House Bill Would Suspend 34-Hour Restart Pending Review

October 31, 2013

By Oliver Patton

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One of the biggest complaints about the new hours of service rules has been the new restrictions for 34-hour restarts. (Photo by Jim Park)
One of the biggest complaints about the new hours of service rules has been the new restrictions for 34-hour restarts. (Photo by Jim Park)

A trio of House legislators introduced a bill that would suspend the 34-hour restart provision of the hours of service rule, pending an assessment by the Government Accountability Office.

The bill would put carriers back under the 34-hour restart provision that was in force before July 1 while GAO looks at the methodology the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration used to write the new provision.

GAO would have a year to complete the work. The new provision could not be re-implemented until six months after GAO submits its report to Congress, and only if the study supports the rule.

The “True Understanding of the Economy and Safety Act” was drafted by Reps. Richard Hanna, R-N.Y., Tom Rice, R-S.C., and Mike Michaud, D-Maine.

Hanna said in a statement that the 34-hour restart provision is “arbitrary and capricious” because the safety agency has not yet completed a study of its effectiveness.

“There are legitimate concerns that this new rule makes our roads less safe and hurts small business,” he said. “The TRUE Safety Act is a bipartisan effort to press the ‘pause button’ on this new rule while an independent assessment is completed.”

At issue is the study of the restart mandated in last year’s highway bill at the request of American Trucking Associations. ATA objects to the provision requiring drivers to take off two periods between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. during their 34-hour restart, and contends that the research the agency used to justify the provision is not convincing.

Not all carriers are affected by the restart provision but those that are, typically long-haul truckload operations, have complained that it cuts into their productivity and does not improve safety.

The agency is late in completing the study of how several carriers’ field operations are affected by the restart provision.

 In September, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx told Hanna that the agency is “working as expeditiously as possible” and will release the study when it has finished its analysis and review of the data.

In a statement Thursday morning, FMCSA spokesperson Marissa Padilla said the agency has finished collecting data for the field study and still is working on the analysis and review.

“The agency does not comment on pending legislation,” she added.

The draft bill tells GAO to assess the methodology FMCSA used to write the restart provision.

Specifically, the bill says GAO should see if the data used represents the drivers who are subject to the provision and if the analysis is statistically valid. Also, the agency should look at the potential safety impact of the provision putting more drivers on the road during morning rush hour.

A spokesperson for Hanna, Renee Gamela, said the bill will likely be referred to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

“We are currently building support for the stand-alone bill among House colleagues and stakeholder groups,” she said.


  1. 1. Jason Hill [ October 31, 2013 @ 07:50AM ]

    Good, at the very least they need to get rid of the one restart every 168 hours.

  2. 2. Thomas Beach [ October 31, 2013 @ 07:54AM ]

    Not only does it not work for long haul drivers but u can only restart after 168hrs or once a week what is deal sometimes I have 36hrs off a couple times a week and can not restart but only one time should not matter 36hrs off no matter if day or night time should get u a restart

  3. 3. jim snyder [ October 31, 2013 @ 08:20AM ]

    I just gave up on the restart and just went back to the old recapping..I agree with the above comment..if you had at least 34 hours shouldn't matter what time a day it was. And I usually sit for a day or two between one restart a week doesn't work for me..I had wondered why if they consider 34 hours off to be what you needed to be refreshed..then why are you not even more refreshed if you have done it more than once a week?

  4. 4. Brian haumont sr [ October 31, 2013 @ 08:49AM ]

    Get used to one set of rules they change them again and been trucking 1989 it's such a joke hours of service but name one thing the government has Fuck ed up they touch

  5. 5. Frank D'Andrade [ October 31, 2013 @ 08:53AM ]

    My Regards,after a long time,Law Makers are looking in the right direction. The SoCal new law does NOTHING for Safty. If any thing it post a DANGER.! One might ask how? When People are box in they tend to find a way. That's the risk. Nothing was rong with the Old Rules,but to change it, might benefit those who are putting it FOWARD. Frank

  6. 6. Anthony Connelly [ October 31, 2013 @ 09:17AM ]

    Finally, the govt is slowly pulling it's head out of it's ass. Next, defeat Obamacare cuz it's driving health-care through the roof.

  7. 7. Frank OTR DRIVER [ October 31, 2013 @ 10:44AM ]

    They need to remove the 30 minute break too. Eating and sitting makes your body wind down and get more tired after you complete your 30 minute break then when you began.

    Also, due to Shipper / Recievers schedules, the 34 hour restart should be pushed back to the older rule and used as often as a Driver feels necessary because all your studies wont account for each individual Driver

  8. 8. John [ October 31, 2013 @ 11:32AM ]

    34 hrs is 34 hrs. But when gov't sets a specific timeframe for those hrs, it's no longer about safety. Then it becomes about the gov't telling us what to do, and when to do it! If you're stuck for 1 1/2 days between loads, you should be rested. Unless your sitting in a casino, truckstop TV room, or are out running around the whole time.
    This restart rule, as issued, was pushed through without waiting for the study to be completed, so it could be in effect BEFORE Ray "The Hood" stepped down. Then we now have odummers friend Tony Fuxx(us all) in there saying how he's going to be fair. All he's doing is rubberstamping odummers' agenda. The FMCSA is a joke. In the name of commerce (and CHEAP labor), we don't apply ANY of these rules to the mexican drivers, only to U.S. registered drivers

  9. 9. Fitz [ October 31, 2013 @ 12:12PM ]

    As most have heard this "safety is no accident" but put laws together is, an accident and satisfy officials more that what they were designed for. Enforcement of current rules are much better avenue than trying to beat your head against the desk to figure how to make drivers and carriers safer. It is well know that those who are safe will be safer and attend to better practices than laws offer. So with that being said as to some fact and knowledge my aforementioned comment is correct. Put the cost and resources into enforcement carriers and drivers alike.

  10. 10. KENDALL Smith [ October 31, 2013 @ 12:45PM ]

    The new requirement to take a half hour break after 8 hours isn't working in my segment at all. We haul superloads ranging up to 500,000 pounds with 19 axle configurations. Try finding a place to park that without violating your routes on a permit. It is stressful enough finding a safe place everynight but for a 30 minute break in the middle of the day when we are generally only allowed to move in daylight hours anyway is killing our productivity and now that daylight hours are shorter and shorter. I have a rash breaking out on face so I went to dermatologist and guess what it's stress related. She ask " what has changed?" I usually end up having to park on the side of the higway put out my cones and pray no hits me!!!!!! Just wait until that happens I will sue FMCSA but that won't bring a family member back. My older brother is a wonderful attorney and he has been to the Supreme Court twice now and successful. Help is on the way folks just waiting for the mishap to become reality.

  11. 11. Glenn [ October 31, 2013 @ 01:54PM ]

    Lets see I can beat my brains out driving local (Chicago area) with no break that's ok. But out in the middle of no where easy drive I got to stop for 30 minates and and do nothing but get aggravated on WHY I'm sitting here that's ok

  12. 12. Roger [ November 01, 2013 @ 02:10AM ]

    I believe the changes to the 34 hour restart provision are evidence of overpaid government employees trying to justify their job. I believe the 30 minute break (which I call the government putting me in time out) is retribution for all those that commented that we needed flexibility in the HOS. They showed us and made the HOS more rigid.

  13. 13. Juso kapic [ November 01, 2013 @ 02:27AM ]

    34 hours is 34 hours regardless when u reset new regulation hew noting to do wit safety it is waist of time for everyone behind wheel

  14. 14. Wayne Antes [ November 01, 2013 @ 05:13AM ]

    I have been driving since 1977. And you would think that hours of service would be figured out by now. But no! I don't care what all the studies say, nor what the government says, if driver needs a nap, then leave him alone. Don't keep the clock rolling. let him REST.

  15. 15. Charles L. Jansen [ November 01, 2013 @ 06:25AM ]

    The 34 hour restart only works for half of my fleet because they run local. The other half run the road and sometimes run into Saturday and gets their timing all messed up. The rule needs to be more explained so the understanding is better.

  16. 16. Patrick Grabowski [ November 01, 2013 @ 08:03AM ]

    i've been driving since 1985, local &otr,we need to go back to the old ways,splint sleeper with driving, and the goverment needs to keep their people on a time frame,say 8hrs.working and 2hrs on duty not working,{lunch&breaks}.and a34hr. restart,end of week, see how they like getting screwed out of money. and put them all on obama care. all my yrs,driving,no tickets,no accidents, knew when to shut down, i don't need a 3 piece suit telling me how to do my job,when he or she knows nothing except what they read or are told, get in a truck and see what its like for a month.and then talk to us before any changes are made.

  17. 17. rooster [ November 01, 2013 @ 04:47PM ]

    change this change that redo this redo that the •••• have made up and changed so many ••• laws they don't know what to do ....I got a idea lay your asses off and draw unemployment your job is done here, three fourths of em don't even know half the laws when I get DOTed I have to tell them what the laws are ... waste of time and money... mostly mine [EDITED TO REMOVE PROFANITY]

  18. 18. Mikey [ November 02, 2013 @ 08:00AM ]

    rooster needs to get the point across without throwing the f bomb around. Good points but stop the profanity

  19. 19. J john [ November 03, 2013 @ 10:05AM ]

    Law makers they a full of shit they don t know what is up there when they never been up there how I can be a supervisor if I don t have the idea of that let's bring them for few weeks behind the wheel let them do legally do the work and see what they said thanks.

  20. 20. Cliff [ November 03, 2013 @ 11:16AM ]

    They need to ask us drivers instead of some person in a collage who doesn't know anything about trucking. I do heavy haul when I unload I might sit for 2 days then run for 3 or 4 day and sit again. The new rules don't work for me.

  21. 21. Paul C [ November 04, 2013 @ 03:09AM ]

    i am surprised that no one has taken this to court on a discrimatory basis. They are discrimating against drivers that do not complete there work week before 01:00am and 05:00am

    if i work days no issues

  22. 22. Bill [ November 05, 2013 @ 07:42AM ]

    After reading the previous 21 comments, I agree with all of them; the FMCSA jumped the gun to get these rules implemented on 7-1-13, BEFORE complete study had been made and Congress had passed them into law. The current arrangement doesn't work for me as a long haul driver, either. There are numerous times that I have been sitting in between loads for >34hrs and gotten as many as 3 restarts in 1 week. I have a friend driving odd shift hrs starting @3PM-3AM; he is curtailed from working a 6th day and getting full 70hr week because of the 1AM-5AM restriction. Even State troopers @scales have commented, "'s all about proper rest...why would the DOT NOT want drivers to take full advantage of restarts!"

  23. 23. Brian B [ November 11, 2013 @ 10:41AM ]

    Start with Shippers and receivers not keeping appt times and then with the companies that don't care about Shippers and receivers not keeping the appt times... if those 3 thing are taken care of then you would see some very happy and well rested drivers out here. Trust me, we would love to rest and smell the "roses" every one thinks we have time to smell. that or hey just start paying us $18.00 an hr for every hr we are in our trucks. damn so much more to say...

  24. 24. John Rainer [ November 13, 2013 @ 06:25AM ]

    This was costing me an entire nights production, as I drive priority loads overnight all week. This is another bad part of this legislation and should be abolished, not just suspended.

  25. 25. Dale [ November 17, 2013 @ 05:50PM ]

    Who voted for these big government bureaucrats? Always meddling in things to generate more revenue to pay for the bigger government. This portion of the "new hos" definitely needs to go. There is ZERO statistical evidence that it makes the roads any safer and until there is, the 34 hour re-start should revert back to pre- 7/1/13. This is a sham! That's all there is to say.

  26. 26. Deborah Lockridge, Editor [ November 22, 2013 @ 11:28AM ]

    Dale asked "Who voted for these big government bureaucrats?" The answer is no one; they are not elected officials.

  27. 27. Bobby K. [ November 25, 2013 @ 09:50AM ]

    For Gods Sake, If A Person Cant Get Refreshed And Well Rested In 34hrs,

    Then They Have Too Many Issues To Be Out There Driving A Truck

  28. 28. Dwight [ November 25, 2013 @ 06:43PM ]

    Just saying been with every log book rule since well ever ,, there r so many ways to uck there system its unbelievable,,, and I hear ever day about something or someone getting into heavy fines why I ask why,,, I do think if there going to stick us drivers with theses heavy fines pay them 5 buck a month I was reading Bobby K comment Im so with what hes saying But Again just saying you can sure pick out the green horns do it old school way, ... Ill teach you but it come with a good cost been driving for 40 years accident free todate need to learn something email me lmao this goes out to the government it59otgjroigjroijfrfjof[ij3oifjenf[eoifjepoifjneoijnfeoriorrjrnrjriroror uncode this green horns

  29. 29. Tina [ February 11, 2014 @ 08:56PM ]


  30. 30. Tina [ February 11, 2014 @ 08:58PM ]



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