March 2018

Overdrive Magazine | Trucking Business News & Owner Operator Info

Issue link: https://read.dmtmag.com/i/947211

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Voices channel 19 6 | Overdrive | March 2018 Visit Senior Editor Todd Dills' CHANNEL 19 BLOG at OverdriveOnline.com/channel19 Write him at tdills@randallreilly.com. A group of truckers took a Jan. 17 meeting with U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz to press concerns over the U.S. Department of Transpor- tation's electronic logging device mandate and the hours of service rule. Originally sought by Dave McCauley after he made contacts with Cruz's office during a trip he and other haulers made to D.C. early this year, the meeting also was attended by own- er-operators and drivers familiar to regular readers from Overdrive's coverage of October demonstrations in the capital and those in early December across the country. Topics also included parking and training, but hours and ELDs were central to much of the discussion. Shelli Conaway, speaking just after the meeting on the Hammer Lane Radio network online show on BlogTalkRadio. com, said Cruz and aides asked for further informa- tion to help assess potential future legislative efforts. The senator "wants us to come up with general ideas" for revisions to the hours of service, training protocols and parking fixes, Conaway said. New Hampshire-based hauler John Grosvenor said he came away with the impression that while Cruz generally was "very concerned" about issues presented by the ELD mandate, "he's not as con- cerned about repealing the mandate as he is about the hours of service rules. … Something's got to give." A few truckers in atten- dance, including Conaway, were associated with the "Monday Information" Facebook group, originally formed to coordinate state- by-state efforts during the grassroots ELD Media Blitz of Dec. 4. That group put out a call for hours revision ideas and released a poll on hours of service options. Results, intended to be shared with Cruz's office, showed respondents favored an option that would allow for a 70/80 hours cumula- tive limit in a 7/8-day peri- od and expand total drive/ on-duty hours possible to 16 in any 24-hour period, with splitting options and at least two off-duty hours. Grosvenor endorsed a simpler change — the no- tion of a "pause button" for the 14-hour on-duty clock. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is at- tempting to study the same idea in a Flexible Sleeper Berth Pilot Program. It would allow a small group of truckers to use a multi- tude of options between the currently allowed 8/2- hour split to break up the duty day. If such research showed no safety problems, it could further set the stage for hours revisions to allow greater flexibility. Yet in late October, when FMCSA put out a call for commentary on the study plan, the agency received fewer than 150 comments. The research request then went to the White House Office of Management and Budget, where it remains awaiting review and approval, said FMCSA spokesman Duane DeBruyne. The ability to pause the clock with mid-duty-period rest could combat pressure Grosvenor and plenty of others see building on driv- ers to maximize driving hours, often jeopardizing safety. No matter the situations ahead – on-highway acci- dents, bad weather, delays at shippers and receivers – "with a continuously running clock," he says, drivers are more likely to drive when otherwise a nap or other break might allow for the situation to resolve itself without hurt- ing the trucker's productiv- ity and income. Find more reporting from the January meeting via the Jan. 19 and 27 posts on the Channel 19 blog. Grassroots efforts persist on ELDs, hours " All they have to do is allow us as drivers to split the sleeper berth, which would stop our clock from running. Allow the professional driver to decide when he is sleepy, and not the clock. " — Markcus Davis, via OverdriveOnline.com From left: MyRiteLoad's Matthew Kane; truckers Doug Hasner, Joe Alfaro, John Grosvenor and Lisa Schmitt; Sen. Ted Cruz; truckers Shelli Conaway, Lee Schmitt, Dave McCauley and Brandon McCauley, all attendees of a January meeting on ELDs and hours concerns at Cruz's office in Washington, D.C.

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