It’s back to the drawing board for a federal agency attempting to re-write regulations for truck-drivers. A truckers group based in Missouri is very interested in what that agency decides.
Executive Vice President Todd Spencer with the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association of Grand View is disappointed with the court ruling against regulations created by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, even though he doesn’t care for all the regulations it wrote. Spencer is optimistic the agency will get it right a second time.
Spencer favors one change the court says the agency didn’t properly support: allowing truckers to get back behind the wheel after a 34 hour break from a week of work, the so-called 34-hour restart. Current rules force a two-and-a-half day rest after working 60 hours in seven days of 70 hours in eight days. Spencer says such rules are ludicrous, creating situations such as truckers being 50 miles from home, but having to wait two-and-a-half days before ending their journey.
The association would like the FMCSA to address other issues as well. Spencer says the federal government doesn’t even recognize the time truckers have to take to load and un-load their freight. He says that causes more trucker fatigue than long hours behind the wheel. The court also ignored the sleeper berth portions of the regulations. Current rules require dual drivers, when resting in the sleeper berths, to stay for a full eight hours. Spencer says that requirement forces the driver behind the wheel to drive for eight hours. He says most drivers like to break up their driver every four to five hours.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is advising truckers to continue operating under the current rules despite the court ruling.