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HOS rules still baffle many truck drivers

Despite attempts by regulators to clarify the new hours-of-service rules, many truck drivers are still confused about the regulations, according to phone calls tracked by the Department of Transportation.

The largest number of calls, 18%, concern the 34-hour restart period. Another 16% of callers want to know more about the sleeper berth provision. Nine percent have asked about the 60/70-hour workweek change, and 5% phoned about recordkeeping, according to help-line personnel who have answered almost 5,500 calls.

Other calls vary widely, including questions specific to unique driving situations, questions on the difference between drive time and duty time, and inquiries into the use of electronic on-board recorders.

The toll-free telephone line, 800-598-5664, is staffed 24 hours a day to answer drivers' questions. The line became active Dec 29, 2003.

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