quantum leaps every once in a while,” he said. “I think
this is one of them. Fatigue management beats the heck
out of the hours of service rule. For people who really do
this, it’s redundant to have other ways of managing
The North American Fatigue Management Program
is being developed by Canadian transportation organiza-
tions, including Alberta Transportation and Transport
Canada, with support from U.S. organizations such as
FMCSA, ATA and its research arm, the American
Transportation Research Institute. Pilot tests of the pro-
gram involved volunteer drivers from Challenger Motor
Freight, Con-way Express and J.B. Hunt.
The pilot tests showed that a fitness management program can offer a range of safety improvements, Clarke
said. It can improve drivers’ awareness of good sleep
practices, reduce fatigue and improve psychomotor performance, and can reduce the incidence of near-acci-dents, he said. The pilot also found that the sleep disorder screening element of a fatigue management program
can help reduce fatigue and improve the quality of a
Now that the pilot testing is done, the next step is to
finish preparing the program and then post it on a website for all carriers to use, Clarke said.
ATRI, which is on the steering committee for the program, is now assessing proposals to design and develop
the guidelines, materials and tools that will go on the
website, said Rebecca Brewster, president and COO of
Clarke stressed that the materials on the website will
be accessible to carriers of all sizes and capabilities. “It
will have all the educational materials, protocols and
directions for carriers on everything from scheduling to
sleep apnea screening and testing,” he said.
“It will include guidance for how a carrier can implement a program, depending on its ability and its size.
They can take one module at a time or they can implement the whole program. The request for proposals says
specifically, ‘Don’t build this so that you have to have
1,000 trucks.’ It needs to be built so it’s understood and
The Canadian organizations have taken the lead on
the program so far, but Clarke is hoping that a separate
administrative entity will emerge once the development
work is done.
“The regulatory and trucking communities have to
take an interest and look for a natural home for the pro-
gram,” he said. “Someone needs to pick up the banner
That effort should include creation of a certification
process for fatigue management, similar to the way the
A2009 TRUCK CRASH ILLUSTRATES THE NEED FOR IMPROVED UNDERSTANDING OF FATIGUE, NOT JUST COMPLIANCE WITH HOURS-OF-SERVICE RULES. Statistically, the crash should not have hap- pened. The fleet involved had a satisfactory safety rating. It kept good maintenance and river records, and its vehicles were typically well-maintained. The truck was in good physical con- dition and was equipped with a speed limiter and an electronic on-board recorder. The driver had 46 years of commercial driving experience, and had no acci- An NTSB investigation of a fatal 2009 crash in Oklahoma said fatigue was at fault – yet the driver was in compliance with ours of service, according to his electronic logs. Jim Park • Equipment Editor anatomy ofatruckcrash anatomy ofatruckcrash