FMCSA Hours-Of-Service Regulations Revision Explained

Find Out if You’re Affected and How to Comply

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has revised hours-of-service regulations for motor carriers in an effort to provide greater flexibility to drivers and employers. Hours-of-service (HOS) regulations are in place to ensure that drivers of commercial motor vehicles are not compromising the safety of themselves and others on the road. 

While new regulations were announced in June, 2020 motor carriers are required to comply with  HOS Final Rule starting September 29, 2020. While just a few things are changing under this new rule it’s best to make sure that your company and driver’s are fully aware of any new requirements or exceptions. Changes include; new exceptions for short-haul, break requirements, and sleeper berth provisions.

Who Must Comply

Commercial motor vehicle operators required to obtain a DOT number will need to comply with HOS rules. There are only a few categories of drivers that are completely exempt from the HOS rules at all times. This includes drivers for governmental agencies of any type, transporting your own personal property, and a few others.

General Rule

Motor carriers who will operate a consecutive 7 days will only be able to log 60 hours on-duty before having to end the week with a consecutive 34 hours off-duty, if the company operates an 8 consecutive days their 34 hour off-duty will start after working 70 on-duty hours. 

Motor Carrier of Property

A motor carrier that hauls property can start a 14 hour on-duty period only after having had 10 consecutive hours off-duty. During this 14 hours a driver may drive a maximum of 11 hours with a 30 minute break after no more than 8 hours of consecutive driving. A driver can perform other duties during this 30 minute break but cannot drive. Additionally, now drivers can also stop the 14 hour clock time with their 30 minute break.

Motor Carrier of Passengers

A motor carrier of passengers will have a 15 hour on-duty period after following 8 consecutive hours off-duty but will only have a maximum of 10 hours of drive time allowed. The driver will also be required a 30 minute break after no more than 8 hours of consecutive driving and can also perform other duties besides driving or use that 30 minutes as off-duty time.

Sleeper Berth Provisions

Motor carriers that use the sleeper berth will be required to have the 10 hours of off-duty time but can break the 10 hours up as follows. 7 or 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth plus a separate 3 or 2 hours consecutive that can be in the sleeper berth or simply off duty time. Both periods added together must equal at least 10 hours. Neither time period counts against the 14-hour driving window.

Short Haul

Property and passenger carriers using the short-haul exceptions are not required to take a 30-minute break from driving, and are permitted to record hours in a time record, rather than a graph grid log or electronic logging device (ELD). Short-haul operators can now drive within a 150 air-mile radius and have an extended on-duty period of 14 hours. Passenger carriers must have 8 hours off in between duty periods and property carriers must have 10 hours off. 

Adverse Driving Conditions

A 2-hour extension is now added to both driving limit and on-duty time when faced with adverse driving conditions. Hours for carriers of property are extended to 13 hours within a 16-hour driving window. Hours for carriers of property are extended to 12 hours ina 17-hour driving window. Adverse driving conditions means snow, ice, sleet, fog, or other adverse weather conditions or unusual road or traffic conditions that were not known, or could not reasonably be known to; a driver prior to beginning driving after a qualified rest or sleeper berth period or to a motor carrier prior to dispatching the driver. 

FMCSA Interstate Truck Driver’s Guide to Hours of Service

The FMCSA has put together a guide to help carriers and driver’s know exactly what may apply to their business.

Get more information and assistance with your hours of service. Call us today at 877-352-1996.