Professional trucking is an hours game. Most companies pay drivers by the mile, so truckers tend to log as much time as possible, without exceeding Hours-of-Service Limits. While this method of driving works to an extent, one mistake on the road can lead to a violation, and in turn, a day or more of lost time.
Currently, the Department of Transportation says a long-haul driver can only spend 11 hours behind the wheel during a 14-hour on-duty period. In addition, long-haul truckers must have 10 consecutive hours off before starting a new shift. Lastly, the regulations require any trucker driving for a period of eight hours or longer take at least a 30-minute break prior to reaching the eight-hour mark.
Although these rules are straightforward in concept, implementing them on the road is easier said than done, and factors such as traffic, vehicle maintenance, and weather can significantly slow down a productive workday. Over the course of the last few years, a number of trucking organizations and union groups have asked the government to ease regulations, and according to the Associated Press, the campaign is working.
On July 1, a spokesman for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration told reporters that the White House’s Office of Management and Budget is in the process of reviewing changes. Who knows, by the fall or winter, Hours-of-Service Limits could be a thing of the past.
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