The Department of Transportation's new Hours of Service rules went into effect on January 4th, and almost immediately, many of the large carriers started assessing detention charges. There are also issues about whether or not these detention fees will be discriminatory -- will Home Depot be charged the same as a wholesale distributor? Will the charges be accurate? Who's responsible for the delay? And many more.

Under the new rules, a driver's "on duty" hours now include any time he/she spends waiting to load and unload shipments. As a result, driver "free time" is now eliminated and carriers are charging for this time in addition to freight charges. These new regulations are expected to contribute to a reduction in truck capacity in all markets. Drivers will demand higher wages and carriers will, in turn, increase driver pay to help reduce the driver turnover rate within the trucking industry.

Congressman John Boozman (R-AR) has proposed an amendment to these rules that would do two things:

1) Allow short-haul operators to go back to the old rule, and

2) Provided limited flexibility to all operators under the new rule.

On behalf of ASA members, President Mark Theis wrote a letter to the members of the House Transportation Committee, urging them to support Congressman Boozman's amendment.

Likewise, an email and fax broadcast to ASA members last month urged them to each contact their Congressional representatives to support the measure.

To view a copy of ASA's letter, visit If you have questions or would like more information, contact ASA's legislative advocate, Pat O'Connor at or call 202-223-6222.