Fleet Management

Schneider: New HOS Rules Hurt Productivity

October 24, 2013

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Since the new hour of service rules implementation on July 1, the fleet Schneider National says it has seen a 3.1% drop in productivity on solo shipments and a 4.3% decline on team shipments.

The results are similar to Schneider’s forecasted 3% to 4% decline, which was based on predictive modeling and presented as testimony to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in February 2011.

“The hours of service changes could not have come at a worse time,” said Dave Geyer, senior vice president/general manager of Schneider’s Van Truckload division. “We now need more drivers to do the same amount of work, but regulations, economic conditions and demographics are working against us in terms of recruiting new drivers. “We’re being restricted in the number of miles we can give them and the ongoing challenges that come with sharply rising operating costs.”

While productivity has been impacted, safety has not.

“Safety performance dramatically improved under the previous hours of service rules and there is no evidence to support that changing the rules has improved safety,” said Geyer. “Ongoing feedback from our drivers is consistent, they do not feel better rested as a result of the rules change, just less productive.”

For many drivers, the lure and independence of the open road are no longer worth the pay and regulatory pressure they are now facing, according to Schneider, adding that driver turnover is trending up and is back at prerecession levels.

Schneider cited a recent research brief by John Larkin, managing director of Stifel Transportation & Logistics Research Group, stating regulations such as HOS create a challenging driver market. “Virtually all of the proposed federal rules and regulations either reduce the size of the driver pool or reduce the productivity of the drivers remaining in the pool,” he noted. “As a result, drivers remain a scarce input.”

Carriers and drivers aren’t the only ones adjusting to the changes. Shippers are feeling the impact, too, said Schneider. Many shippers are indicating carriers across the industry, as well as their own private fleets, are already experiencing productivity and on-time service declines.

“To put it in the simplest of terms, capacity continues to tighten, productivity has been reduced and it’s harder and more costly than ever to acquire and retain drivers,” said Geyer. “This trifecta is a cost burden that carriers cannot bear alone.”



  1. 1. Lastgoodusername [ October 25, 2013 @ 05:09AM ]

    This must come as excellent news to the group that thought this was a great idea. Hobble an entire industry for , sorry, I forgot the reason. When flexability
    and common sense are really what is needed , our masters decide to make it ever increasingly hard to make simple and realistic commitments.

  2. 2. NICK [ October 25, 2013 @ 05:29AM ]

    Duh, the Just In Time loads are at risk, 4 days to do a 3 day load now. Higher warehousing and shipping costs. FMCSA had to know but obviously doesn't care about that part.

  3. 3. Kevin J. Reidy [ October 25, 2013 @ 09:57AM ]

    This is what happens when regulatory agencies totally ignore the pleas coming from those actually in the industry being regulated, using studies that are neither supported by or related to the data.

    I can torture numbers until they tell me anything I want them to, but it won't have anything to do with reality.

    Instead of actually doing nothing when nothing is the best course of action, we are seeing regulation for the sake of regulation, trying to look as if something positive is getting accomplished, when in the end it all boils down to people making a huge salary at taxpayers expense trying to justify their jobs.

  4. 4. D Morgan [ October 25, 2013 @ 10:51AM ]

    It seems to me there is a simple solution, RAISE FREIGHT RATES AND INCREASE DRIVER PAY. This will correct the ALL of the problems mentioned. In fact at some point, if rates get high enough, commerce will exert pressure on the law makers to loosen restrictions and reduce regulation to find reasonable solutions to management of the transportation industry..... from an O/O who has been thinking about this for more than 40 years.

  5. 5. Dennis [ October 25, 2013 @ 12:12PM ]

    Simple solution to all HOS problems. Pay the drivers by the hour wIth over overtime just like everybody else. If they have to raise freight rates so be it. Its about time they started paying what's fair.

  6. 6. McGruff [ October 25, 2013 @ 04:12PM ]

    Translation of last paragraph:truck companies are justifying increase in rates to maintain driver pool. In reality: Truck companieshope to get the rate increase, but for some reason, that rate increase mysteriously won't translate into wage increases for us drivers. They will still wonder why they have driver turnover...

  7. 7. Dick [ October 26, 2013 @ 01:13PM ]

    after 3 million miles, in truck load, it seems nothing has changed. I hear the same ideas, we had in the past. All drivers should just band together, and strike. Guess what, it will not work, its been attempted before. What is different in truck load is, our side of trucking is controlled by the shipper and receivers. The trucking companies, refuse to tell them, its up to you to have firm times for getting loads ready, and if not you pay for the drivers setting there, until its ready. They already do that to us on the receiving side. Further the trucking companies refuse to charge the shippers, actual miles, over roads designed for trucks. Whats unfair about paying for miles actually required for any shipment. The hours of service along with the electronic logs, have made the cab of the truck, " A JAIL" that makes the driver walk to a restaurant, laundry, or for a trip to the bank, and do what is required to live on the road. It is a far different thing for lTL freight and local deliveries, because the beginning start point and ending point are know in advance, and can be planned. A LESSON WOULD BE LEARNED IF WE COULD MAKE THE OFFICIALS SPEND A MONTH ON THE ROAD IN THE TRUCKLOAD SIDE OF THE BUSINESS, BUT I AM NOT HOLDING MY BREATH.

  8. 8. Jack [ October 27, 2013 @ 08:37AM ]

    Drivers are already over paid , most drivers work 2 weeks per month , that's why driver's shortage

  9. 9. Becca [ October 31, 2013 @ 08:34AM ]

    Jack, where did you get that idea?That makes no sense.


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