Adding Costs, not Safety, via New Trucking Hours of Service Rules

In comments submitted to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s docket, the National Association of Manufacturers expresses opposition to the Obama Administration’s proposal announced last December to the rules governing truck hours of service substantially more burdensome. The NAM’s comments highlight the fact that current rules have proved enormously successful in achieving reductions in truck-related fatalities and truck accidents. 

Manufacturers see the proposed truck driver work rule as undermining the competitiveness of industry, a productivity-killer and last but not least, damaging to maintaining good customer service. Losing an hour of driving time, changing on-duty periods, mandating breaks at specific times in the driving cycle, changing the restart provision and other lost flexibilities will translate into higher consumer prices, especially during a time of higher fuel costs and economic recovery. 

Manufacturers believe that better enforcement of current rules would be a good start before we go down a path that will alter current supply chain practices, distribution patterns and just-in-time deliveries that we all have come to accept as common business practices.  Approximately 80 percent of shipments (by value) move by truck in the United States and FMCSA somehow neglected to factor regulatory impacts to the shipper community in its cost-benefit analysis.  We think that the proposed major revision of current rules is a step too far and not consistent with the President’s recent Executive Order on Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review.

The NAM’s comments are here.

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