Jun 13, 2013 7:38 PM by Akeam Ashford
The DOT has released new regulations limiting the number of hours truck drivers can be on the road.
Changes to the U.S. hours-of-service rules for truck drivers will take effect July 1st . Truckers will still be able to drive 11 hours and work 14 hours per day. However, their ability to begin a new week of allowable driving hours will be restricted until they have mandatory 34-hour down town. Drivers will need 34 hours a week of rest time, including a break from driving between 1a.m. & 5a.m.
The rule also reduces a driver's average maximum allowable hours of work per week from 82 hours to 70 hours, a 15% reduction.
Grady Williams, has made his living driving trucks for the last 35 years, as an owner-operator, Williams is responsible for all his own maintenance. "They're getting less pay for the runs. Prices are going up on the trucks and the trucks are not cheap," says Williams.
With the already high maintenance costs, and the new regulations, Williams says he may have to say goodbye to something he loves. "I'm squeezing, I'm breaking even right now. I mean I have a driver on my truck now and with his percentage, the percentage the trucking company takes, and by the time I pull my fuel out, I'm about breaking even," says Williams.
The purpose of the rule change is to limit work to no more than 70 hours a week on average. According to DOT, working long daily and weekly hours on a continuing basis is associated with chronic fatigue, a high risk of crashes, and a number of serious chronic health conditions in drivers.