Beginning next July, truck drivers will be driving less and resting more per new federal safety regulations.

In an effort to improve driver safety, the U.S. Department of Transportation has made changes to hours of service regulations for truckers.

Effective July 1, 2013, all U.S. commercial truck drivers and companies must comply with the new regs or risk hefty fines.

Although the new rule retains the current 11-hour daily driving limit, it imposes several new requirements:

  • reduces driver work week to a maximum of 70 hours (12 hours less than is currently allowed)
  • requires rest periods from 1am to 5am for drivers who reach the 70-hour weekly limit
  • mandates driver to take a 30-minute break every eight hours

Shippers may want to consider reviewing their domestic supply chains ahead of the rule’s effective date. One particular concern is that the new rest requirements will hurt businesses that rely on overnight or early morning deliveries.

Other possible hurtles for shippers include loss of supply chain flexibility and driver capacity shortages.

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