Trucking reps hit hours plan

The title, “Do Not Enter: How Proposed Hours of Service Trucking Rules are a Dead End for Small Businesses,” summarized the June 14 U.S. House subcommittee hearing.

The Small Business Committee Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations heard testimony from trucking company leaders against the HOS Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

Subcommittee Chairman Mike Coffman, (R-Colo.) convened the hearing to explore the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s proposal. It would reduce the daily driving limit, decrease the maximum on-duty time limit, require mandatory breaks and change the current 34-hour restart provision.

Truck-related crashes have dropped more than 40 percent since the current HOS rules were implemented in 2003. But the FMCSA created the “complicated and cumbersome” NPRM, based on outdated truck-related crash figures, Coffman said.

“Even more disturbing is that it is estimated that there will be a cost of $2.5 billion annually on the industry if the proposed hours of service regulations are finalized,” he said.

James Burg, president of James Burg Trucking Co. and an American Trucking Associations board member, said the proposal would restrict productivity and increase congestion and emissions. It would force Burg to add drivers and trucks, making it necessary for his 75-truck Michigan-based company to try and increase retained earnings by between 20 and 25 percent.