Fleet Management

Skirmish Continues Over HOS Start Date

March 01, 2013

By Oliver Patton

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Lawyers at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and American Trucking Associations are sniping at each other over the start date of the new hours-of-service rule.

This week T.F. Scott Darling III, the chief counsel at FMCSA, rejected a request by ATA President and CEO Bill Graves to push back the July 1 date until three months after a federal appeals court weighs in on a challenge to the rule.

Graves’s contention was that the delay would make it easier to manage any changes that the court may require, and to complete personnel training.

Darling said ATA was really seeking a stay of the rule, in addition to the delay, and that the agency will not “sacrifice what may be several months of public safety benefits from the timely implementation of the rule.”

Yesterday Prasad Sharma, senior vice president and general counsel of ATA, said in a letter to Darling that the agency’s reasoning is contrived.

“Rather than logically treating ATA’s letter as a request to amend the final rule by changing the compliance date, you elected to treat it as a Motion to Stay before a court of law – which, of course (FMCSA) is not,” Sharma wrote.

He said ATA can only conclude that the agency sees no possibility that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit will rule against the agency in the hours of service matter – even though it has in the past.

“As a result, FMCSA is willing to risk wasting significant training resources,” Sharma wrote.

“ATA and its members will not recklessly gamble on the anticipated outcome of litigation to be decided in the near future. As a result, the industry will prepare to comply with a rule that has a very reasonable chance of being different come July 1.”

At issue is a revised hours-of-service rule that is being challenged, on different grounds, by ATA and the victims advocacy group Public Citizen.

The court has scheduled oral arguments for March 15. It typically takes the court two to three months to rule following arguments, which means the decision could come as late as a month before the July 1 start date.


ATA says that much of the training for the new rule already is under way, but the industry and the enforcement community still will need three months to finish the job once they know what the final rule says.

In a press release yesterday the association said the trucking industry will spend $320 million between now and July 1 to prepare for the rule.

The enforcement community supports ATA’s position. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance also asked for a deadline extension, and its request was rejected along with ATA’s.

Comments

  1. 1. Greek [ March 01, 2013 @ 03:23AM ]

    It looks like its time for a nation wide shutdown and even the big trucking companies have a dog in this fight, this CSA crap and FMCSA need to be defunded by congress , FMCSA is about as useless as tits on a bull !

  2. 2. Wayne [ March 01, 2013 @ 05:26AM ]

    This is brought to you buy the same government agency that does not believe in the constitutional right to due process. This is the same government agency that keeps CSA scores public so shippers and brokers can punish carriers because FMCSA does not have the resources to do so. If the FMCSA spent as much money on inspectors as they do on attorneys trying to figure out ways to circumnavigate their legal limitations and the will of congress, there might be a few more unsafe carriers off the road.

  3. 3. Nick [ March 01, 2013 @ 06:18AM ]

    I said before this whole CSA was implemented, "companies that are doing things correctly will benefit and companies that are not will suffer." Every carrier has had a issue or two in CSA. I feel for the most part CSA is doing a good job of getting bad carrers to pay attention to safety and most of the complaints I hear about CSA comes from carriers that have horrible CSA ratings and are not willing to change. To these carriers, I would suggest instead of complaining about the process and worrying about what people see or crying it is unfair. How about looking at it as a opportunity get more business by stepping up and improving your companies overall safety. This will liead to a improvement in your CSA scores and you would then get more business from these brokers and shippers you are complaining about. The glass is either half full or half empty it is how you look at it and that is your choice.

  4. 4. Barb [ March 01, 2013 @ 06:54AM ]

    FMCSA wasting more time and money. A 3 month delay could save time and money. Thinking outside the box here, makes no matter what happens in this court hearing. Trucking Industry and the truck haters will never come to an agreement of what is best for every public citizen on american highways. This study said this, that study said that. Everyone has an opinion of what one article says and in two to three year's the study will contradict itself. Please make my mind up here, I'm trying to feed my family. With all these changes, I need more than 14 hours in my work day to keep up on all the changes to what is being said and not done in Washington.

  5. 5. Greek [ March 01, 2013 @ 09:56AM ]

    Nick you really buy the line of crap FMCSA and CSA is feeding everyone ! I Can tell you one thing ,that is there is no way of doing things correctly , Because the cards are stacked in the governments favor . No matter what you do or how well you keep the rigs up you got some chickenshit cop doing the insp. that has to generate revenue for the city or state , it's all about money and power over the people , I do Has-Mat 80% of the time , the last insp the trailer was wrote up because the air line had a swivel joint that was not leaking air or damaged but the cop said it was lose , the shop said it was the way it was supposed to be like that i told then put a now line on anyway the tractor got a sticker and the trailer was not put OFS but they had to wright up something , just to justify the inps . The truck was given a warning ticket and let lose .

  6. 6. Dannie [ March 28, 2013 @ 06:00PM ]

    Nationwide shut down and how about an INCREASE in rates like they increase the price of fuel now that would surely top this economy really good . I agree with being safe thats how I have driven for the past 24 years , I have had a ticket or 2 tell me who has not but I have been PROTECTING my license since day one and the way I drive if every driver would do that there would be no need in the CSA or any of the other BULL CRAP that these so called TRUCK DRIVERS have caused me to have to put up with . Just sit around a listen at the PROFESSIONAL DRIVER TABLE at you truck stops and you will see and hear WHY we need more rules . Face it MY TRUCKING BROTHERS and that does not mean you WANNA BEs that means the ones thats out here trying to make a HONEST living . I could go on for a while on this topic so I will stop anyway HAPPY TRUCKING and KEEP SMILING

  7. 7. Dannie [ March 28, 2013 @ 06:00PM ]

    Nationwide shut down and how about an INCREASE in rates like they increase the price of fuel now that would surely top this economy really good . I agree with being safe thats how I have driven for the past 24 years , I have had a ticket or 2 tell me who has not but I have been PROTECTING my license since day one and the way I drive if every driver would do that there would be no need in the CSA or any of the other BULL CRAP that these so called TRUCK DRIVERS have caused me to have to put up with . Just sit around a listen at the PROFESSIONAL DRIVER TABLE at you truck stops and you will see and hear WHY we need more rules . Face it MY TRUCKING BROTHERS and that does not mean you WANNA BEs that means the ones thats out here trying to make a HONEST living . I could go on for a while on this topic so I will stop anyway HAPPY TRUCKING and KEEP SMILING

  8. 8. Dannie [ March 28, 2013 @ 06:00PM ]

    Nationwide shut down and how about an INCREASE in rates like they increase the price of fuel now that would surely top this economy really good . I agree with being safe thats how I have driven for the past 24 years , I have had a ticket or 2 tell me who has not but I have been PROTECTING my license since day one and the way I drive if every driver would do that there would be no need in the CSA or any of the other BULL CRAP that these so called TRUCK DRIVERS have caused me to have to put up with . Just sit around a listen at the PROFESSIONAL DRIVER TABLE at you truck stops and you will see and hear WHY we need more rules . Face it MY TRUCKING BROTHERS and that does not mean you WANNA BEs that means the ones thats out here trying to make a HONEST living . I could go on for a while on this topic so I will stop anyway HAPPY TRUCKING and KEEP SMILING

 

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