The trucking industry is gearing up for the new safety initiative, now known as simply CSA. Discussion is abundant over the consequences to trucking companies and truck drivers, with estimates ranging between 100,000 and 300,000 as the number of truckers who will find themselves out of a job, and possibly, a career. As professional drivers, do you feel that this is an accurate assessment of the CSA or is it simply fear of the unknown?
If the numbers prove to be accurate, then this already jobless economy will worsen. With a true unemployment rate of 17% and 14.9 million Americans out of work, why the enforcement of CSA at a time of economic uncertainty?
One issue that has been swept under the rug, is the near certainty of changing the hours of service rules for the professional truck driver. Currently under review at the Office of Management and Budget, the final rules will not take effect until sometime in 2011. Well, 2011 is right around the corner.
If all goes as predicted, the 11 hour driving rule could be shortened to nine hours, the 14 hours would drop to 12, and the 34 hour restart rule will be history. Could such HOS changes be more serious than the CSA? Obviously, this will reduce the hours a driver may work and experts agree that it will actually shrink the capacity of the U. S. trucking industry. If these do become the new hours of service regulations, could it have much more impact on the industry than the CSA?
The Summer of 2011 is not that far away. Once we are underway with the implementation of CSA, the next storm for truck drivers and the industry will be the changing of the HOS rules.
© 2010, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.