On January 25, President and CEO of the American Trucking Association Bill Graves wrote a letter to the FMCSA requesting the agency abstain from implementing the upcoming changes to HOS, which is scheduled to take effect on July 1. The ATA has requested the agency set the date back three months.
The three-month delay would give an appeals court time to render its decision on requests made by the ATA and other trucking groups to prevent the new regulations from going into effect.
‘The requested delay will avoid potentially duplicative and unnecessary training, prevent confusion if the Court’s decision alters in any manner the final rule, and, given the anticipated short length of the delay, will have no measurable impact on highway safety,” wrote Graves.
The Court of Appeals has scheduled oral arguments about the HOS changes for March 15, and the ATA fears it make take several months for the court to render its decision on the matter.
“It was our hope that the related litigation would have been decided far enough in advance for industry and the enforcement community to be certain of the rules on which to train their respective constituencies,” wrote Graves. “Unfortunately, the court’s scheduling of oral argument for March 15 2013 makes that highly unlikely. However, the scheduling also suggests a decision is not very far off. It would be a waste of industry, FMCSA, and enforcement community resources to require training based on the final rule beginning in April of 2013 only to have that rule altered in some manner via the court’s decision in mid-May or early June.”
The new HOS rules that the ATA and trucking groups are trying to halt are:
1. Drivers are not permitted to drive after 8 hours without a break of at least
30 minutes. Drivers can take the 30-minute rest anytime during the 8-hour
2. The 34-hour reset can be used only once per week and must include two full
consecutive periods of rest between the hours of 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m.
This makes the reset time variable, with 34 hours being a minimum.
3. No changes were made to the basic rule of 11 hours of drive time. However,
with the requirement of the 30-minute break, the effective use of the 14-
hour duty day has been reduced to 13.5 hours.
4. Flexibility has been added to the “Off Duty” requirement of 10 hours to
allow 2 hours of off-duty time to be spent in a moving vehicle as a co-driver
before or after 8 hours of “Sleeper-Berth” status( this applies to team drivers)
Duane DeBruyne, FMCSA spokesman, said the agency is reviewing the request.