New Driver Fatigue Rules Could Impact Auto Transport Transit Times
In July 2013, Congress passed new regulations regarding interstate commercial driver fatigue, including placing tighter restrictions on how long and far an interstate trucker could drive in a given week and requiring longer rest periods for drivers that drive for over 70 hours per week. Though some industries have even tighter restrictions on their drivers than others, on the whole Congressional rules and regulations cover every company, across every industry, that transports goods across state lines. The American Trucking Associations (ATA) are fighting the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on these safety measures as I type this, and actually tried suing the FMCSA last year, to no avail.
This year, they’re taking a different approach to the problem, and the ATA has been able to insert legislation in the new Congressional “crominubus” bill (it’s not actually an omnibus spending bill, but rather is more of a condensed one) which was passed late December 10th. The legislation includes wording to make it easier for transporters to do their jobs by suspending two key requirements that have had little actual impact on driver or motorist safety. The main part is to eliminate the 34-hour rest period for drivers that haul for 70 hours per week or more and that also requires two consecutive 1am-5am periods of rest in that time.
The restrictions create more stress at times, because part of the reason for 70-hour work weeks is strict deadlines on pickup and delivery, so they need to book it especially if they’re hauling sensitive cargo such as dairy products. Within the auto transportation industry it’s a bit less pronounced, since most transporters haul for customers instead of businesses. While pickup and delivery times are important, and carriers want to get things done as quickly as possible in order to “keep their left door shut,” as one trucker infamously told me. They want to keep moving just like anyone else in logistics, and the lifting of last year’s restrictions could make things easier for them, which would make it easier for you.
For one, it’d likely result in lower transit times, at least for many shorter routes, since they don’t have to rest as long. While some people may see this as a safety concern, auto transport drivers are professional long-distance truckers who understand their limits and their rig and, more often than not, know what’s best in terms of how far and long they can drive. With so many other restrictions, including additional demand for driving reports from Congress and the FMCSA, safety has long been a top concern, and right now there are few reports of accidents involving auto transport carriers as-is, so additional regulation may just be too much at this point.
That said, it might not do a darn thing to affect transit times, but that’s unlikely. The rules right now require 34 hours of rest time – no driving at all during that time. This can lead to frustration and lost revenue for carriers, especially in the car transport industry, so being able to avoid that is really going to help, and by doing so it might also lead to lower prices for you, or at least along certain routes, particularly the ones that see a lot of auto transport traffic.
If you’re interested in shipping a vehicle, make sure to fill out our free online quote request form to get multiple free quotes e-mailed to you from top auto transport companies. We clear all those companies for reliability for you, which means we make sure they’re all fully licensed, bonded and insured, and in compliance with all rules and regulations passed by state and federal governments. If you have further questions about this topic, or anything else you see on our website, or just want to talk to a live person about getting free auto transport quotes, give us a call at 800-930-7417 today.