Trucker rules create havoc in industry - KCTV5 News

Trucker rules create havoc in industry

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The rules enacted last year are aimed at ensuring truckers are more rested and refreshed, but they are also hurting productivity and delivery times.

According to the USA Today, the rules reduced drivers' maximum work week to 70 hours from 82 hours and mandated a 30-minute break in the first eight hours of a shift. The changes also toughened a required 34-hour break between work weeks, stating that the hiatus must include two consecutive 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. periods.

That means a truck driver who works Saturday cannot make an early morning delivery on Monday.

Some truck drivers tell KCTV5 that the rules are hurting business and causing more harm than good.

The federal guidelines say that certain truck drivers cannot work more than 14 hours in a day, which includes driving, loading and unloading. Two days rest is included in certain schedules.

Lewie Pugh said even if he's 15 minutes away from his destination that he has to stop if he's driven 14 hours.

"If I miss a day and am late ...  it can cost me $500 to a couple of thousands of dollars," he said.

"What the 14-hour rule doesn't account for is weather, traffic jams and the biggest time consumers: waiting at loading docks," said Norita Taylor of Owners and Operators of Independent Drivers Association. "Instead of trying to restrict and add regulations, they should be concentrating on training."

Pugh said that his truck is his business and his life. He said he is going to take the steps to ensure he is not too fatigued to drive and doesn't need the federal government to control those decisions.

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