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New Trucking Rules Raise Concerns [AUDIO]

Nearly a year into major changes within the trucking industry, there’s still plenty of concern that the cons could be outweighing the pros.

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Introduced in July to reduce driver fatigue and increase safety on the nation’s roads, the rules reduced a driver’s maximum work week by 12 hours and mandated more breaks. Furthermore, a driver’s hiatus between work weeks must include two consecutive 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. periods.

Gail Toth, executive director of the New Jersey Motor Truck Association, pointed to the latter rule as the one that causes the most issues.

“It puts a lot of the long-distance drivers that are restarting all on the road at 5:01 a.m., with everybody else heading into major traffic jam time,” Toth said. “That’s not when we want to operate.”

Combine that with fewer hours, plus a 30-minute break during the first eight hours of each shift, and a hit in productivity is unavoidable.

Meanwhile, according to Toth, more drivers are getting hired to help fill the gaps, resulting in higher operating costs.

“It’s more expensive,” she said. “Guess who pays? Me and you at the cash register. Everyone has a different internal clock, and I think that mandating everything into very strict boxes normally doesn’t work real well when human beings are involved.”

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