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Does Rest bill modify HOS to relieve drivers or allow them to now work a 17 hour day?


In a recent Press Release_ Babin Introduces Legislation to Improve Hours-of-Service Regulations,  U.S. Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX-36), attempts to relieve truckers from the negative effects of the ELD mandate which went into enforcement mode on April 1st.

U.S. Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX-36

The ELD mandate has strong opposition among many professional drivers, including company drivers and owner operators.

ELD Mandate DOES affect ALL drivers

Included in the many complaints against the ELD mandate is the fact that drivers are paid by the mile and yet governed by the HOS clock.  That clock keeps ticking, no matter what. Delays, bad weather, traffic jams, loading docks, nothing matters.  If the driver isn’t moving, he’s not getting paid.
The ELD enforces the FMCSA HOS (Hours of Service)


ELD mandate- Congress MAP 21
According to FMCSA—-
The electronic logging device (ELD) rule – congressionally mandated as a part of MAP-21 – is intended to help create a safer work environment for drivers, and make it easier and faster to accurately track, manage, and share records of duty status (RODS) data. An ELD synchronizes with a vehicle engine to automatically record driving time, for easier, more accurate hours of service (HOS) recording.
In other words, ELD’s will keep drivers compliant and not allow them to drive more hours than allowed.

ELD’s DO NOT prevent truckers from working more than 70 hrs/wk

U.S. Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX-36), a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, introduced H.R. 5417 The Responsible and Effective Standards for Truckers (REST) Act, legislation that would modernize hours of service regulations for truck drivers.

The REST Act would allow drivers to take one rest break per shift, for up to three consecutive hours. The single off-duty period would not be counted toward the driver’s 14-hour, on-duty allowance and would not extent the total, allowable drive limits.

“I’m proud to introduce the REST Act today and give America’s truckers the options they need to safely operate under today’s rigid federal regulations,” said Rep. Babin. “This bill is an important step in making the way for improved highway safety.”

The REST Act requires the Department of Transportation to update Hours of Service regulations to allow a rest break once per 14-hour duty period for up to 3 consecutive hours as long as the driver is off-duty, effectively pausing the 14-hour clock.  However, drivers would still need to log ten consecutive hours off duty before the start of their next work shift.  It would also eliminate the existing 30-minute rest break requirement.

Theoretically it all sounds good. But when you evaluate the situation it makes you ask,
” Is this just adding another 3 hours to your day?”  Is the “rest bill” really allowing drivers time to “rest” without taking away from their 14 hour clock, or could they just use it while waiting at the docks?
Is it a way to give drivers more time to drive more hours to make more money?

TRUCKER WAGES  and the 14 hour clock are the PROBLEM 

If you are paid according to how many pieces you can produce while racing a clock that has no mercy on obstacles, it is an unsafe environment. When you add to that, being grossly underpaid (same wages as the 80’s) and not paid for waiting times, you create a desperate situation to drive as many miles as physically possible all while racing that 14 hour clock

The more unpaid hours you work, the less valued you are

1 If drivers were paid appropriately for all time and not just piece work wages , they could afford to rest anytime they’re tired. HOS does not prevent you from stopping to rest when you’re tired, the way you are paid and your low wages do.
2 When you are only paid for what you can produce, “wasting time” resting, just doesn’t seem that important.
3 The thought of losing time to “nap” when you’re tired is unheard of. Drivers already lose too many hours waiting at loading docks.

4 The fact that drivers are fighting for more hours to make a decent wage and would want to extend their day another 3 hours doesn’t make sense.
5 Truckers should be fighting for higher wages.
Note: If drivers were paid what they should be, based upon the rate of inflation since the 80’s. they would be making between 80-90cpm.

“More Flexibility or Higher Wages for Truck Drivers?” 

Here is a comment posted on the Rest bill Press Release by owner operator Les Willis:

I supported your efforts to bring about the demise of the ELD and to make it a choice for the American Trucking Professional. But i must break ranks here on this issue, as it effectively extends the duty cycle by 3 hours to a now whopping 17hrs. Totally ineffective and will change nothing.
The status Quo has always been, all inefficiency’s must fall into the drivers lap and all hours need NOT be compensated for services rendered. Mr. Babin, if you truly seek the change the Industry so badly needs, you should focus your efforts towards the F.L.S.A .and the Truck Driver classification as a piece work laborer.
Stop the Wage theft that is running rampant in our Industry. When you fix the non paid hours/ wage theft, everything else takes care of itself. All hours of the Duty Cycle must be compensated/remunerated at a rate comparable to the avg. per mile rate paid at time of dispatch/rate-con.
If paid on an hourly rate all hours over 40 must be paid at 1.5 times the hourly compensatory rate and all hours over 60 must be paid at 2.0 times the hourly compensatory rate. Stop beating around the bush and lets treat the root of the problem. There were many many reasons why the ATA/Carriers had a clear truthful argument against an hourly compensation. Today’s technological advancements negates their once logical arguments of no way to monitor productivity -Les Willis

H.R.5417 – To direct the Secretary of Transportation to issue or revise regulations enhancing flexibility in hours of service requirements for drivers of certain property carrying vehicles, and for other purposes.

Thank you Congressman Babin.

We want to Thank Congressman Babin for his interest and concerns for the truck driver community, there is not a long list of those who do.

Mr. Babin understood the concerns of drivers regarding the ELD mandate and stood up to the plate to delay the mandate for two years. On July 18th, 2017 he  introduced H.R.3282 – ELD Extension Act of 2017     The bill has not passed although it has 75 co-sponsors.

We have no doubt that Congressman Babin is sincere in his attempts to help drivers with their HOS and ELD concerns.  We believe that the truck driver wage issue must be addressed FIRST. If driver wages are brought up to what they should be, then H.R. 5417 could be feasible as the element of desperation to drive more miles would be eliminated.

© 2018, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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By: Allen Smith

Allen Smith is a 37 year veteran who started at an early age in a household goods family moving business. He began driving straight trucks in 1977 and moved to the big rigs in 1982. His experience within the industry includes; owner operator, company driver, operations manager, and owner of a long distance HHG moving business, taking many of the long haul moves himself when needed. Allen Smith, a truck driver advocate who is driven by the desire to help others succeed within an industry where injustice, unrewarded sacrifice, and lack of respect and recognition exists. Allen and his wife Donna are hosts of Truth About Trucking ”Live” on Blog Talk Radio. Other websites include AskTheTrucker, TruckingSocialMedia, NorthAmericanTruckingALerts, TruthAboutTrucking, and many Social Media websites. In 2011 Allen and Donna hosted the first Truck Driver Social Media Convention, designed to create unity and solutions for the trucking industry. This is now being extended through the North American Trucking Alerts network as those within the industry join forces for the betterment of the industry. Allen strongly supports other industry advocates who are also stepping up to the plate to help those who share honesty, guidance and direction. He believes that all those involved in trucking need to be accountable for their part within the industry, including drivers, carriers, brokers, shippers, receivers, etc… The list of supporters and likeminded people grow daily, networking together and sharing thoughts and ideas for the betterment of trucking. He has coined the popular phrase "Raising the standards of the trucking industry"

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2 Responses to Does Rest bill modify HOS to relieve drivers or allow them to now work a 17 hour day?. - Post a Comment

  1. clarence

    I am a driver for 33 years and have seen a big difference as far as the highways go. Mostly its NOT my fellow drivers causing all these accidents. 95% of the accidents are cars ,bikes and pickups that like to cut us off, not using there turn signals, following way to close, ones who like to slow up in front of us, being on the cell phones talking or texting. I have seen so much of this texting, talkin on the phone you would not believe.

    Also ones not moving over to let us on the highways as well. 5% yes it is a truck drivers fault and 100% is all the new drivers that have less then 3 years experience. They think they go to a driving school for a week or so get there license and wow I have my CDL and then they become a supper trucker. So!!!!! No matter what ya do with the ELD’s and HOS and all these changes to the logs it will have to go back to the training. Have to really make the training a lot longer, be with a Professional driver who has a great record and then have DOT do the main testing before they get there CDL. I would say have a Graduated Drives CDL before they get a regular CDL.

    I have a great idea but will not say it on here cause someone who will or would steal it. The 30 min is really a waste of time really but the clock deal is really a big problem as well. You are under a load and then have to get stuck at a Dis.Center and the clock keeps on going,a driver like my self sets there for say 5 hrs to get unloaded,then get dispatched to go pick up a load,get loaded then find a place to park to take my 10 but still have plunty of driving time yet but can’t drive cause my 14 clock will not let me do anything more.Then have a problem finding a spot to park which then is impossible cause all the spots taken up early. I have even complained about the 14 clock and that 30 min to my fleet managers as well.

    IF a driver does not have the responsibility to drive 10.5 hrs and take a 10 hr break and comply by the DOT Rules and Regs then they do not be a truck driver cause they do NOT have the skills to be one. tks for my speaking,

  2. Allen Smith

    POSTED by Pat Hockaday of TruckersUnited on Facebook-

    I Believe HR 5417 could be Good for Drivers.
    I agree, being able to STOP Driving could contribute to safety.
    OK, Drivers want to be able to PULL OVER and take a nap.
    They want to PARK to let rush hour or accident traffic clear.

    The primary purpose of this Bill is to give Drivers flexibility to STOP Driving, PULL OVER and PARK.

    For this Bill to be used to extend the working day in any other way affects Safety and contributes to the mistreatment of Company Drivers.

    If the Company Drivers are compelled to use this time to extend their day, wether voluntarily or per co. policy then the rest of us would be expected to follow suit.

    We will then find ourselves driving tired in traffic jams because our break time was spent at the shippers and receivers.

    We will also find ourselves competing against Un-Paid Company Drivers using the break to extend their workday per the boss so that the boss will have more production time to make Money off of.

    Waiting is a Job Duty that has to be preformed before the next Job Duty may be performed, PERIOD.
    To extend these Drivers workday up to 3hrs would be one thing if they were PAID for this time but as is, we would only be lowering our value because we would have More un-paid capacity in the market.

    We hear em shout “Don’t Haul Cheap Freight” and they turn right around and Make Cheap Freight Possible by adding un-paid capacity to the market.
    Does this make any sense at all???

    If HR 5417 is about Safety then it needs to be used to permit Drivers to STOP Driving, PULL OVER and PARK. This is the flexibility that Drivers want as I hear them tell it.

    If it is used any other way it does not contribute to Safety and it only Cheapens Us All!

    The only way I see that this Flexibility accomplishes the goal without hurting us is if it may only be used as follows;

    “Driving” – Rest Break up to 3hrs – “Driving” – “On Duty Not Driving” for post trip – “Sleeper” for 8hrs on a split OR “Off Duty” / “Sleeper” for 10hrs.

    I can cheat the Heck out of it as worded and if it was worded any other way.
    Honestly, I could cheat per this wording as well, under the right conditions.

    Do we want flexibility that gives us a little comfort on the job while contributing to Safety
    do we want to continue working More for Less while decreasing the Safety of our work environment???

    If this Bill is passed as written and safety declines, We The Drivers will forever be ignored.
    Think about it!!!

    Pat Hockaday (JoJo)

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