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ON THE HORIZON


TIMES A CHANGIN‘ Continued from page 9


challenges the agency has withstood to the current version of the rule. The problem, he explained, is that the agency must now look at making changes after six years of scientifically defending the regulations against outside objections. “It will be difficult to say, ‘oops, we


changed our mind,’” Graves said, referring to going back to a 10-hour rule, or adjusting the restart. “But unfortunately, again, there’s a little more of a political environment in place, and we don’t know what influences are at work to try to get this changed.” And carriers need to be prepared to keep


track of the driver hours through electric onboard recorders (EOBRs). Still, Graves noted some industry


resistance comes from worry about the added expense of installing this technology—and a few carriers won’t care for the results that would come from being watched more closely. “But I’m here to tell you it’s going to


happen,” Graves said, adding that if an EOBR mandate doesn’t come about through the rulemaking process, Congress will likely do it. “We are at the point where there’s really


not a reason why a carrier should not be electronically logging your hours,” Graves said. “Most progressive motor carriers understand that the more information you have about everything—maintenance issues, the performance of your driver, delivery schedules—it makes sense to adopt EOBRs.” Unfortunately, because so many carriers


have already installed electronic devices, the industry likely won’t gain any political capital from supporting such a mandate, Graves added.


CSA 2010 Safety is the “first subject” ATA must deal


with on trips to Capitol Hill. “It becomes almost an impediment to us


communicating with public officials because it’s what dominates people’s thinking about the trucking industry,” Graves said. So the industry should support the goal of


CSA 2010: To direct limited agency resources to “the worst of the worst—the people that are creating black eyes for our industry, and making our roads unsafe.” “The concern that we have with CSA 2010


is simply that they might cast a net that ends up being wider than they ever imagined,” he said. “We could end up touching a lot


16 “I know it’s a fine line, and we’re asking a


lot of FMCSA, but that’s their job,” Graves said. “We certainly support getting bad actors off the road, but the industry is very concerned if we end up in a scenario where we have overreached and had a negative impact on the industry’s ability to serve its customers.” And on the DOT’s push to fight distracted


driving, Graves suggested the government might focus more effectively elsewhere. “I wish we had greater emphasis on laws


ROADWISE | JUNE 2010 | www.mttrucking.org


of carriers, while they may not be perfect in their safety operations, they are certainly still capable of providing service and moving product over the road.” Graves also makes an economic


argument, explaining that as the economy rebounds, and given the trucking capacity that was lost during the recession, “the last thing we need” is to have carriers sidelined by over- cautious regulators.


WE CERTAINLY


SUPPORT GETTING BAD ACTORS OFF THE ROAD, BUT THE INDUSTRY IS


VERY CONCERNED IFWE END UP IN A


SCENARIO WHERE WE HAVE OVERREACHED AND HAD A


NEGATIVE IMPACT


ON THE INDUSTRY’S ABILITY TO SERVE ITS CUSTOMERS. —BILL GRAVES,


ATA PRESIDENT & CEO


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