Hours of Service changes, managing the changes

On July 1 of this year a revision of the Hours of Service (HOS) regulations will occur. The inspiration for this blog post is an article in the February 2013 DC Velocity magazine found here; http://www.dcvelocity.com/articles/20130219-bearing-down/

I have been through a number of regulatory changes.  Probably none were bigger than the deregulation of trucking and rail services. The trucking regulations caused a almost wholesale change in company’s in business, with many older companies dying and new ones coming to take their place.  The rail regulation change caused railroads to completely change the way they operate with many becoming much more entrepreneurial. The key though here is the ones that survived and even thrived managed their way through the changes.

The new Hours of Service changes the so called “34 Hour Restart rule” requiring at least two 1 AM to 5AM periods be covered effectively in practice extending the restart of hours by several hours. Also after 8 hours driving, the driver needs to take a 30 minute rest. These changes will decrease productivity in some studies by up to 12%.  Not really, because people will manager around the changes. Drivers usage will be planned differently. Some shippers or receivers of goods will need to change dock hours to efficiently use the resource. That has been my experience.

Two factors at work is people dislike change and dislike even more one government makes a rule. But they do adjust.  If the regulations go through and not stopped by a court lawsuit, two years from now the rules will be defact0 standard.  And people would get up in arms if that is changed.




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