The American Trucking Assns. (ATA) is asking truckstops to make information packets about the proposed new Hours of Service (HOS) rules available to drivers who visit their locations. The packets include a letter truck drivers can sign and fax to the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA) protesting the proposed changes to the federal driver work and rest rules. Drivers would have to submit such comments to FMCSA by Feb. 28.

The truck stop initiative is one part of ATA’s effort to contest FMCSA’s Dec. 23 proposal to change the HOS requirements for commercial truck drivers. According to the truck lobby, adoption of the proposed rule would reduce the trucking industry's productivity and jeopardizes safety advances made in recent years.

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As it presently stands, FMCSA's proposal would reduce the maximum daily driving time by one hour, from 11 to 10 hours per shift; reduce the maximum daily working time by one hour to 13 hours by requiring drivers to take a 30-minute break every seven hours; and extend the 34-hour restart period, which allows drivers to “reset” their weekly clock for on- and off-duty hours, to include two overnight, six-hour rest periods between midnight and 6 a.m. It would also limit the restart to once every seven calendar days.

The National Private Truck Council (NPTC) noted at an industry luncheon hosted by ATA earlier this week that the proposed rule could translate into a 5 % to 7% cut in driver pay and a 15 % decline in fleet productivity. The council’s criticism echoes protests from numerous other sources.