Contrary to expectations, Wal-Mart has seen productivity increases as a result of the new Hours-of-Service regulations that came into effect earlier this year, according to the National Sleep Foundation. The new rules limit the number of consecutive hours on-duty to 14, after which a driver must take 10 hours off. The previous rules allowed for 15 hours of non-consecutive work, followed by an eight-hour break.

While the new rules were designed to lessen fatigue, many trucking companies were concerned that productivity would decrease and costs would rise. Wal-Mart’s Rick Foster, director of private fleet safety, said "We found significant productivity increases, and I was the first who thought [the new driver rules] would kill us."

While there is one fewer hour in the day that a driver can be on duty, the new rules should help reduce driver fatigue during driving and loading/unloading, which is a positive for improving productivity, decreasing errors and reducing accidents, notes Alex Kerin, Ph.D., of Circadian Technologies.