NPTC general counsel Richard (Rick) P. Schweitzer told Fleet Owner that the new HOS proposals, which are the result of a settlement of the third lawsuit filed by Public Citizen, the Teamsters and others, are “driven more by politics than policy or research.”
Public Citizen wants an 8-hour daily driving limit. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, though, is pushing for 10 hours, while the Teamsters say that fewer available work hours will result in more jobs.
NPTC's take on the proposed changes is that dropping to a 10-hour driving time and a revised 34-hour restart would put more trucks on the highways, including during morning rush hour; require more trucks and more drivers to make the same number of deliveries; and cause shipper and carrier costs to rise.
On the subject of EOBRs, NPTC has offered its qualified approval. According to Schweitzer, the organization supports mandating EOBRs for all interstate carriers with three caveats: that the technology must be cost-effective and accurate, that the rule must protect data ownership and access for carriers and drivers, and that the requirement for fleets to provide “supporting documents” to verify EOBR data be eliminated.
Heavier trucks have been the subject of intense debate for months. NPTC has come down firmly on the side of allowing heavier combinations, supporting the American Trucking Assns. in this view. “NPTC strongly supports increasing weights to 97,000 lbs. over six axles,” Schweitzer said, “and we are participants in the Coalition for Transportation Productivity that is trying to make that happen legislatively.”