Truckers may soon need to shorten hours
Truckers would be allowed to drive 10 hours a day, rather than the current 11, under a proposed rule change.
February 18th, 2011
03:00 PM ET

Truckers may soon need to shorten hours

The number of hours that truckers can drive each day may soon be cut.

The U.S. Department of Transportation is considering a rule change reducing the time allowed on the road by an hour. Current rules allow truckers to spend 11 hours behind the wheel per day, with some limited exceptions.

If the department approves the rule change, it would take effect in July. The agency believes reducing trucking hours would make for safer highways.

Insurance groups are supporting the change. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a nonprofit research group funded by companies such as Geico, Allstate and Progressive, cites drowsy truckers as a significant cause of highway accidents.

The American Trucking Associations oppose the rule change, noting that government statistics indicate fatal accidents involving truckers have declined

Meanwhile, long-distance truckers such as Lance Wilke and Debbie Savage oppose the rule change.

"Driving is dangerous, no matter who is behind the wheel," Savage said.

"We're out here trying to make a dollar. The fuel is high and ... private interest groups are stepping in there and messing with something they shouldn't be messing with," Wilke said.

"If you saw what we saw," Savage continued, "half the people on the roads would lose their license."

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Filed under: Business • Politics
soundoff (59 Responses)
  1. Philip

    @Sherri W.W...hey there. All this time and I never knew you were a trucker. I'll be darned. I was kinda forced into getting my class 1 (back in the day) The outfit I was working for decided they could save a few bucks by having their equipment operators truck the equipment rather than pay to have it done. Some of us operators had no business behing the wheel of an 18 wheeler, yet were licensced, not by the State...but by a member of the corporation who had the State's permission to 'sign-off' on drivers so they could skip going to the DMV . Anyway, cool yer a trucker. "Roll on big mama" he he

    February 19, 2011 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
  2. Jack

    My father was a truck driver in the 40's and 50's and I worked in a truck garage (and for a Trailmobile dealer) in the 50's. It's a lot different today in both the equpment and rules. But, many have to put put with the dispatcher that tells them a load has to be at a destination by an unrealistic time. If the driver wants their job the load usually gets delivered by the designated time. Dual log books for many are a way of life.

    I do have an issue with the drivers who think the Interstates were built just for their trucks and no other vehicles.

    February 19, 2011 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
    • H. E. Vincent

      Dual log books are for the retarded and willful that want to make excuses Jack. I have millions of miles, and I have NEVER given in to that, and I never will. We now run on "E-logs" (at this company" and I am glad. If a dispatcher were to try to push me past the limit; I have an accident- I would go to jail- they would go to jail- period! Company would be liable for millions, so it just doesn't happen, and that is a good thing because I haul things that either, bite, burn, or go boom!
      Now about that last sentence... Go ahead and have an issue. But before you have it, please refer to the original purpose of the "Eisenhower Interstate System", and how it was financed. I won't tell you. You need to find that out for yourself from historical records.

      February 19, 2011 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
  3. banasy

    Uh huh. The Interstates also have signs that say "trucks use right lanes only", but are completely ignored. Altruistic as the original Eisenhower Interstate Project might have been, it didn't account for all of the growth of traffic, both big rig and passenger. So PLEASE just acknowledge that there are both views that are valid! Portraying driver stupidity as only being a passenger car driver's problem and not the trucking industry's also is short sighted, and just...stupid! And although *you* say have never used dual logs, the fact everyone knows of them says that they are, in fact, in existence. If they are for just for the retarded, then there are a *lot* of retarded drivers out there, wouldn't you say? Doesn't that kind of validate people's perception of *why* they think change is needed?

    February 19, 2011 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • H. E. Vincent

      Those short-sighted signs about the lane useage is just that- short-sighted and more than a little asinine as it causes serious problems. Think not?!? Then try this- try putting your finger through a rotating fan blade with 80K lb blades and sharp edges. That is a very close analogy to cars jumping in front of trucks at the last second to exit. Those signs are there because most pro drivers do not vote, and for no other reason. If they voted, raised Hell with their reps, those sign would go away, just California's did about "right lane only" on 4-6 lane roads. As for the stupid driver part. You, unfortunately are right in part. Someone has been perpetuating the "cowboy" image out there and it sucks. A very large percentage of the "professional drivers" out there shouldn't be in charge of a dog cart as they would just confuse a perfectly good dog. Now, let us assess just whose fault that is. That is YOUR fault for being a part of the cheaper-faster-cheaper-faster Wal-Mart express society. If you want real professional drivers out there, then be willing to pay somewhere around 35% more for the goods and services you want. I don't work cheap for you or anyone else. I make a pi@#pot of money because I am a.) experienced- b.) damned good at it- c.) I do my work on time, consistently, with as much care and safety as I can pull together, and I have family out there too- d.) And I haul a lot of things that will burn, bite, just go boom, or two or more of the aforementioned. If you want quality out there, then you get in line and insist on longer, better training for the "people" behind the whell of those rigs. If you aren't willing to pay, and you aren't willing to put your money where your mouth is- then just go sit quietly in the corner and leave us alone because you deserve what you get. If you want welfare drivers, then just keep going as you are. I worked 9 1/2 months last year (cancer problem). After taxes, insurance, 401K, road expenses, etc I BROUGHT HOME $73K. If you want quality bubba- PAY FOR IT! (or I and others like me can just go home and let you see what the alternatives are like) P.S. Our company only hires by direct referral from current drivers. 10 yrs+ experience OTR- three+ tank experience. Get the picture?

      February 19, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • H. E. Vincent

      An addendum;
      Yes "I" am telling you I have NEVER used multiple logs and will tell anyone that does here, and directly to their faces that they are a willfully careless, ignorant, retarded piece of worm crap. I have caught people doing that and made VERY sure that they got a visit from someone with a badge and a citation pad ASAP. I have gone so far as to testify against them in court. That stuff is why those 7 or 8 kids in a station wagon were killed in Florida. There is always that jerk-off that thinks – "Oh I can handle it". "Don't worry 'bout me hand". I not worried "'bout them", just everyone else. When you are messing with your logs around here, you are messing with my family and I WILL make sure you suffer the consequences if I catch you at it. I am VERY glad we went to electronic logs, even though it is going to eventually drive up everyone's cost-of-living by a high rate. By the way. My per/mile rate is going up by at least 12% this year. How is your income doing with all this "hope and change"?

      February 19, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  4. RUFFNUTT

    i knew time travel was possible... leave it to the truck drivers to figure it out..

    February 19, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  5. RUFFNUTT

    how many minutes are going to be in the new hours anyways?

    February 19, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  6. banasy

    Uh....H.E.,that was in Illinois, and the guy responsible for it is in jail. I am not attacking *you* or any single ethical driver, for that matter. And I would thank you to quit attacking *me*, also. I was merely pointing out that there was a post saying that no truckers use dual logs, and the fact is, unethical drivers do, perpetuated by unethical companies. So please take a look in the mirror *yourself*, and stop being so defensive when there was not any insult to *you*, personally. I get that you're ethical. I wish all truck drivers were, but they're not, WHICH IS WHY WE'RE DEBATING THE TOPIC OF THIS THREAD!!!!!
    Your information is informative, but your insulting nature is just...insulting.

    February 19, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
  7. RUFFNUTT

    i hate big trucks.. thats why i always slam my brakes in front of them then take off.. or sit right beside them so they cant get over ....

    February 19, 2011 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Trucker Kid

      RUFFNUT you sound like that one car driver I saw that had gotten decapitated by a 18 wheeler and then burned alive.... The car driver slammed on their brakes and the trucker was looking in his right side mirror at the time... by by car driver.

      May 31, 2011 at 2:18 am | Report abuse |
  8. stewey

    Hey H.E., go buy your own tractor and see if you can get by with one log book and make a living.

    February 19, 2011 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • H. E. Vincent

      Did that for about 13 years. Every time I got a driver trained they would either buy their own or decide that driving wasn't for them. It was harder keeping good drivers than doing anything else, but I couldn't blame anyone for wanting to go on their own if they could. For every good driver I could find, there were at least 20 people that shouldn't have been there to begin with for one reason or another. There several type of economies. Economy of Efficiency being just one, but the one I needed most. Without belabouring a point, the bad or incompetent far outweighs the good or excellent. I finally sold the tractors and said let the Economy of Size take over. It did, and the rate of turnover is over 74% in the industry as the companies out there recycle trash. Niche markets are not that common. As for ruffnutt-ball. There are ways to handle people like that. But, that requires a bit of cooperation between pros, and there aren't all that many of those out there. Stewey- get a life!

      February 19, 2011 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
  9. RUFFNUTT

    anyways truckers think they own the road.. now they think they own our hours and can shorten them any way they seem fit.

    February 19, 2011 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • william Apperson

      hit your brakes in front of me and see what happens !!!!!!!!!!!!

      March 1, 2013 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  10. George

    Drove trains with hot rolled one summer to make money for university. I still can easily drive my A motor home 10 hours a day and I have great respect for our transport drivers. Almost everything I have came in whole or in part on 18 wheels. I think the issue, as in airline pilots, is the restedness of the driver. Thus adequate time between runs is what the guys and gals need. See RUFFNUTT above likes to slam his brakes on in front of tons of truck. There is a guy to get off the road. I rolled a load trying to avoid one of these idiots. Fotunately a State trooper was under the underpass 1/2 mile ahead and the guy was put in handcuffs after the state trooper assisted me out of the rig. I locked up and swerved to not kill him!

    February 19, 2011 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • RUFFNUTT

      how is that the guys fault.. you were following to close..

      February 19, 2011 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
  11. czar-castick

    That's an extra hour they will get to play around in the Truck Stop bathrooms...the STD rate is about to go WAAaaay Up!!! Just give them all some meth, err, wait, they already are on that.

    February 19, 2011 at 11:11 pm | Report abuse |
  12. rumrunner

    the proposed new rules are ill-conceived by people without intimate knowledge of this industry. the current rules are just fine. l8 yrs experience here. lO-4 !

    February 20, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Trucker Kid

    Ruffnut.. highway patrols all over the country are now giving out huge tickets to any car that is too close to a big rig... oh and i responded to one of your post above.

    May 31, 2011 at 2:20 am | Report abuse |
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