Well Drivers, The July 01, 2013 implementation date of the new DOT / FMCSA hours of service rules has taken effect and been in place for one full week as of the writing of this blog post.
I wish I were able to report that this has some benefit to drivers or to the public but sadly, in calculating the numbers, it will cost the trucking industry as a whole billions of dollars. Of course, FMCSA will have their lobbyist cronies show that this has made the industry more money, made drivers safer, thus giving them the ability to get a much larger budget windfall for keeping the roads safe. ABSOLUTELY FALSE with no data to back it up.
The new regulations state that any driver must take a 30 minute break logged off duty, either at or prior to the completion of 8 hours on duty. This sounds good on its face, however, it has taken another half hour away from the 14 hour clock that starts and cannot be stopped from the time that you go on duty until you log off duty or in the sleeper.
But wait, lets go on into this prior to crunching the numbers so everyone sees the real cost in both dollars and safety.
The FMCSA also changed the sleeper birth provision from 34 consecutive hours off resetting the 70 hours per week you are allowed to work to 34 hours off only once in 7 calendar days but requiring it to contain at least two sleep periods from 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. which means that, depending on what time your end of duty starts, it can take as long as 48 hours now to get your 34 hour restart.
This means MILLIONS of wasted hours away from home per year that we as drivers will have to suck up the loss on.
As of today, according to FMCSA, there are 3.5 million regulation truck drivers in the continental United States, meaning that the 30 minute mandated break alone will cost 1.75 million hours for every 8 hours worked by Americas Drivers.
Now, the 34 hour restart provision will cost drivers at least 12 hours out of a 7 day period for over the road drivers. So think about this, 12 hours per week X 3.5 million Drivers = 42,000,000 (yes forty two million) lost work hours per 7 days.
So, the 30 minute break provision will cost each individual driver 182 work hours per year and the 34 hour restart provision will cost each driver a minimum of 12 hours per week for a total of 624 hours per driver we will lose per year per driver.
This translates to a potential loss PER DRIVER of 806 hours per year.
If this doesn’t anger all of us enough to pull us together and shutdown, strike, slowdown, I don”t know what will.
My first suggestion is that we have an all out boycott of California, Florida, and New York. A few weeks of billions of dollars in produce rotting in wharehouses may make someone look at this again.
For all of you who say we cant afford to do this, figure out what as many as 806 more hours per year of sitting without pay does to your family.
We cant afford not to!!!!!