Trucking Groups Seek More Flexible Rules

Truck drivers are calling for more flexible driving hours as the ELD mandate riles trucking operations and supply chains.


The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) petitioned the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to change the existing hours of service rules that are within the new ELD mandate.

OOIDA specifically wants truckers to be allowed to take a rest break of up to three consecutive hours once a day during a 14-hour period. This would stop the 14-hour clock while the driver is off duty. The current rules “forces” drivers to work while fatigued. OOIDA’s proposal would eliminate the current 30-minute rest break, mandatory after seven hours of being on duty.

The ELD mandate has led to a loss of flexibility for truckers. OOIDA is likely to find allies to help change the hours of service rules. Some people would like different changes, however. Some groups would like to give truckers more driving time or at least have control over that time. Others question who benefits from that flexibility.

The ELD mandate will be able to provide drivers and carriers with data that can be used to get shippers to “race the clock” and get truck drivers through their gates more quickly. Truckers will have to show precisely how long they were kept “on-duty, not driving” while at shipper and consignee docks, and charge shippers for excessive detention.

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