Wait and See: That’s what some in the trucking industry appear to be thinking as they observe the implications of the new hours-of-service regulation that went into effect January 4. The issue was discussed at the Transportation Club of Houston TX meeting January 13. Cliff Harvison, National Tank Truck Carriers president and guest speaker at the meeting, said he expects the new rule to greatly impact the tank truck industry in general and its productivity in particular. But he added, it will be a month or two of operating under the new rule before the true implications are realized.
Bill Webb, Texas Motor Transportation Association president, said in a morning seminar on the HOS rule that new regulations affecting the use of the sleeper berth also impacts productivity, which could result in a driver having to shutdown at a shipper’s location.
Harvison, Webb, and other speakers urged carriers to educate their drivers about the new rule, consult with shippers to find ways to expedite loading, and address the issues involving the logistics in getting product from shipper to customer.
Although the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issue a statement that carriers would be granted a 60-day grace period to gear up for the new rule, carriers should be aware that some law enforcement officers may choose to enforce the regulation immediately, said Jeff Tippit, La Porte TX police department, who discussed enforcement at the morning seminar.