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Wall Street vs FMCSA

Sep 06, 2018 at 09:45 PM CST
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Tomorrow Mr. Martinez from the FMCSA will be on XM Sirius,( the official radio network for the ATA), trying to persuade truckers to comment on changing HOS. It appears that Wall Street is winning the war. Prior to the ELD mandate, FMCSA was completely unwilling to look at changing HOS. But now that rates are going up since the ELD mandate, they are begging us for support to change them, and citing this study from ATRI? How many of you think they would be doing this if rates wouldn't have went up dramatically? Our entire economy was built around the trucker donating his time for free at the loading docks. Well now they want to keep a piece rate pay structure in place, and limit our productivity with a electronic device that ties our hands? So we have no choice but to charge higher rates, which is why any Change they come up with is meaningless. As long as there is a ELD in place, rates will continue to go up.
Replied on Thu, Sep 06, 2018 at 10:42 PM CST
Hi Dave. I have no love for the ATA; however, I did write to Martinez this past weekend in response to notification that he was seeking additional input from drivers, etc. With my 43 years experience I expressed my views on the too restrictive H.O.S. with comments regarding the grocery industry as the worst offenders of delaying drivers, which I doubt will ever change. As much as I dislike the ELD it will still show the number of hours a driver is detained and should also be documented in the remarks. Of course, it sometimes takes a lawyer to collect demurge charges from these folks, but maybe this gadget will make things easier.

On the hole, there definately needs to be some relaxing of the rules to give drivers/companies a bit more flexibility. The mandatory lunch break requirement is a good thing, for example. However, being off duty should not go against the 14 hour clock.

This will probably fall on deaf ears, considering the "experts" in D.C. don't care. It does not effect them and they can take as long of a luch as they want to. Whether it includes one Martini or two Martunies.
Replied on Sat, Sep 08, 2018 at 10:23 PM CST
HOS is definitely screwed up, but the real problem is the rates. Out of 3.5 million trucks on the road every day, the average trucker is only able to actually drive 7 hours. So on a 14 hour day, only half is actually generating revenue, in a piece rate pay structure that pays by the mile. With that much time being wasted at loading docks, any change to HOS is meaningless, as long as we have a piece rate pay structure in place, and a ELD creating a electronic record. It's a fantasy to think shippers and receivers will ever change their ways, and stop wasting the truckers time. And without a government agency like the ICC to enforce and collect detention pay, the only recourse we truckers have is to charge a very high rate per mile, so if FMCSA is changing HOS to try and drive rates down, it will never work. Despite the fact that FMCSA has been doubling down on safety and compiance, the accident rates are going up, Just like the freight rates, so it wouldn't surprise me if they wound up being replaced like the ICC was, which would explain why they are so eager to try and fix this mess.