Like the movie with the same name, is the perfect storm brewing for the U. S. trucking industry? With the possibility of more than a quarter of a million truck drivers facing termination from their driving careers from the CSA 2010 initiative, coupled with the talk of changing the current HOS rules, is there a a catastrophic event heading straight toward professional drivers and trucking companies alike?
The hours of service rule for truck drivers could be looking at losing two hours of driving time, along with doing away with the 34 hour restart rule. The ATA and company CEO’s fear that these two aspects combined will reduce productivity among drivers. ATA Chairman, Tommy Hodges stated that the CSA 2010 will be a “free agency for drivers.” He went on to say, “a driver that knows he’s got a good record, he knows how to abide by the rules, and he knows and understands his value to your company, (is) going to come in and say, ‘look at my score, you’re going to pay me 50 cents a mile or I’m going to go to XYZ,’ and he will.” He went on to comment that productivity loss could be as high as 18 percent if the changes are indeed made.
No doubt that losing two hours of driving time and the 34 hour restart will change the way trucking companies operate, but could not adding additional time for rest also increase productivity by eliminating much of the “pushing of drivers” to run further and harder? The industry sees the loss of revenue coming by not being able to push their drivers beyond their physical and mental limits in order to get the freight delivered and move on to the next load. Are the industry leaders more concerned with the loss of dollars than the safety of their drivers?
Truck drivers operated under the former set of HOS rules for years and did just fine. The new HOS rules, if they occur, will basically return nearly as they were before. Is the industry fearful of losing their ability to push their drivers’ work loads, or more afraid of the good, safe and professional drivers gaining more control over their own careers?
© 2010, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.