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Standing With You

The federal government sets hours of service rules.

Business Insider explains the most recent change to the hours of service rules is the implementation of the use of electronic-logging devices, which many drivers feel do more harm than good.

Basic rules

The hours of service rules state that a driver cannot drive more than 11 hours in a row. Drivers also cannot work for more than 14 hours a day. Drivers must also take a 30-minute break every eight hours.

The goal of these rules is to avoid drowsy drivers behind the wheel of big rigs, which is reasonable, but the rules do not consider what happens during the workday of a truck driver

The problem

The issue with these rules is that ELDs track the hours a driver works and do not allow for adjustments. While a driver may be on the clock, he or she is not always driving. Often, drivers spend many hours waiting to load or unload, which is still time on the clock. Not to mention they must take the required breaks, which cut into the overall workday as well.

It happens too often that a trucker logs 14 hours of work in one day without ever reaching 11 hours behind the wheel. Many drivers are upset because they only make money when they drive.

The effects

Drivers may take more risks because they need to reach destinations before they must stop working for the day. There are also those who are leaving the profession due to the rules, which does not help an industry that already does not have enough workers.