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Regulations Prevent Movers from Completing Their Jobs
Posted by David Berger at 11:22 AM, Friday, September 19, 2014
Household movers aren’t fans of the recently imposed federal regulations that cap drivers’ hours each day. In fact, they’re thoroughly opposed. The American Moving & Storage Association recently asked the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for exemption from the 14-hour daily cap, Overdrive Magazine reported.

In a Federal Register notice published Sept. 9, the industry trade group asked that its 3,700 member companies be allowed to drive at most another 75 miles or 90 minutes past the 14th working hour to properly exit residential areas and park in a safe, secure location. While it may seem presumptuous to request an exception from federal legislation, it could be argued that AMSA’s requests are far from exuberant. Moreover, according to the notice, drivers that work past the 14th hour would then have to take 10 hours off of before driving again. Each time the extension is used, drivers must notify their carrier. The extension would also be recorded in driver logs for validation later on.

Full transparency requested

It seems that AMSA’s proposal is fair in that it requires drivers’ full disclosure on uses of the extension, which is something that’s worked for other corners of the industry. There are regulations currently in place that allow short-haul drivers to work two hours past daily caps once per week, under certain conditions, according to regulatory compliance and risk management firm J.J. Keller & Associates. A driver can use this extension past the 14-hour day if:

  • They were released from service at their place of employment for the previous 50-duty tours.
  • They return to the same spot and are released from duty within 16 hours.
  • They haven’t used this exception in the six days prior, except if they follow a 34-hour restart.

AMSA argues that a similar exception is needed for household goods movers because of the uniqueness of their area of business. Since movers work mainly in private domiciles and not in warehouses, most of the goods they’re moving cannot be packed and placed on pallets. As a result, employees have to hand move everything from each location and off out of the trailer, which is much more time-consuming than using forklifts. AMSA also states that moving times are often variable, which delays the entire process altogether.

The end goal of the initiative is to ensure that movers don’t have to cut their workdays short and leave a trailer parked on a residential street for 10 hours, which can leave the household goods – and the moving company – at risk of potential damages. With the exception in place, a mover could relocate the truck from a residential area to a secure location and thus avoid a potential safety hazard on local streets, AMSA went on to say in the notice. Since moving delays are so unpredictable, it may be advantageous for companies to have the potential extension to use, if need be.

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