August 2018

Overdrive Magazine | Trucking Business News & Owner Operator Info

Issue link: http://read.dmtmag.com/i/1009508

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Page 9 of 67

Voices channel 19 8 | Overdrive | August 2018 Visit Senior Editor Todd Dills' CHANNEL 19 BLOG at OverdriveOnline.com/channel19 Write him at tdills@randallreilly.com. In April I wrote about the folks with the recently minted "Trucker Nation" group and their plans with John Allen and Life on the Roads for an hours of service proposal. Last month, one of the group's modera- tors, Andrea Marks, posted their peti- tion for rulemaking to the "ELD or Me" Facebook group where the org started. It would enable more flexible sleeper splits in the HOS rule. The change would allow for any three-hour off-duty period to be used in tandem with a corresponding pe- riod of at least seven hours to make up the required 10 hours off-duty for the day. Other split options also would be available. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration seems to be moving slowly toward a potential change of the split-sleeper variety and has seemed so for some time. There's no formal word on this, but I've heard that the split-sleeper flexibility study they're planning finally was out of the White House Office of Manage- ment and Budget, having received approval to proceed, and that DOT is putting final touches on it before recruiting participants. Other orgs, including the Own- er-Operator Independent Drivers Association with its petition (later put in proposed legislation) for a three- hour, 14-hour-clock pause button, have contributed to an hours focus in the wake of the electronic logging device mandate. Nonetheless, for all the hours attention, it's the ELD mandate rule that continues to get the ire of many. Owner-operator Linda Tellstworth of California responded to Max Heine's Overdrive Extra blog post on blockchain technology, in which he wrote that "much of the remaining opposition" to e-logs "is based on losing the productivity edge that came from minor fudging to grab a few extra miles and resolve the ab- surd technicalities of how the hours of service rule plays out in real life." Tellstworth noted, though, that she wants relief from the nickel-and-di- ming of small operators whose bedrock equipment and fuel costs continue to climb. She runs with her authority, using brokers, and she's been behind the wheel for most of four decades. She believes that an ELD rep- resents at best another cost to add to all the rest. "To put these logs in, I have to buy the equipment, then hire someone at $165 an hour to put them in, then I have to pay a compa- ny $40 a month to monitor them." ELD costs vary widely, but you get the point. Tellstworth continues, "I am get- ting over cancer, so I haven't worked in a couple years but am now ready to go back. To keep myself exempt from putting ELDs in, I will work only eight days a month." She envisions an executive order from President Trump to exempt small operations with eight or fewer trucks. OOIDA board member and small- fleet owner Monte Wiederhold says it won't happen. "His transition team knew about the mandate and chose to do nothing about it, instead choosing to go along with ATA," a staunch sup- porter of ELDs. However, Wiederhold says, "I feel certain if H.R. 5948 got to his desk, he'd sign it." That legislation, introduced in bipartisan fashion earlier this year and referred to the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, would exempt operations with 10 or fewer power units from the mandate. A petition for split-sleeper rulemaking emerges " The whole problem with the ELDs and the small business is exactly like the woman from California said it was: the cost of the whole process, not to mention the added stress to the driver's life. FMCSA has tried to improve the rules for years. They took away our split-sleeper berth. Why? That definitely was a safety issue. The restart was good, but the rest of this crap they are try- ing to improve has nothing to do with safety. It's just a cure for their paperwork problems. " — Todd Schultz Read the entire "Trucker Nation" petition for rulemaking to revise the hours for service for more flexible sleeper splits via links to download in the July 10 post on the Channel 19 blog.

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