Canadian Trucking Alliance, Teamsters Reach HOS Agreement

Oct. 17, 2001
The Canadian Trucking Alliance and Teamsters Canada announced October 15 that they had reached an agreement on a common position on proposed changes to

The Canadian Trucking Alliance and Teamsters Canada announced October 15 that they had reached an agreement on a common position on proposed changes to the Canadian commercial vehicle driver hours of service rules.

The agreement revolves around capping the maximum number of hours drivers could operate their vehicle within a single shift. The two organizations would like to see this limit set at thirteen hours.

The proposal currently waiting review by a Commons committee doesn’t distinguish between hours worked and hours driven and consequently makes it technically possible to drive for 14 consecutive hours.

According to CTA chief executive officer David Bradley, the CTA/Teamsters amendment would reflect true operational realities. "With pre-trip inspections and other required duties, it would be virtually impossible for a driver to operate his rig for 14 consecutive hours," said CTA chief executive officer David Bradley. "But there is no doubt that this issue has raised concerns among the public; our proposal would serve to set the record straight."

Teamsters Canada president Robert Bouvier said he was pleased CTA and Teamsters Canada agreed on the matter of daily driving limits.

In a joint communique sent to Canada’s ministers of transport, the two organizations state that they will now be able to put forward a common position on the proposed revisions to the commercial vehicle drivers hours of service rules.

Specifically, the two organizations agree that the distinction between driving and the performance of other work should be maintained for purposes of setting limits on a driver’s time on duty; a driver should accumulate no more than 14 hours on duty before taking at least 8 consecutive hours off duty, provided also that a driver takes at least 20 hours off duty within a 48-hour period; within this 14-hour on-duty period, no more than 13 hours should be spent driving; all other elements of the proposed revisions to the hours of service standard, as detailed in the November 1999 discussion paper prepared by Transport Canada on behalf of the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA), should be enacted into regulation by governments at both the federal and provincial levels at the earliest opportunity.

"This agreement is good news for professional drivers, for motor carriers and for motorists who share the road with truckers," said Bouvier. "Highway safety is a serious issue and this proposal, if accepted, will address many concerns."

Both organizations will now jointly push for adoption of the agreed upon changes as well as of the amended CCMTA proposal when the Commons Transport Committee begins its public hearings this fall.

Federal Transport minister David Collenette, earlier this year asked the Committee to hold hearings on the proposals.

"This agreement is an important step forward in favour of an hours of service regime that is vastly superior to the existing one, and which will enhance the working conditions and quality of life of Canadian truck and bus drivers," said Bouvier.

Teamsters Canada represents approximately 105,000 workers throughout Canada. The Canadian Trucking Alliance is a federation of the seven provincial and regional trucking associations and represents some 4000 carriers across the country.