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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

You Need to Know What The Senate DOT Bill Contained

You Need to Know What The Senate DOT Bill Contained
The DOT bill released by the U.S. Appropriations Committee did not contain any trucking policy reform such as the ELD (Electronic Logging Device) mandate and Denham Amendment. The bill passed but the Senate Appropriations Committee differs from its counterpart passed by the House Committee. So what was included? You need to know what the Senate DOT bill contained.


You Need to Know What The Senate DOT Bill Contained

The bill passed by the U.S. House included the proposed changes to the ELD mandate for livestock haulers. It also prevented the Safety Fitness Determination (SFD) rule without the implementation of the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program.

Unlike the House bill, the Senates does not heavily impact the trucking industry. It mainly focuses on general litigation and FMCSA mandated deadlines.

The Senate Appropriations Committee did direct the DOT to evaluate the needs of livestock drivers in relations to the ELD mandate further. The plan passed by the U.S. House extended the ELD exemption for both livestock and insect haulers to September 2019. The Senate committee stated that lawmakers should “consult with stakeholders, the Department of Agriculture and Congress on legislative solutions for drivers with unique working conditions.”

The current DOT funding expires at the end of September, however, the Senate has not set a date for considering the bill. Once consideration begins in the Senate, legislatures can add trucking reforms during the amendment process. The U.S. House has yet to bring the DOT appropriations bill to the floor as well.


You Need to Know What The Senate DOT Bill ContainedIf the two governing bodies pass a different version of the bill, the lawmakers will enter a conference committee to produce a finalized bill. This will then be passed again by the respective governing bodies. Any trucking reform that is attached would be subject to intense review during the committee process. 

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Wednesday, June 6, 2018

What You Need to Know About the Denham Amendment 2018

What You Need to Know About the Denham Amendment 2018
The Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) reauthorization 2018 bill passed through the House on April 26, 2018, and included an amendment that will affect all within the trucking industry. The Denham-Cuellar-Costa Amendment simply known as the Denham Amendment has received very mixed reactions from those within the trucking industry. Here is what you need to know about the Denham Amendment 2018.

What You Need to Know About the Denham Amendment 2018

Sponsored by U.S. House representatives Jeff Denham (R-Cali), Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), and Jim Costa (D-Cali), the Denham Amendment will provide standardized meal and rest breaks for truckers. The American Trucking Associations (ATA) believe that the amendment will streamline interstate commerce by further federalizing the hours-of-service rules and regulations. However, on the other end of the spectrum, you have the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), they believe the Denham Amendment is a threat to drivers fair pay and breaks.

What Does The Denham Amendment Mean?

Before we get into the current industry fight, we will review the facts about the Denham Amendment and how it will affect you. In summary, the amendment will prevent an individual state from setting their own rules and regulations. All drivers will need to abide by the Department of Transportation’s (DOTs) hours-of-service by federal law.

What You Need to Know About the Denham Amendment 2018
Under the current federal hours-of-service regulations, drivers are required to take a 20-minute break after driving for eight hours. This means drivers can now work longer hours without taking breaks and without violating state laws.
For example, California requires a 10-minute break for every four hours driven and a 30-minute meal break for every five working hours. The new hours-of-service will be enforced using a mandated Electronic Logging Device (ELD).


ATA Vs. OOIDA

So what do both parties want regarding the Denham Amendment?:

American Trucking Associations (ATA):
  • They want unified regulations that will not hamper interstate commerce.
  • ATA believes productivity will rise with the Denham Amendment since drivers can continue driving to meet shipment times.
  • This will cause less confusion when crossing into new jurisdictions.


Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA):
  • They believe this will deter drivers from taking much-needed breaks, potentially causing accidents and a decrease in productivity.
  • Under the Denham Amendment drivers wages will be standardized as well because companies will not be required to meet state-imposed minimum wages. 


We want to hear from you! Click here to share. Let us know your thoughts on the Denham Amendment. Do you like that the hours-of-service will be standardized between state lines or do you believe it will negatively affect your pay/breaks?


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