The MTGAA Petitioned the FMCSA to Amend the 34-Hour Driver Shift Schedule

“MTGAA has the following concerns and therefore proposes to reform the Hours of Service of Drivers, specifically the 34-hour reset, pending further studies regarding the effect the exemption will have on road safety, as well as uphold a fair and reasonable regulation for the truckers’ community”, says in a letter signed by “CJ” Sergey Karman, President of the Make Trucking Great Again Association.

First, the Hours-of-Service Final Rule (December 27, 2011) sole goal is to reduce excessively long work hours that increase the risk of fatigue-related crashes and long-term health problems for drivers. However, FMCSA’s data and statistics regarding 2011-2019 CMV facts recorded that only a tiny portion of less than 2% of large truck crashes showed driver impairment,  specifically fatigue, as one of the contributing factors that caused the road accident. On the other hand, an average of 96% of large truck crashes recorded no driver impairment-related factors.

Second, conclusions made in support of the 34-hour reset cited in the Hours-of-Service Final Rule and Discussion of Comment won’t be generalizable to all CMV drivers.

Third, Research has indicated that the new rule has increased drivers’ dissatisfaction during a time when there is a driver shortage and led to no changes in safety performance.

Fourth, truckers are paid by the mile, and when you limit them, they cannot produce and generate revenue for those families.

MTGAA fully supports and understands the importance of hours of service, but we also believe there is always room for improvement. Therefore, we recommend reforming the 34-hour reset, which appeared to have caused a significant impact on the truckers:

  • Productivity gets compromised.
  • Delivery schedules are affected.
  • Drivers get stuck on the road with 2-days unpaid hours.
  • Lesser time with their families.
  • More empty miles.

Now that the trucking industry is facing a significant impact caused by the unexpected fuel price hike. MTGAA suggests two options:

  1. Remove the mandatory 34-hour restart.
  2. Provide a longer cycle that will allow drivers 14 days of driving and spend the 34-hour restart in their home terminals.

MTGAA suggests revisiting the HOS policy, specifically the 34-hour reset, to create a better trucking community where no truckers would feel deprived of their needs without sacrificing the people’s safety, a community of drivers who can provide for their families and at the same time spend more time in their homes. 

Full text of petition can be found here.

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