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Office of Management and Budget gives Hours of Service critical review

IMPLEMENTATION delays are now appearing in controversial US federal Hours of Service (HOS) regulations that provide more mandatory rest periods and off-duty down-time than either truck drivers nor employers want

Office of Management and Budget gives Hours of Service critical review

IMPLEMENTATION delays are now appearing in controversial US federal Hours of Service (HOS) regulations that provide more mandatory rest periods and off-duty down-time than either truck drivers nor employers want

13 August 2019 - 19:00

IMPLEMENTATION delays are now appearing in controversial US federal Hours of Service (HOS) regulations that provide more mandatory rest periods and off-duty down-time than either truck drivers nor employers want.

Favoured by regulators, road safety lobbies and the Teamsters union, Hours of Service restrictions will add costs, putting trucks at a disadvantage vis-a-vis other modes of transport, reports New York's FreightWaves.



A White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) spokesman has confirmed that HOS regulations are still under review at OMB.



A top official within the Department of Transportation (DOT) said the new rules would reflect the Trump Administration's priority of 'common sense' regulatory changes that 'take away the heavy-hand of government where it does not help the private sector'.



Quick approval from OMB was expected, but now the comment does not end until September 16.



Given the delay, a final rule may not be rolled out before the end of the year. But even if a final rule isn't published until early 2020, an implementation date for changes made to the rules - which are usually three to six months later.



The advanced rulemaking generated over 5,200 comments including whether to expand the current 100 air-mile 'short-haul' exemption from 12 hours on-duty to 14 hours on-duty to be consistent with the rules for long-haul truck drivers.



Or whether to extend the current 14-hour on-duty limitation by up to two hours when a truck driver encounters adverse driving conditions.



Or whether to revise the mandatory 30-minute break for truck drivers after eight hours of continuous driving.



Or whether to reinstate the option for splitting up the required 10-hour off-duty rest break for drivers operating trucks that are equipped with a sleeper-berth compartment.



The Owner-Operators Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) requested allowing drivers up to three hours of off-duty time to extend the 14-hour on-duty window. OOIDA also requested having the 30-minute rest break eliminated entirely.



TruckerNation, whose members are mainly smaller carriers and operators, requested that FMCSA revise the 14-hour rule so that rather than being prohibited from driving after the 14th hour of coming on duty, the driver be allowed to drive as long as they had not accumulated 14 hours of on-duty time.


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