The Association for Logistics Outsourcing, is asking a key U.S. congressional committee to make a small, but important change in the new Hours of Service (HOS) Rule that took effect earlier this year because it unfairly burdens certain segments of the trucking industry.
The new rule, which reduces the maximum on-duty time of truck drivers from 15 to 14 hours per shift, creates a hardship for so-called “short haul” truckers, according to the association. A short-haul truck driver is defined as “an operator of a commercial motor vehicle providing transportation of property who returns to the normal work reporting location at the end of the day.”
“This imposition of an inflexible, 14 consecutive hours on-duty limit gives no consideration as to how much of the on-duty time an operator may actually spend in non-driving activities,” said IWLA President and Chief Executive Officer Joel Hoiland. “By its very nature, a larger proportion of a short-haul driver’s time is spent waiting for loads to be taken on or off his truck.”
Hoiland further explained that IWLA “understands that the new HOS rule’s main thrust is to make sure drivers get enough rest so they remain alert behind the wheel; however, in the case of short-haulers this is unnecessary, since they typically return to their own homes each night for a proper rest. “Unfortunately, the new rule can have the opposite effect, of turning what previously was a one-day trip into a multi-day journey. This deprives such drivers from being home with their families each night, forcing them to spend time and money unnecessarily."
To remedy this situation, IWLA advocates adopting an amendment to the Highway Bill, HR 3550, proposed by U.S. Rep. John Boozman (R-AR), which would provide relief for short-haul truckers. The amendment would allow short-haul operators to comply with HOS under the old rule, which did not count non-driving activities as on-duty time.
“As the national association dedicated to fostering and promoting the growth and success of third party logistics providers, IWLA strongly urges support for Rep. Boozman’s efforts to correct this short haul problem" Hoiland concluded.
IWLA’s request was made in a recent letter that was sent to the leadership of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Subcommittee on Highways, Transit and Pipelines, which will be considering markup of HR 3550 shortly.