Bakery industry representatives attending the ABA Logistics Committee meeting last week used the opportunity to further educate the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) about how they operate their fleets and the impact the new Hours of Service rules are having on their operations.
Attendees pointed out to FMCSA Associate Administrator Larry Minor that the two consecutive night-time rest period requirement of the 34-hour restart is particularly difficult since most baking industry fleets work at least one day of every weekend. At the same time, attendees complimented the agency for its recent guidance regarding the 30-minute break enforcement for short-haul drivers.
Speaking to a packed room of highly-engaged baking industry representatives, Minor responded that the agency believed drivers under the previous rule were using the restart provision as a means of “racking up” too much on- duty time which created a “safety vulnerability.” He expressed appreciation for the group’s feedback and input and noted the importance of opportunities such as the ABA meeting where he is able to speak directly with stakeholders.
Committee meeting attendees identified the “Fueling the Future: Operational Efficiency Initiatives” roundtable as one of the meeting highlights. In the interactive session, bakers shared the top steps their companies are taking to make their businesses more efficient, while suppliers offered real-world examples of how their services have helped their customers operate more effectively and sustainably.
Attendees at the meeting also participated in presentations on:
• The political situation in Washington and its impact on transportation issues, Jack Schenendorf, Covington & Burling and former chief of staff for the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee
• Logistics issues from the retail vending machine industry perspective, Eric Dell, senior vice president – government affairs, National Automatic Merchandising Association
• RFID Tray Tracking program case study, Chuck Paterakis, H&S Bakery, and Dennis Williams, Monoflo International
• Tray loss legislation in Maryland as a model for the baking industry, Robb MacKie, president and CEO, ABA
• Outreach strategies for implementing new national partnerships between industry and the Department of Energy’s Clean Cities program to successfully deploy new vehicle technologies, Mark Smith, DOE
Following the Committee meeting, attendees also spent time visiting with several key congressional offices to communicate the industry’s ongoing concerns about the HOS rules and explore the possibility of legislative assistance.
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