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Friday, November 14 2008

While President-elect Obama seeks Socialism for the US, the final days of the Bush Administration want to put the O/O and small trucking companies out of business.  The government is playing trucker but the real trucking professional is suffering through it all with current fuel pricing, changing regulations and more and more regulations to put the small businesses out of business.  Sure WE all want safety on the highways but where is the line drawn?  EOBRs in ALL trucks is not the answer.  I written on this numerous times and I just do not agree.  Companies who seriously decline to follow HOS rules should be monitored until they gain compliance.  Permanent EOBRs, NO!!!!

HOS is not an across the board item.  One size does not fit all in this forum.  Again, I have said this and written on this issue over and over again.  What works for the OTR driver does not makes sense for the local worker.  The only way HOS is really going to be adhered to is when shippers, receivers and trucking company change their SOPs.  As long the industry remains “business as usual”; HOS compliance will go by the way side.  There will be implied compliance but never real compliance as long as unrealistic delivery schedules continue to be on the table.  Drivers incentivized by mileage cannot afford to be truly compliant.  The entire system needs to change before we can expect 100% HOS compliance.

Currently we can train the driver and dispatcher on the regulations.  The government can monitor for compliance but with realistic expectations.  Revampment of the industry, including the pay structure has to occur along with HOS that works for the driver type before real enforcement can take place.

President Bush is pushing for these changes along with stricter doctor and medical requirements and now the stopping distance issue.  Trucks are not created to stop short.  That in its self causes accidents.  Requiring proper adjustment on the brakes and good maintenance programs (PM) is a definite yes but again we need to insert realism not the fantasy world the lawmakers and special interest groups live within. 

With President-elect Obama’s ideas, how will he once again change all these regulations?  They do not fit into his Socialism lifestyle nor his ideas of full Unionism of the American workforce.  How many conflicting views can we have at once?  Who will ATA and OOIDA support?  More importantly, who will stand up for and support the trucker for they are the ones who will ultimately suffer in this botched dilemma?


White House clears hours-of-service rules
By Avery Vise

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration could publish the latest version of the hours-of-service rules in a matter of days. On Thursday, Nov. 13, the White House Office of Management and Budget completed its review of the regulations, which represent FMCSA’s third attempt at a rewrite of the regime that had stood for more than 60 years beginning in the late 1930s.

Details on the final hours rules, which respond to a July 2007 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, won’t be available until FMCSA publishes them in the Federal Register. In late December 2007, FMCSA issued an interim final rule holding the most recent regulations – including the challenged 11 hours of daily driving and 34-hour restart of cumulative work limits – in place pending another round of comments.

In addition, the Department of Transportation on Nov. 10 sent to OMB a draft final rule regarding electronic onboard recorders (EOBRs). Details on that regulation also will not be known until OMB completes its review and FMCSA publishes it in the Federal Register.

In January 2007, FMCSA proposed to require EOBRs on all trucks operated by carriers that had demonstrated a history of serious noncompliance with the hours-of-service rules. The agency also proposed new performance standards for EOBRs manufactured two years after the effective date of a final rule. In addition, FMCSA would encourage industrywide use of EOBRs by offering certain regulatory and enforcement relief.

On Nov. 3, DOT also sent to OMB the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s regulation concerning reduced stopping distance for truck tractors equipped with air brake systems. NHTSA published its proposal in December 2005 after years of deliberation.

The regulations are among dozens of rules the Bush administration is pushing to finalize in the wake of Barack Obama’s election on Nov. 4. Given their economic significance and potentially political nature, the hours-of-service and EOBR regulations are undoubtedly the highest priorities among rules directly related to motor carriers. Other FMCSA documents pending at OMB are final rules regarding intermodal equipment, new entrant fitness and medical certification; and a proposed rule to establish a National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.

Source: CCJ Magazine

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