US Department of Transportation that would erect huge obstacles to efficient log trucking
The U.S. Department of Transportation is moving ahead with a proposal to revise regulations for truck drivers. The proposed regulations would erect huge obstacles to efficient log trucking.
Although field hearings already have concluded, the agency has extended the public comment period to Oct. 30.
Under the proposed regulations:
• A daily (type 4) driver would be limited to 12 hours on duty on any workday; current rules permit 15 hours.
• The driver would be limited to 60 on-duty hours per week; current rules allow 70 hours per eight-day period.
• Every driver would be subject to a mandatory weekend of at least 32 hours off-duty every seven days; current rules have no provision.
• States would not be allowed to issue variances to the federal rules, as they may now.
• There would be a partial exemption for agriculture, but this exemption would not apply to forest products trucking.
The Forest Resources Association is urging logging contractors and truckers that haul logs, pulpwood and chips to submit comments to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
The association also is urging contacts to members of the House of Representatives in support of a letter being circulated by Rep. Deborah Pryce, R-Ohio, and Rep. Bob Clement, D-Tenn. Their letter urges House members to adopt language similar to a Senate appropriations bill that would prohibit funding in the next fiscal year to implement the new regulations.