Regulations have yet again made the list of the top economic concerns for carriers in 2015, according to the Commercial Carrier Journal. Regulatory subjects have taken the number two spot on the list for 2015, and experts are hoping that after a couple of years of overcharged activity, 2015 will be a quieter year.

Here’s the top regulatory factors that will be top of mind for carriers this year:

hosHours Of Service – carrier companies estimated a 3-5% loss in productivity since July 2013, when the new HOS rules went into effect. Late last year, the trucking industry got a break when the HOS rollback bill was signed into law, which suspended the 34 requirements of containing 2 periods between 1am & 5am and restrictions on using the restart once per 7 day period. While this certainly is a positive step for the industry with the average carrier being able to regain 1-2% in productivity, whether carriers will be able to recapture the 3-5% is a long term prospect.

drug and alcohol testingDrug and Alcohol Clearinghouse – this is set to become a final rule in September; its main objective is to prevent the hiring of drivers who have previously  tested positive for substance abuse and have not completed a recovery program.

InsuranceInsurance minimum increase – this has the potential to double a carrier’s minimum liability coverage from $750,000 to $1.5 million or more. The actual number of the new minimum has not been published, and the proposal date has been moved back. While this indicates signs of government uncertainty on the issue, if insurance minimum rules do get published and increased, it will jeopardize many small carrier companies who may not be able to cover their monthly premiums, and put many of them out of business.

ADJUST+SPEED+LIMITERS+++MORE-1804121433091_1Speed Limiters – The DOT has pushed back the projected publication date of this rule to June 8th, which requires the use of speed limiters on all heavy duty trucks. This is a month later than what was first projected. Like the insurance minimum increase, no definite number has been provided by the FMCSA and that National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as to what the speed would be after the mandate takes effect. While the agency contends that mandating speed limiters would reduce the estimated 1,115 annual fatal crashes, owner operators and carrier companies maintain that they are a violation of rights and are unsafe.

eobr-1Electronic Logging Device Mandate – the DOT has also changed its expected publication date for this rule to September 30th, six weeks earlier than the date they projected in early February. While this may mean a shift for many small carriers and owner operators, who mostly rely on and feel comfortable with paper log books, reprieve may come from the fact that enforcement of the rule will take effect two years following its publication date in the Federal Register. This will give carriers and owner operators a 24 month window to prepare and comply with the rule, which will hopefully mean no disruptions in productivity for a driver.

Other key topics reaching the top five economic concerns for carriers this year were freight pricing, maintenance costs,  and driver availability. Download the full CCJ 2015 Industry Outlook Report now, and let us know, which of these concerns is at the forefront for you and your business?

Regulatory Review – 2015 Outlook was last modified: by