What are you doing to save for your retirement?
Find out about the OOIDA Retirement Plan.
Designed specially for the professional trucker.
Use the drop down menus below to navigate OOIDA.com
About OOIDA
Benefits & Programs
Other

For Immediate Release

Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association
1 NW OOIDA Drive, Grain Valley, MO
E-mail:ooida@ooida.com Web site: www.ooida.com
Phone: (816) 229-5791 Fax: (816) 427-4468

NEWS RELEASE

OOIDA petitions for changes to new HOS rule

Aug. 30, 2005, Grain Valley, MO – The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) filed a petition Monday, Aug. 29, asking the government to reconsider the recently revised hours-of-service regulations for truckers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published the revised hours-of-service regulations in the Federal Register Thursday, Aug. 25.

Despite FMCSA Administrator Annette Sandberg's downplay of the changes in the revised regulations, OOIDA has identified specific changes that will have a significant impact on truckers and their operations.

“We are filing for two common sense changes to the new hours-of-service rule, ” said OOIDA President and CEO Jim Johnston.

The new rules are set up in a way that if a trucker chooses to split up the required 10 hours of off-duty time, one of the two periods must be at least eight consecutive hours in the sleeper berth. The eight-hour rest period stops the 14-hour clock. The other two hours of off-duty time can be taken consecutively, either in the sleeper or out, to fulfill the 10-hour off-duty requirement, but does not stop the 14-hour clock.

FMCSA stresses the importance of the two-hour portion of the split-sleeper berth provision in its final rule for the trucker's ability to take a nap or rest break, which FMCSA has encouraged as “an important tool in combating fatigue. ”

Despite the encouragement in the rule for truckers to cash in on the opportunity for a nap or short rest period, the fact that the two-hour break does not stop the 14-hour clock is a disincentive for truckers to utilize the break.

“We're simply asking that those two hours would also stop the clock, that the driver could take those off-duty and not count against his working time,” Johnston said. “We think its common sense because it's consistent with the 10-hour off-duty requirement. ”

Johnston points out that allowing truckers to take a two-hour midday break to tend to personal affairs – eating, showering, etc. is totally consistent with the rest of the regulation and should not count against the 14-hour on-duty clock.

“We think it's practical and makes plain common sense to do it that way, ” Johnston said.

The other change OOIDA has petitioned for involves split-sleeper berth provisions for team drivers. Under the new HOS regulations, team drivers would each have to take a minimum of eight consecutive hours off in the sleeper berth.

“That's impractical for most team operations, ” Johnston said. “ We're asking in our petition that FMSCA retain the current sleeper-berth exemption, which allows the drivers to take sleeper berth time in whatever increments they want as long as no period is less than two hours. ”

OOIDA contends that FMCSA's abandonment of the sleeper-berth exemptions, at least as far as team drivers go, was based in part on the assumption that a schedule, such as the one where the driver goes on duty for five hours and then off duty for five hours, only gives a driver a five-hour window of opportunity to obtain rest.

“This is simply not the case with team drivers,” OOIDA's petition states. “Often the period of a driver's rest is a combination of the length of the other (team) driver's driving period plus that other driver's breaks to take care of business. ”

The public – individuals and groups alike – have 30 days from the date of publication to petition for reconsideration of the final rule. The revised hours-of-service regulations go into effect Oct. 1.

Contact: Mike Schermoly, OOIDA (816) 229-5791

Founded in 1973, the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) is composed of more than 128,000 owner-operators, professional drivers, and small business truckers from all 50 states, and Canada. OOIDA represents the interests of this nation's more than 350,000 small-business trucking professionals in the legislative and regulatory processes at both federal and state levels.

Copyright © 2005 All Rights Reserved by OOIDA, Inc.
1 NW OOIDA Drive
Grain Valley, Missouri  64029
816-229-5791or 800-444-5791

Questions and comments should be directed to:
webmaster@ooida.com
OOIDA Privacy Policy