Drug Testing, Hours of Service Could Become Issues In Trucking Industry in 2019

Drug Testing, Hours of Service Could Become Issues In Trucking Industry in 2019The trucking industry remains concerned with regulations, with matters including the drug testing of applicants, modifying how long truck drivers may drive in 24 hours, and digital monitoring being the top worries of drivers and trucking companies. Other matters the trucking industry is focused on are the patchwork of state laws that regulate how truckers can be paid and trying to figure out two confusing rule changes in California. This information comes from DAT Solutions, a company based in Portland, Oregon, that is charged with matching freight with various carriers. Here is a closer look at the top issues the trucking industry is concerned with today:

Automatic On-Board Recording Devices

Strict enforcement of electronic logging devices that track a truck’s hours in operation damage productivity and account for at least half of a 30% increase in spot shipping rates last year. This mandate was passed at the end of 2016. Trucking fleets that use Automatic On-Board Recording Devices had 24 months to comply. Carriers that used paper logs had until late December 2017.

Hours-of-Service Reforms

Drivers who are displeased with ELDs really have an issue with limits on hours of service, according to the survey. The FMCSA in 2018 hosted industry meetings that led to changes in the hours-of-service rules. The FMCSA had more than 5,000 public comments. The partial shutdown of the federal government a few months ago hampered progress in developing new hours-of-service rules, including the potential elimination of a half-hour rest break after driving for eight hours. The FMCSA also wanted ideas on how to divide the 10-hour sleep break for over-the-road drivers.

New Minimum Wage Laws

The majority of truck drivers are paid for each mile they drive. More than 20 states and the District of Columbia have increased their minimum wage in 2019. The increase boosts the chance of lawsuits that target trucking companies for breaking wage and hour rules. The current minimum wage in the U.S. is $7.25 per hour. Employers having operations in various states need to be on top of these assorted state requirements.

More Rigorous Drug Testing

Two new drug-testing regulations could increase the driver shortage in the trucking industry, because they will possibly screen out recreational drug users. Carriers are required to search the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse by Jan. 2020 for violations when they are doing prescreening for drivers.

Laws in Other States

The supreme court in California has devised a test that trucking companies must follow to ensure the correct classification of owner-operators as being independent contractors rather than company employees. This is a very contentious issue in the state. Another is the court’s disagreement over the findings by FMCSA that trucking companies do not have to comply with California’s meal and rest break standards because federal laws cover hours of service. Whether similar issues could become relevant in Georgia remains to be seen, but it’s clear that the same problems affecting the trucking industry in other states are also impacting us.

Contact the Mann Law Firm Today for a Free Consultation

The Mann Law firm is supportive of tougher regulations for trucking companies and truckers. Far too many people are injured and killed in trucking accidents each year. If you have been injured in a trucking crash, please contact The Mann Law Firm today for a free consultation.