In reply to Mr. Labbe's article on hours of service [Economics: August, pg. 32], I feel that hours of service regulations need to be adjusted to match today's equipment and highway system.
Slow the trucks down, pass laws making it mandatory that trucks be geared for top speed of 70 mph, and change the hours of service to let drivers run 12 hours at the wheel. The fuel saved, the tire wear as well as overall drivetrain wear saved will way offset any slowdown in delivery time. Let the receivers inventory enough stock for an extra 24 hours. They will live with it at no noticeable increase in cost.
The concern about small carriers not being able to compete with larger carriers is not a good argument. If there are small carriers that can't change to be competitive and get their share of the traffic, then they probably weren't operating at a profitable pace to begin with.
Why should the trucking industry serve as a rolling warehouse at its expense? This has really become a way of doing business in the last 10 years. Mr. Labbe hit on one very important subject: his statement about large carriers being able to contain the cost of operating. That is very true; that is called competition.
I have been in a management position the better part of my life, associated with several carriers in the past 40-plus years. The trucking industry is now in the worst shape it has ever been in. Let the hours of service get adjusted to today's times and conditions - it will do more for the industry than any other single thing that could happen right now.