(July 19) WASHINGTON, D.C. — More than seven months after the rules went into effect, a congressional subcommittee scheduled a meeting on July 20 to re-examine the controversial hours-of-service regulations.
The House Transportation Committee hearing, which will include testimony from a variety of sources, including government witnesses and industry experts, was originally scheduled for July 7. That hearing was postponed because of a scheduling conflict.
Among those scheduled to testify are Bill Graves, president of the American Trucking Associations, Alexandria, Va., and Todd Spencer, vice president of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, Grain Valley, Mo.
Spencer said he hopes to make people aware of the issues that drivers are facing in working to comply with the regulations.
“The point of view that we will talk about is the challenges that drivers have in terms of trying to schedule their time in what is very much an unpredictable industry,” he said. “The schedules they try to accommodate are never their own. They are somebody else’s.”
Spencer said what his organization is looking for is the flexibility to accommodate those schedules, and that means more help from other companies that work with the truckers.
While most long-haul drivers have been happy with the new regulations, Spencer said they still run into problems with long waits in certain areas.
“We still run into instances where trucks are tied up at shipping or receiving facilities for six to eight hours,” he said. “When that happens, it’s virtually impossible for drivers to comply with the regulations and meet whatever delivery schedule they are expected to meet.”