Fleetowner 8460 Compliance 1

Trucker reaction: Split-sleeper flexibility is just common sense

Jan. 6, 2016
Reaction from truckers was swift to last week’s report that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration had awarded $2.5 million to study the impact of a more flexible hours of service rule, specifically with a split-sleeper option in mind—or, as one of the researchers put it, a “sleep when you are sleepy” strategy.

Reaction from truckers was swift to last week’s report that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration had awarded $2.5 million to study the impact of a more flexible hours of service rule, specifically with a split-sleeper option in mind—or, as one of the researchers put it, a “sleep when you are sleepy” strategy.

The conversation on the American Trucker Facebook page ranged from specifics regarding the hours of service rule to broader concerns—and more than a few gripes—about the way trucking is regulated. And several noted the timing of study, coinciding with the publication of the ELD mandate.

Steve Armstrong’s comment reflected the opinion of many: “Back before they changed HOS we drove 10 and could drive it as we wanted. When the 10 was worked we had to shut down for 8. The 14-hour rule has turned many days into a marathon and many times drivers are tired ... so why are they spending that money when there's years of evidence?”

Timothy Cooley agreed:  “I've been preaching the need for this since the rules changed!”

Kyle Sebring was more blunt: “$2.5 million to find out if we should sleep when we are tired?”

And C. Alan Mack went even further: “I can save them a lot of money. Ban driver E-logs and let the professional drivers do what were trained to do!”

Martin Groseclose offered a very basic suggestion: “Sleep a good 8 hours every night. Any less to make a living, it’s time to hand in the keys. Working more hours for the same wage is stupid.”

Richard Cooper seemed to be in the minority: “In my case the 14-hour rule stops 70% of the B.S..”

Owner-op Paul Bazydlo looked at the bigger picture: “You mean a grown adult might actually be able to use common sense? It's called personal responsibility, most have it and the others will be weeded out. Unlike like now where the rules make the use of common sense illegal in many instances!

“The FMCSA regulates to the lowest common denominator of driver, instead of removing the lowest denominator from driving. The ones that suffer are the ones that are higher up on the common sense and personal responsibility ladders. The way the HOS rules are now, running compliant does not equate to running safely by using common sense.”

Got an opinion? Join the discussion, either in the comment section below or on Facebook.

About the Author

Kevin Jones | Editor

Kevin has served as editor-in-chief of Trailer/Body Builders magazine since 2017—just the third editor in the magazine’s 60 years. He is also editorial director for Endeavor Business Media’s Commercial Vehicle group, which includes FleetOwner, Bulk Transporter, Refrigerated Transporter, American Trucker, and Fleet Maintenance magazines and websites.

Working from Little Rock, Kevin has covered trucking and manufacturing for 15 years. His writing and commentary about the trucking industry and, previously, business and government, has been recognized with numerous state, regional, and national journalism awards.

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