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The Council of Europe has agreed new rules covering the employment of truck drivers in a bid to make the job more attractive.

The council voted yesterday to approve EC proposals to reform the road transport sector. They include:

  • new stipulations on working conditions;
  • agreement on the subject of “posting”, which will see drivers from lower wage countries paid the same as drivers in higher-paid countries if they are working there for more than a certain period;
  • and improved enforcement of driving regulations.

“Today’s agreement is about providing fairer rules for drivers and transport companies, and greater efficiency for national control authorities,” said Norbert Hofer, minister for transport, innovation and technology, for Austria.

“Professional drivers will benefit from better working conditions and companies operating across different member states gain from greater legal certainty and less red tape.”

Crucially for European road haulage firms, the council agreed a proposal that every truck carrying goods across Europe’s internal borders must be fitted with a smart tacograph by the end of 2024, which would register when a truck crossed a border and would “localise loading and unloading activities”.

Transport operators will, however, face further cost increases from new rules on drivers’ working conditions, with the stipulations that drivers will no longer be allowed to sleep in cabs and will instead have to use hotels, and that firms must organise work schedules so drivers can return home at least once a month.

And, although the EC has decided not to further liberalise Europe’s cabotage regime – which restricts operators from one country moving domestic cargo within another country to a maximum of three shipments within seven days – it has agreed an amendment of posting rules to include cabotage operations.

“The general rule would be that if an operation is organised in such a way that the link between the driver’s work and the country of establishment remains intact, the driver should be excluded from posting rules.

“This means that bilateral transport operations are explicitly excluded. On the way to the destination country, and on the way back, one additional activity of loading/unloading is permitted in each direction without falling under the posting regime, or none on the way out and up to two on the way back.

“Transit is also excluded. For all other types of operations, including cabotage, the full posting regime would apply from the first day of the operation,” the council said in a statement.

The proposals now go to the European Parliament for agreement on the final text.

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  • gary dowd

    December 05, 2018 at 10:41 am

    Not sleeping in truck cabs must only pertain to weekend breaks not over night.

  • Robert Turner

    December 05, 2018 at 11:26 am

    Sleeping in hotel total madness 30 year trucking get real it will never work

  • Nick Stiles

    December 05, 2018 at 11:55 am

    It’s too little too late. The eastern European hauliers have destroyed the UK haulage industry in exactly the same way they destroyed the international haulage industry.
    They have been floating the laws and undercutting the rates for too long now.
    33 years a class 1 driver and now a yard Shunter as a way of getting out the mess.
    90% of what we use arrives on an HGV and the general public need to realise that there is a reasonable cost to this and a human element that will not accept poor living and working conditions, overregulation, fines on every street corner and zero social and family life.
    Joe public needs to wake up and see the end result as I am the average age of the HGV driver in the UK at 56 years. That’s another eleven years till I officially retire along with thousands of others like me.

  • Michael Browne

    December 05, 2018 at 2:05 pm

    These people who make up these laws in relation to drivers sleeping in hotels and leaving all there personal belongings in a truck to be ravaged by thieves are idiots . Secondly where are all these hotels supposed to be . Get wise and give better tax breaks and better incentives to get younger drivers back wanting to be long distance truckers. Putting more technology onto trucks is barmy, and unnecessary to monotor the movements of vehicles. A proper rate for all and the word backload should be abolished. At this job a long time and I’m glad I don’t have to start again as there is too much people with no feel for the industry making ludicrous decisions about an industry they don’t know about.

  • Charlie Mccrea

    December 05, 2018 at 2:36 pm

    And funny enough no mention of better pay. But plenty of enforcement. Load of bull as per normal from europe

  • Rod Stephens

    December 05, 2018 at 2:58 pm

    Where are drivers going to park all these trucks, within walking distance of a hotel?
    Is there to be a definition of an acceptable standard of “hotel”, or will any slum be adequate?

  • Cathy Nolan

    December 05, 2018 at 3:00 pm

    Need to allow age of driver to be 18 yrs old to start their driving career. Many guys out there well able to meet the full credentials of the job.most of it is bred into them

  • Robert Hobman

    December 05, 2018 at 3:59 pm

    In 1970s my father could pay for a brand new wagon and in 6 months pay for it now it takes 5 year’s that says it all.

  • Harry

    December 05, 2018 at 4:19 pm

    Austria plan to make driver conditions better,”what a joke”.if Austrian companies stopped there own drivers running bent they wouldn’t make a living”.once again some pri*k who knows nothing about transport makes a rule about transport,fuc”in amazing

  • Murdock

    December 05, 2018 at 8:29 pm

    Yeah I can see these ‘hotels’ being built in an eyeblink by every layby in Europe, what a joke, they’re gonna kill the industry for good


    December 05, 2018 at 9:28 pm

    I totally agree with all of the replies. UK transport ministers wake up before we loose our own haulage industry to the forigners, who can bribe their examiners into giving them a licence, don’t worry I have proff and VOSA have done nothing about it. A friend that works for a French hauler informs me that French hauliers not only claim their equivilant of VAT back but also a percentage of the fuel duty. Stop these countries from outside the EU delivering here and then waiting for a return load. Turkish drivers leaving a mess in layby including human excretment. And we need Eddie Stowbart to stop undercutting us just to buy the business. Get out of the EU and make our own rules

    • Harry

      December 06, 2018 at 9:50 am

      Top man” speakin the truth.

  • Steve

    December 06, 2018 at 12:03 am

    I totally agree. Just stand at any UK port and you will see the huge disparity between the number of uk registered hauliers running in and out v’s the number of Europeen trucks. They come into our country delivering goods, often running bent, with dual tanks so they don’t have buy fuel in the UK. Then undercut a UK based hauliers price on a return load. It’s about time we put our haulage industry first. Put a daily tariff on every foreign registered truck operating in our country.And while we’re at it pay the wages that goes with the job. The average road user (car and white van man) totally under estimate our responsibilities and show little or no respect. Maybe then you’ll attract younger folk into the industry

    • dave g

      December 11, 2018 at 9:39 pm

      Maybe they should be buying their fuel in the UK,it’s currently cheaper than in France. Regards paying for their visit,every foreign registered HGV has to pay an annual fee to use the UK’s roads. You need to check your facts.

  • Chris

    December 06, 2018 at 8:03 am

    Doesnt sound like its make the industry is more attractive, sounds like its more rules to me, and no sleeping in the cabs wont work thats just a load of crap, are there gonna be regular hotels along every route and if the hotel has a hundred rooms will it have enough parking for a hundred trucks? I dont think so! Sounds like there just plucking ideas out the air, if they really want to make the industry better the only way they can do that is by asking the drivers, and i doubt that will happen as theyll end up with a list as long as the A1, the industry is doomed if you ask me!

    • Harry

      December 06, 2018 at 9:47 am

      And if they ask me i will second your comments! “Remember the fishing industry”?

  • richard smith

    December 06, 2018 at 12:23 pm

    Who is to pay for these hotels? The Eastern European haulage companies that have dragged the haulage rates to rock bottom, how can companies afford to put there drivers up in hotels, when they can’t even afford to give the driver a decent pay rise. With the rise of inflation, I was better off financially 20 – 25years ago than I am now.
    With the state of over priced truck stops in the UK and some of Europe, I don’t think the politicians realise how badly us hgv drivers are treated, and they want to attract the younger generation into the industry. Don’t make me laugh…….
    Why would they want to get up and work all hours of the day when they can sit behind a computer desk from 9 – 5 and earn twice as much and also have a social life. I’d definitely do things differently if had my time again.

    • mel dunn

      December 06, 2018 at 8:23 pm

      If any one of these rule makers were serious (or knew anything about the haulage industry) and genuinely wanted to attract more young drivers to the job-then here are my suggestions, and nothing to do with hotels or tinkering with drivers hours and cross country rules. We should be looking at the way drivers are treated at loading and unloading points,why is it when a driver turns up after a long drive through often bad weather that he and his load of (ordered) goods are seen as a problem ? why is he directed to park over there until some baulchy shunter or some goddam light flashes with his number, then denied the use of the company canteen while his vehicle is on a bay, then after several hours delay and having run out of time is told no parking on site,In 50 years of being in the job I have seen it all first hand and it is not funny, You want them in ? treat them better.

  • Chris

    December 06, 2018 at 4:31 pm

    Remember the merchant navy our politicians Will sit on there hands and bleat but do nothing unless there’s a wedge in it for them.

  • stephen webster

    December 06, 2018 at 4:53 pm

    These changes were needed. Also changes are in the works for Canada as well. Possible hotel required for 36 hour reset for at least one night. Wages for ALL truck drivers on Canadian soil to equal average wage in Canada plus overtime provisions. Something has to be done as the driver shortage in Canada and the U.S. is caused by low wages and companies not paying properly. You find truck drivers in homeless shelters in Canada when their truck breaks down. The C.T.A. knows about these problems and the lack of safe parking in both the U.S. and Canada The large companies have been caught forcing truck drivers to leave after spending hours to unload part loads ( which is illegal) when they have exceeded their 14 hour clock.

  • Graham

    December 07, 2018 at 9:49 am

    Put more freight on rail reduce truck use reducing emissions

    • Paul Clifton

      December 07, 2018 at 11:32 am

      The number of times I’ve heard that as a solution only trouble is nobody wants a freight terminal near their home. They are trying for one at Brixworth Northa’nts but villagers are objecting.

  • Kevin Tovey

    December 07, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    scrap the cpcs then I will come back after driving article for over 27 years. I think I’m experienced don’t you

    • Harry

      December 07, 2018 at 4:06 pm

      Yeh you are experianced enough, that why you got out wen all this cpc shi”e started.”you can think for your self” not a mindless muppet!

  • Garry Hopper

    December 09, 2018 at 11:35 am

    OK so hotels are not a bad idea as long as price is compatible to present night out allowance but the kicker is where will these hotels be? Can’t see hotels being built on motorway network, need new American style truck stop and a better reception from service area personnel with faster service. Holiday makers pack service areas and make food service pathetically slow for limited time truck drivers. Wouldn’t work in UK due to lack of infrastructure investment.