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While diesel fuel prices are always a hot topic, lately they have taken a back page to bigger more heated topics like the newly proposed hours of service rule, and the increasing tolls across the country. The price of fleet fueling will always be a topic and concern for fleets and fleet manager but both of these topics have received plenty of attention from drivers and trucking industry advocates over the past month. Changes are inevitable, but with a shaky economy, every move has to be carefully calculated and justified.

First let’s discuss the Hours of service changes. The HOS puts limits in place for when and how long commercial motor vehicle drivers may operate. The regulations are designed to ensure truck drivers receive the necessary rest to perform safe operations. Under the proposed rule changes, the total on duty time allowed would be reduced down from 14 to 13 hours. Driving hours could also be reduced down to 10 among other changes. Those not in favor of the new rule are citing the record low levels of crashes and fatalities involving trucks, and the congestion that will be caused by more drivers and vehicles being on the road at the same time. Those in favor point to being safer and in the best interest of the drivers. Less hours working will ultimately mean more alert and safer truck drivers, which in turn will mean safer roads for everyone.

Toll increases being proposed across the country and more specifically the east coast, will directly affect all drivers, not just CDL drivers. In June the Maryland Transportation Authority board approved toll increases over the next few years for the Chesapeake BayBridge. The increases aren’t unexpected as somebody has to pay to repair aging tunnels, bridges, and highways. However, a more controversial toll increase is making big news in New York and New Jersey. Truck tolls on all bridges and tunnels, connecting New York CitytoNew Jerseyincreased by $2 per axle in September, and $3 per axle for those not using E-ZPass. They are set to increase another $2 per year from December 2012 to 2015. AAA has filed a law suit claiming it violates federal law, considering the majority of the money generated from the increases will be used for the redevelopment of the World Trade Center, instead of something transportation related.

Yes, diesel fuel prices rise and fall but these types of things increases only go up. Try to control your fuel managment with a company that can help you with your diesel fuel prices because other driving costs are going up.

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