Tag: hours of service

Hours of Service Rules Would Put Brakes on Trucking, Manufacturers, the Economy

The American Trucking Associations rounds up the critical reaction from business,  transportation, law enforcement and other groups to the Federal Motor Carrier Administration’s proposed rules of service for over-the-road trucking.

From “Variety of Groups Pan FMCSA’s Proposed Hours-of-Service Rule,” a selection:

Several of the proposed changes will create more difficulty for roadside inspectors and law enforcement officers to verify compliance . . . we believe the prudent course of action at this point would be to retain the current rules . . .” – Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance Executive Director Stephen A. Keppler.

“The proposed rule is not supported by existing safety and health data. . . . Advocacy recommends that FMCSA consider retaining its current regulations while conducting additional research to determine whether changing the current rules will meet the agency’s stated objective of improving safety, enhancing driver health and providing flexibility. . . The proposed rule would reduce flexibility and could actually impede safety and driver health.” –  U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy.

“. . . the reality that the current hours-of-service rules have been functioning well and safely since they were made effective in 2004 seems to argue that it is ill-considered and inappropriate to propose such complex changes to the current hours-of-service rules.” – Gregg Dal Ponte, administrator, Motor Carrier Transportation Division, Oregon DOT. (continue reading…)

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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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Rep. Coble: Lithium Battery Regs Could Cost Manufacturing Jobs

Thanks to Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC) for highlighting one of the lesser-known examples of regulatory overreach to come from the Obama Administration, the proposed rules governing air shipment of lithium-ion batteries. Rep. Coble cited the regulations during the Feb. 10 floor debate on H.Res.72, requiring House committees to review federal regulations.

Rep. Coble was discussing the rules proposed in January 2010 by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and Federal Aviation Administration, “Hazardous Materials: Transportation of Lithium Batteries.” The docket is PHMSA-2009-0095. here.

The National Association of Manufacturers has been active in the debate over battery shipments, and NAM President Jay Timmons cited the proposed rules during his testimony last week before the House Oversight Committee. In March, 2010, the NAM submitted the association’s comments to the agencies.

Rep. Coble said in his floor statement:

We have all heard the expression, Keep It Simple, Stupid, the KISS formula. Our government needs to do a better job of adhering to this phrase.

In the transportation sector, there are numerous examples where the regulatory process is burdensome and impedes private enterprise.

The Department of Transportation has regulations pending that classify lithium cells and batteries as hazardous materials. If implemented, this could create an impediment in getting batteries to consumers, the military, and government agencies. As a result, this could jeopardize manufacturing jobs in my district, jobs we cannot afford to lose.

(continue reading…)

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