Extra Hour Of Trucking

January 22, 2007
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LANSING — Truck drivers who deliver aggregate and construction equipment within Michigan's borders will be allowed an extra hour of drive time each day during the building season under law revisions passed in late 2006.

The law restores flexibility that was lost when a Federal Motor Carrier Administration review two years ago found that exemption rules enacted in Michigan in 1990 were not up to federal snuff, said Mike Nystrom, vice president of government and public relations for the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association.

In-state drivers now will be allowed to be on duty up to 16 hours per day, with no more than 12 hours behind the wheel, Nystrom said. On-duty hours may not exceed 70 hours in seven days or 80 hours in eight days.

"These construction drivers, delivery drivers and the like usually end up sitting for quite a period of time, and that is what is recognized in this allowance," said Nystrom, who worked with the Michigan Aggregate Haulers Association and state Rep. Phil LaJoy on the change.

"If he's required to wait on the job site before he's unloaded, those hours don't end up hurting him in terms of then having to do his return trip at the end of the day. It allows for what's called 'on-duty' time versus 'driving' time."

Drivers delivering construction materials often work long hours to take advantage of snow-free seasons, Nystrom said.

He said he anticipates little effect on the driving public. But the law should help companies that employ drivers, he said.

"They aren't having to hire-on other drivers to fill in toward the end of the week when the drivers may have exceeded their allowable hours. So it helps to keep companies more efficiently run."    

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