Trucking News Roundup--July 2013

By: Classadrivers.com

This month, we take a look at new regulations that restrict your hours on the road. Also, some exciting new grants are being provided for veterans looking to get into the trucking industry. Take a few minutes to get updated then head over to our jobs section and get back on the road!

  • The Impact of the New Hours-of-Service Safety Regulations
  • DOT Grants Awarded for Training Veterans Getting into the Transportation Industry

Hours-of-Service Safety Regulations Went Into Effect in July, What’s the Impact?

The FMCSA’s new rule regulating a commercial driver’s hours of service began in July. The rules limit the average work week for truck drivers to 70 hours to allow for better rest and reduce accidents. Also, truckers will be required to take a thirty minute break during the first eight hours of a shift.

According to an FMCSA statement, the new safety regulations will save an estimated 19 lives and prevent approximately 1,400 crashes and 560 injuries each year "that will result in an estimated $280 million in savings from fewer large truck crashes and $470 million in savings from improved driver health."

Trucking companies that allow drivers to exceed driving limits by more than three hours could be fined $11,000 per offense, and the drivers themselves could face fines of up to $2,750 for each offense. Many trucking companies and drivers oppose the regulations due to the fact that it will now require more trucks on the road to sustain the same number of loads – adding costs without providing any benefits to the companies themselves. For the drivers, this means less control of their work schedule and a limit on their earnings.

FMCSA's new hours-of-service regulations:

  • Limits the maximum average work week for truck drivers to 70 hours, a decrease from the current maximum of 82 hours.
  • Allows truck drivers who reach the maximum 70 hours of driving within a week to resume driving if they rest for 34 consecutive hours, including at least two nights when their body clock demands sleep the most: from 1-5 a.m.
  • Requires truck drivers to take a 30-minute break during the first eight hours of a shift.
  • Livestock haulers have temporary exemption from the hour-of-service regulations.

DOT Grants Awarded for Training Veterans Seeking Employment in the Transportation Industry

The FMCSA recently announced nearly $1 million in new grants focused on the training of veterans for jobs in the transportation industry. The grants will go to six colleges across the country and aim to train 300 veterans to become new commercial vehicle drivers.

"The transportation industry provides a unique opportunity for military families and veterans to utilize skills they developed in the service, and we hope these grants will lead to more veterans joining the ranks of our country's commercial vehicle drivers," said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx.

The colleges receiving grants are:

  • Grays Harbor College in Aberdeen, Wash., $131,041
  • Long Beach Community College District, in Long Beach, Calif., $211,733
  • Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College in Orangeburg, S.C., $150,000
  • Lone Star College in Woodlands, Texas, $184,260
  • Century College in White Bear Lake, Minn., $120,000
  • Joliet Junior College in Joliet, Ill., $176,427