HOS Rules Forcing Long-Haul Truckers Off the Road

January 7, 2014

Long Haul Truckers

Long-haul truckers are incensed over new HOS rules to the point that many are leaving the industry. The feeling that the long-haul trucking industry and truckers themselves are under attack by their own government appears to be nearly universal.

A recent Wall Street Journalarticle about 50-year-old long-haul trucker Manuel Hernandez (unfortunately available only to subscribers) and two subsequent articles in National Review calling it "a heck of a story about how bureaucracies in Washington, D.C., wage war against our own citizens" unleashed a torrent of comments and complaints from long-haul truckers.

Echoing the sentiments of many truckers, Tankpuller commented to National Review, "I drove big trucks for 32 years. It was a fun job when I started out driving. Each year more regulations and less freedom for me to decide when I was ready to sleep or eat. I retired this year before the government 'safety regulations' could get me killed. I loved driving but I don't miss the government intrusions in my life."

But the problem isn't just feeling squeezed by regulations. HOS is hitting truckers in the wallet, too. In a survey by the American Transportation Research Institute, nearly 70% of truckers surveyed reported a decrease in income and more than 80% said the rules had had a negative impact on their lives. Most importantly, 66% said they felt more tired under the new rules. As KRELL51 said, "The problem isn't 'tired truckers,' it's big shots in Washington that have never been in a truck making rules with no facts to support their findings."

YeOldeDave summed up trucker sentiments nicely, "I woulda driven til they had to pry my fingers off the wheel but ... No more, I've had it. ... It's no fun anymore, in fact it's become a God-forsaken chore to drive a truck. Enjoy dodging the 2 week wonders that'll replace me and thousands of other good, experienced but fed-up drivers."

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