ATA files motion for delay in HOS changes

Citing the potential for “serious disruption to trucking operations,” the American Trucking Associations submitted a motion September 6 asking the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit for an eight-month stay of its mandate to eliminate the 11-hour daily driving limit and 34-hour restart provisions of the hours-of-service regulations. A July 24 court decision vacated the two HOS provisions, citing various procedural issues identified during the rulemaking process, but did not say that those rules were unsafe.

“The trucking industry and its customers could not instantaneously shift to an hours-of-service regime with a different daily driving limit and without the 34-hour restart. Rather, such a conversion would require months of preparation,” the ATA's motion said.

Changes would require retraining drivers and operating personnel, reprinting logs and other forms, reprogramming dispatching and electronic onboard recording software, re-engineering routes, addressing customers' issues, hiring new drivers, and purchasing new trucks to compensate for the loss of productivity.

In addition, vacating the two provisions would eliminate the only HOS provisions that partially offset the loss of productivity imposed by truckers and shippers by other HOS changes in 2005. These include the increase of the mandatory off-duty period from eight to 10 hours, the decrease of maximum on-duty hours from 15 to 14, and changes to sleeper berth requirements.

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