August 31, 2005
ASA informed its members that a new Hours-of-Service rule was issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The rule, which addresses the length of time commercial drivers can operate trucks before they are required to take a break, includes a change that may benefit many ASA members. Short-haul drivers, defined as drivers who do not need a commercial driving license and who operate within a 150-mile radius of their normal reporting location, must follow the HOS rules, but are not required to keep a log book and two days a week may work 16 hours rather than 14. However, employers are required to maintain and retain accurate time records for a period of six months showing the time the duty period began, ended, and total hours on duty each day for their short-haul drivers. The new rule keeps the 34-hour “restart” provision, which allows drivers to refresh their weekly work periods by taking 34 consecutive hours off duty. Also, the rule, which goes into effect Oct. 1, allows drivers to work 60 hours in a seven-day period or 70 hours in an eight-day period. The agency will conduct a transitional period of ''relaxed enforcement'' until Dec. 31. This information was reported by Kent & O'Connor, sponsored by the American Supply Association's Government and Public Affairs Program.