Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) introduced a bill, H.R. 756, in the House of Representatives to address the problem of excessive wait times for trucks at shipping and receiving facilities. Otherwise known as “detention time,” this is an issue truckers have continually brought to the attention of lawmakers and policymakers because of how it affects hours-of-service regulations, productivity and highway safety.
As truckers know all too well, detention time is a pervasive problem that not only wastes resources, but also impacts safety as drivers sometimes feel pressured to violate hours of service requirements in order to make up lost time. Shippers and receivers are not going to correct this problem on their own and need an incentive to start doing the right thing, which is to let that trucker get back on the road. HR 756 will help make this happen.
Today, the Congressman circulated what is known as a “dear colleague” to all the members of the House of Representatives. A dear colleague is a letter asking for other members to stand behind this legislation as a co-sponsor. The more co-sponsors that sign onto a bill the better the chances a bill has to eventually “move” and be brought up for a vote.
“In a just-in-time, deregulated industry, trucking has de-evolved to where truckers are donating their time to the benefit of shippers and receivers. The problem persists because it doesn’t cost shippers or receivers to squander drivers’ time,” said Todd Spencer, Executive Vice President, OOIDA.
The bill calls for a study and a regulatory rule-making on detention times and compensation. Among other things, the study would evaluate average lengths of time that drivers are detained before loading and unloading and the impact on hours of service. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) would be required to introduce a new regulation, setting standards for maximum numbers of hours a driver may be detained and not compensated.
Surveys conducted by OOIDA indicate as many as 40 hours per week are spent by drivers waiting to be loaded or unloaded. A study by FMCSA says the cost to the industry is more than $3 billion per year and the cost to the public is more than $6.5 billion per year.
We have come too far on this issue to let this bill sit silently with no names attached. Every day lawmakers receive dozens of requests to sign onto pieces of legislation and we need to make this important bill stand out! Please take the time to contact your Representative and ask him/her to “sign onto” this bill.
To contact your representative, call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121, tell the operator that you want to speak with your congressman and provide the operator with your home zip code. You can also look up that information at www.house.gov.
OOIDA – TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE OUR VOICES HEARD. TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE CAPITOL HILL TAKE NOTICE. TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE LIFE BETTER FOR TRUCKERS THROUGHOUT AMERICA
© 2011, Truck Drivers News Blog. All rights reserved.
I agree with the introduction of this bill. I also agree with the cost and bottom line earning and safety issues, but, I have seen some of the affects to some of my fellow drivers and I think that the health concerns of high blood pressure, tempers, and anxiousness would definitely contribute to health issues. When a driver leaves a vendor after several hours of waiting, I believe the focus on safety is lost due to the mental processes that follow. JMO
its about time they do something about this problem
but is going to be to police this problem
when they do make a bill
this also could make parking a bigger problem just like walmarts does
at some location let you in 1 hour befor apt
and there out in middle of no where
This is something needed very badly. I am a truckers wife and often go with my husband in the summer months over the road. I witness just what bad treatment these drivers are subject to and honestly, I don’t know how my husband puts up with the cruel and inhumane treatement he is subject to. My husband is very respectful, always says yes sir or yes mam; waits quietly, often in weather over 100 degrees for hours. Most of these places offer no bathrooms or shelters and with the “no idle” laws, it is without air condition or, in the winter months, no heat. We wouldn’t treat a dog the way they are treated! One shipper in Las Vegas made my husband wait for over 5 hours in 107 degree heat. No shade, no shelter. I honesty feared for his life that day. Being a driver myself for over 15 years, I know the way people treat drivers…mostly with little or no respect. On the other side, what shippers and receivers fail to understand is that when they detain my husband, even two hours can cost him a days pay because of the HOS laws. My husband can’t cheat because of the on board computer(he would if he could because it cost our family money) but our family ends up being hurt too buy loss wages. Just a few weeks ago my husband ended up owing his company money every week instead of getting a paycheck. This went on for 11 weeks before he finally broke even. Shippers and receivers all work shift work and get to go home every day or night. Truck drivers have no set hours, work around everyone elses schedule and mistreated badly. If they could just put themselves in the drivers position. How would they like to put in 60 or 70 hours a week, not be able to go home, eat garbage, sleep around 300 loud trucks, shower in public, and when it was all said and done, two shippers cost you two days pay and now you owe your company money for the truck but you get none? My husbands company only pays $10.00 extra for any wait time over 5 hours….that’s $2.00 per hour for waiting. Something needs to be done. Shippers and receivers will not change….they simply do not care.