FMCSA revises HOS rules

FMCSA updates HOS rules as per comments from trucking community

There is some good news on the horizon for anyone trucking in the United States. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has just announced that they have revised the hours of service rules to give commercial drivers more flexibility while on the road while maintaining safety to all.

The FMCSA revised four points on its Hours of Service (HOS) rule based on comments from the public. After the FMCSA published a detailed proposed rule back in August 2019, they received 2,800 comments during the commentary period. Based on the comments the FMSCA revised based on industry input.

The new HOS rules will be implemented 120 days after publication in the Federal Register.

The four hours of service revisions are as follows:

  • The Agency will increase safety and flexibility for the 30-minute break rule by requiring a break after 8 hours of consecutive driving and allowing the break to be satisfied by a driver using on-duty, not driving status, rather than off-duty status.
  • The Agency will modify the sleeper-berth exception to allow drivers to split their required 10 hours off duty into two periods: an 8/2 split, or a 7/3 split—with neither period counting against the driver’s 14‑hour driving window.
  • The Agency will modify the adverse driving conditions exception by extending by two hours the maximum window during which driving is permitted.
  • The Agency will change the short-haul exception available to certain commercial drivers by lengthening the drivers’ maximum on‑duty period from 12 to 14 hours and extending the distance limit within which the driver may operate from 100 air miles to 150 air miles.

It’s important to note that these rules do not extend or increase driving time. CMV operators still need at least a 30-minute break after eight consecutive hours of driving time.

Read the FMCSA news release here.