19 Jun 2013

New Hours of Service: What You Need to Know

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As some of you may already know, as of July 1 (2013) the Hours of Service laws will be drastically changing our industry. Here at Reliant Transportation, we want you to stay as informed as possible, to make sure you stay loaded and rolling.

As of July 1 there are three major changes in HOS laws that will affect you and your business. The first one is the NEW REST BREAK REQUIREMENT. Under this rule, every driver will have to take a full half hour break every 8 hours. (The time cannot be split up and must be a full half hour off duty.) It is dependent on the driver’s judgment when and where this break is taken BUT once the break is taken, the driver has 8 hours of driving before another full half hour break is required. Drivers need to be mindful of when they take their breaks so they don’t lose a full of daily service.

The second major change is in regards to the 34-HOUR RESTARTS. While under the old law there were no specific rules about how many times a week or what times you could restart, beginning July 1 there will be regulations stipulating both.

~   Once you have taken a 34 hour restart, you cannot start another one for 168 hours (exactly 1 week).

~   During a 34-hour restart, you must now have two 1 am-to-5 am periods regardless of when the restart was started. (This means depending on when the restart began, it could last several hours longer than just 34 hours)

The third change will affect the HOURS OF SERVICE. In a 7/8 day period the hours of service limit will fall and only allow for 60/70 hours of operating time. After the maximum is reached, a 34 hour restart will be required as it always has been.

What this means is that from here on out, it becomes pertinent for drivers to plan as much as possible in advance. A failure to be aware or adhere to the new rules and regulations will cause financial ramifications for everyone. Any violation of 3 or more hours under the new rules will be considered an “egregious violation” and could cause a fine of up to $11,000 and the driver could face a $2,750 civil penalty for every offense.

The Long & the Short of it:

To make up for the loss of service hours of the driver and to keep up with the demand of the customers, companies will be forced to add additional drivers to offset the loss of revenue & thereby, “..adding trucks on the road at peak times, and leading to increased congestion and longer delivery lead times.” This will increase the overall costs of trucking in general. “All of these changes (will) lead to increased costs throughout the supply chain.” (According to the Amicus Curiae of the petition by the American Trucking Association to the US Court of Appeals.)

What it really boils down to is knowledge and planning. The more we know now, the better prepared we are when the changes are enacted. Reliant Transportation is ready and willing to tackle these changes head on and continue the unparalleled service you are used to without pause or interruption. Over the next several months, we are looking forward to working with everyone to recreate a new balance in the world we share. We are dedicated to helping our industry look to the future and our commitment to quality customer service will minimize the impact to your supply chain.  But we will need your help; spread the word, tell your friends. Companies who are unprepared will be left with a very expensive headache. The time and money you invest now will save your future! Education of all the new rules and regulations will pay significant dividends in the end to those who are prepared now.

We are happy to chat or answer any questions you have regarding the new rules and regulations.

Please comment and share, we look forward to chatting with you.

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