This week we will take a look at some of the most popular solutions to the HOS issue, as researched by ATRI.
- “ Continue to push for increased flexibility in the current sleeper berth provision.” This strategy was selected by over half of respondents. The current rule specifies that drivers using the 34 hours restart provision must spend at least eight consecutive hours in the sleeper berth, plus another two hours in the sleeper berth, off duty, or a combination of the two. This adjustment to the rule would allow drivers to rest when tired, avoid congestion points, and have increasing freedom over their schedules.
- “Research and quantify the true safety and economic impacts of customer detention on truck drivers and trucking operations.” This strategy deals with determining if the provisions have been detrimental to driver safety and productivity.
- “Analyze how highly automated technologies could affect the HOS rules and identify what research and data would be necessary to justify future rule changes.” This one is perhaps the most interesting, because it begs the question of how the industry is changing and what impacts this change will have on HOS. Ostensibly, the increased use of automated trucks will give drivers more freedom over their free time while carrying cargo. Due to this shift, drivers may be pushed into the more passive role of monitoring automated driving systems. It is not unreasonable to believe that this trend would push HOS into near obsolescence, especially as automated trucking shifts from an outlier to the norm.
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