushing the envelope.And with the new CSA rules, you will see MASSIVE DOT abuse , it will make you throw up . You will see what its like to sometimes not be able to take a shower for a for a few days . You will see what its like to live off of sandwiches . You will see how we are ripped off at the truck stops. You will see what its like to have to shut down at a rest area that has no bathroom.12.00 to take a shower.13.00 for a greasy salt filled so called meal . you will see that at some major chain truck stops where we have to pay 12 to 20.00 just to park.You will get to see a truck drivers life . You will see how you get EVERYTHING YOU TOUCH BUY AND USE EACH AND EVERYDAY OF YOUR LIFE .You ask why leave your gold card and check book at home ???? because at the end of your first week , I will hand you a check that MIGHT … MIGHT feed your family for that week.
    Before you even get into the truck , I want you to read AND REMEMBER all 754 pages of the Green Safety regualtion book and READ AND REMEMBER ALL 606 pages of the hazmat book. read and remember all of the new CSA regs .
    At the end of one month of you being on the road , 1 you will never get into a big truck ever again in life .2 you ,if you have a heart will start a movement like no other to awaken the public to what really goes on out here . 3 you will go to congress and demand that they get rid of just about all of these god awful ,unnesasary rules that have nothing remotley to do with safety . and you will demand that drivers be paid for what we do out here .and last but not least, you will never take another truck to court because you will have seen first hand the milions of dangerous car drivers we have to deal with every minute of everyday . Truck drivers have the power to bring this country to a dead stand still, and there would be nothing ANYONE COULD DO .That time is closer then you may want to believe my miss informed friend .I only touched on what a truck drivers life is like out here . So how about you drive with us for about 12000 miles or so and then see what you have to say . The biggest thing that hurts us the most is … being away from our family for weeks and months at a time .
    These new HOS will only cause drivers to loose more money, it will cause more trucks to be be forced onto the roads with brand new drivers who most of them have no business being behind the wheel of a 80,000lbs truck . all these new rules and regs have nothing to do with safety . You watch what is going to happen over the next year or two .

  • Morgan Adams

    I agree that drivers need to be paid more and worked less. I routinely have stated that driver’s are taken advantage of by trucking companies. Many of my truck driver clients have told me they are forced, by trucking companies and shippers, to perform unsafe acts in order to keep their jobs. As a result I frequently refer to trucks as rolling sweatshops. I think we agree on this point.

    New drivers must be trained by companys before they are placed at the wheel of an 80,000 pound tractor trailer. Most safe companies have continuing training requirements for their drivers.

    I believe that longer hours are not the solution, higher pay will attract safer drivers and prevent them from driving in a “fatigued” state, pushing to get in that last hour for a few more dollars. MORGAN

  • John

    Well said Kevin. These suits have no idea what’s its like to drive a big rig. I am an owner operator and being in the business for 6 years all i have to show for is a half a million miles in a 10 year old truck.
    The new rules promote nothing except I have to be out longer and make less money. Thanks to the restart now i can spend more time in a truck and even miss a load back home. I recommend to try that in a a freezing cold or blistering heat. I mean how healthy im gonna be sucking in exhaust fumes and eating truck stop food? But according to all the “smart people” its for my benefit. They are right I only gain 50 pounds in a last 6 years. Lets see what happens now.
    I really hope that this will cause some problems and they finally start looking at the real issue.
    Drivers pay. But I forgot its supposed to benefit the big companies not the driver or the little guy.
    Now they can swap trailers left and right and keep the driver out and make it harder to earn a living.