Studying the restart

HDT (Heavy Duty Trucking) Info reports that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is on track to launch its study of the 34-hour restart, citing Martin Walker, chief of the agency’s research division.

Congress ordered the study when it suspended the more restrictive restart that went into effect in 2013. That rule stated that drivers who take a 34-hour restart must take off two periods between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m., and that the restart could only be used once a week. FMCSA put that provision in place because it had research indicating that nighttime sleep provides better recuperation than daytime sleep.

This restriction on the 34-hour restart has been suspended while the study is under way. ATA argued that the provision cuts productivity and does not improve safety. According to HDT Info Walker said the agency will let a contract for the study this month. The study will compare five months of experience by drivers operating under the more restrictive rule to those working under the current rule.

The agency has set up a website that spells out the terms of the study and provides links for more information.

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