in 2011, the fmcsa announced changes to the hours-of-service (hos) rules for commercial truck drivers. hos rules define when and how long commercial drivers are allowed to drive in a given period of time. some provisions of the hos final rule became effective february 27, 2012; others will on july 1, 2013.
greer woodruff, senior vice president of safety and security, explains j.b. hunt's position on the final rule: "fmcsa's final rule will have a negative impact on productivity. we are currently evaluating the impact of the final rule on various segments of our operations to determine more specific productivity and safety implications."
click the "hours of service" link on the right to view a one-page summary of the hours of service regulations.
on june 6, 2014, as part of the funding for the department of transportation fiscal year 2015 budget, the senate appropriations committee has proposed suspending portions of the 34-hour restart provisions of the hours of service (hos) rules for one year. the house transportation and infrastructure committee is currently working on a companion bill. once the senate and the house have approved their versions, a conference committee composed of both senate and house members will negotiate a unified bill to be presented to the senate and house for passage. if the bill is approved by both the senate and the house, it will then go to the president for his signature and become effective.
while the senate version contains language suspending provisions of the 34-hour restart, there are many steps remaining in the approval process that could lead to it being removed. if the language is retained, the negative impact of the july 2013 hos rule change will be reduced. however, it will not be totally negated. the 30-minute rest break requirement is not part of the suspension. carriers will incur costs to modify dispatch and safety management systems to accommodate the revised hos rules. also, drivers will have to undergo limited training to ensure they are familiar with the changes. additionally, because the suspension is for only one year, carriers will likely be required to modify systems and retrain drivers again within the next 12-18 months.