DOT’s hours of service regulations add to costs facing operators oil and gas wells


The DOT’s hours of service regulations contain several rules that specifically address the operations of truck drivers who transport oilfield equipment.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) implemented new rules that restrict the amount of time truck drivers can spend behind the wheel. These regulations are having an impact on a wide range of industries that rely on trucks to transport key materials.

The effect on the oil and gas industry may be particularly large, as the DOT's hours of service regulations contain several rules that specifically address the operations of truck drivers who transport oilfield equipment. Furthermore, the hours of service rules are not the only federal regulations having an impact on the trucking industry.

"Virtually all of the proposed federal rules and regulations either reduce the size of the driver pool or reduce the productivity of the drivers remaining in the pool," John Larkin of Stifel Transportation & Logistics Research said in an interview with Fleet Owner.

In a recent Trucking Activity Report, the American Trucking Associations (ATA) highlighted the financial impact this increase in regulation is having on trucking firms and their customers.

"A tight market for drivers will push costs higher for fleets as they work to recruit or retain quality drivers," wrote  Bob Costello, the ATA's chief economist.

Higher transportation costs will lower well operators' profit margins, putting pressure on companies to improve efficiency in other areas to make up the difference. Implementing new production equipment may be one way to achieve this goal.

The hydraulic jet pump is a particularly effective solution that can be used to start or resume production at oil wells. Valued for its high level of versatility, this unit can even be successfully deployed at sites where there are problems with well casing that would make other artificial lift solutions impractical.