Trump Administration to Ease Rules on Truckers’ Maximum Hours on Road

By Richard Lardner | July 3, 2019

  • July 3, 2019 at 11:26 am
    Boonedoggle says:
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    Meanwhile. insurers who write trucking risks remain totally silent about extending allowable driver’s hours of service. Commerical auto lines must be extremely profitable.

    • July 3, 2019 at 9:50 pm
      OpPolaResearch Bear says:
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      Commercial auto insurers can decide what to do with trucking risks after this regulatory rollback based on their risk appetite. I assume there is some positive sloped relationship between hours on the road and accident frequency. However, there are likely to be points where the ‘curve’ is relatively flat…. up to a point where it increases greatly. Trucking firms are going to consider their WC cost implications in deciding on how many hours driving per day or week is too much, not auto accident frequency and auto insurance premiums alone.

      • July 8, 2019 at 3:58 pm
        ??? says:
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        I’ll have to disagree with you slightly.. I don’t think many trucking firms will be greatly influenced by their WC numbers at all.. Their industry is heavily lacking in a workforce. the driver shortage is impacting a great number of these companies. They have all the work in the world, and would be running as much and as often as possible since they are working on such small margins. In addition to that, many of these companies have come to rely on owner operators, who will pay (pass thru or not) their own WC premium. Many are also finding alternative ways of insuring that exposure with occ acc coverages.

    • July 8, 2019 at 10:43 am
      Chris says:
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      Anyone writing commercial auto know that’s not true. Auto is a loss leader with trucking leading the way. Carriers are dropping like flies. I understand the need for flexibility; stopping ten minutes from home is ridiculous. But truck drivers will push it as much as they can.

  • July 3, 2019 at 12:35 pm
    Captain Planet says:
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    I will expect anyone who crusades against MJ because of the increase in car accidents and crashes causing fatalities will be totally against this as well, and be consistent.

    • July 3, 2019 at 4:29 pm
      Craig Cornell says:
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      You mean consistent like you? That would mean you are in favor of more deaths due to longer hours on the road . . .

      • March 17, 2020 at 8:22 am
        KELLY says:
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        So your ok with these folks who drive the big motor homes with no cdl and no limit on hours they can drive or travelers in a car that drive over 10hrs a day to get somewhere? If 10hrs is the limit for truck drivers then it should be the limit for ALL VEHICLES ON THE ROAD afterall we are talking about driver fatigue and that doesnt effect just truck drivers, thats absurd.

    • July 3, 2019 at 9:56 pm
      OpPolaResearch Bear says:
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      I expect someone hell bent on legalizing marIJuana to interject comments on it within a comment page on a totally unrelated insurance issue – just to get more attention and escalate the ‘conflict’. Pax vobiscum.

  • July 3, 2019 at 12:54 pm
    Billy says:
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    Because only the federal government knows how many hours a trucker is safe to drive.

  • July 3, 2019 at 3:51 pm
    Mike Urbanek says:
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    OK, let me get things straight:

    in 2017 there were 4687 fatal crashes with the current rules, a 10% increase over 2016. That’s 468 more fatal crashes.

    I assumed the writer calls itself a “journalist”. Where is your intellectual curiosity.

    How many point-to-point trips? How many miles? What’s the percentage represented in those 468 trips? I know math is hard, but at least make an effort.

    Besides, I thought this industry was full of actuaries. There is such a thing as acceptable risk. I’m willing to wager there were a hell of a lot more trips in 2017 than 2016. Can anybody here do their job?

    God help us we are able to do more with less government.

    • July 3, 2019 at 4:22 pm
      Actuary says:
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      How much are you wagering that there were “a hell of a lot more” trips in 2017 than 2016? Also, what is your definition of “a hell of a lot”? Presuming that the number of trips or the number of highway miles is proportional to the growth in the economy, I don’t recall the economy growing by 10%+ between 2016 and 2017. If this is the case, then the number of FATAL crashes increased at a rate faster than the economy despite (presumably) safer and more reliable automobiles and trucks on the road.

      • July 3, 2019 at 5:05 pm
        Mark Ambrose says:
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        If you go by the Stock market DJIA. We went from around 19,000 to 26,000 2016-2017. So there is that.

      • July 3, 2019 at 10:04 pm
        OpPolaResearch Bear says:
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        Actually, assuming highway miles driven are proportional to GDP growth or other econometrics is wrong. However, if you found a econometric stat correlated with trucking miles driven, it would more likely be non-linear, and perhaps even logarithmic. Reason: there is a limited number of hours in a week or year, creating a cap on miles driven. Of course, more truck drivers could be employed during a robust economy, so I’m willing to read anyone’s post who endeavors to find and post truck driver employment stats for 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018.

  • July 3, 2019 at 10:49 pm
    DORIS D HOLLOWAY says:
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    Wait until Trump loses a family member or dear friend to a fatigue Truck driver.

  • July 6, 2019 at 11:17 am
    knowall says:
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    Like many issues and ‘things’ in our country the pendulum swings way far one way, then it starts coming back towards the ‘middle.’

    In this story, maybe the trucker was delayed due to traffic issues or the like.

  • July 8, 2019 at 9:14 am
    Augustine says:
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    Our agency writes a lot of trucking insurance and I can tell you that the drivers have been getting crushed by the hours of service rules (especially the smaller operations). The FMCSA mandated that motor carriers complete the transition to ELD devices (electronic logging devices) last year away from manual log books. It has essentially created a bizarre scenario where a lot of these interstate truckers are forced to work irregular hours due to the weird hours of service rules. For example, you can drive 10 hours after a mandatory 8 hour “rest period.” What unfortunately happens, is that these smaller operations get pushed around by the brokers and shippers and basically are forced to operate under “you take this load when I tell you, or someone else gets it.” So, let’s say a shipper tells you to pick up a load at 10pm and drive it from Dallas to New York. The driver gets to drive 10 hours until 8am, then is forced to rest for 8 hours (until 4 pm), then drive another 10 hours—most truckers are NOT nocturnal by choice, but are forced to operate under absurd requirements. The shippers and brokers have almost no regulation whereas the truckers are getting hammered by hours of service laws. Trucking is literally the backbone of our consumers goods economy and these truckers get treated like garbage. Imagine what type of physical toll driving interstate routes at irregular hours at the pure mercy of brokers who are constantly yelling you to “hurry up” or else they will fine you, or dock your pay. Don’t get me wrong, I am completely for regulating the industry, but I also think that the “little guys” are the ones getting disproportionately hammered. Don’t even get me started on the ambulance chasing attorneys that literally “hunt” after the publicly posted liability filings.

    • July 8, 2019 at 12:16 pm
      ??? says:
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      You are 100% correct. It is the little guys that have the largest hardship with the development of these regulations. And your point toward the irregular hours is spot on.. But, the statistics on accidents in the trucking space prove that an overwhelming amount of the accidents are due to driver fatigue. There needs to be a common sense adjustment made to help these workers, but I’m not sure allowing more time on the road is the best way to go about it.

      • July 8, 2019 at 2:45 pm
        Augustine says:
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        Yeop. Additionally, at the end of the day, a loaded tractor trailer weighs about 80,000 LBS. To put that into perspective, your average midsize sedan weighs about 3,500 LBS. The sheer physics involved in tractor-trailer accidents are truly terrifying. I think the solution may come in the form of holding shippers/brokers more accountable, but I have no idea how that would be accomplished or enforced. I will say that the trucking industry is vastly underrepresented in Washington in proportion to their economic contribution. If you compare the trucking lobby to big pharma, big tech etc. it is laughable. Also, the profit margins in trucking are ridiculously small and increased regulation just continues to eat away at those.

        • July 8, 2019 at 3:49 pm
          ??? says:
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          Again, spot on.

          After you spend some years working on these accounts you come to regard these trucks with a specific reverence. These 80k gvw monsters and nothing less than weapons on the road.. and as a private passenger driving near them, you have no idea if that driver is a well vetted and experienced driver, or some guy trying to get as many miles in as possible.. The danger on the road is real.

          This market is crazy.. With multiple markets exiting the space altogether, combined with the small margins, I can’t believe they can stay afloat.. they would be furious if they knew the profit margins in the insurance brokerage space..

  • July 8, 2019 at 3:22 pm
    knowall says:
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    Somewhat recently, didn’t they adjust the rules for those hauling livestock, in order that they can be treated more humanely, as far as finishing the run or getting the animals to the right temperature?

  • July 12, 2019 at 1:59 pm
    john says:
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    Just tired of watching the clock . Between the people that waste your time, road construction delays, rush hour traffic delays, bad weather delays, appointment issues, and everything else in the course of a day, its easy to burn up 14hrs and get nowhere for your efforts. Ridiculous is when someone else is doing the same job as you but the are exempt from eld logs. If eld logs aren’t for everyone ,how can that not be discrimination on some level? So unfair to compare truck years, engine years, glider kits, When the hours of service is up to the human being operating the truck. Ya gotta think about that next time you stay in a dirt lot for 10 hrs.,while the exempt Driver has a nice shower and dinner with no pressure on them.



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