HOS Rules Change

Attention CDL-A drivers; there are new revisions to the commercial truck driving hours of service (HOS) you need to know. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published the changes in May, and these proposed changes were finalized in September.

After gathering data and discussing previous HOS rules with CDL-A holders, the FMCSA determined some alterations needed to be made. Through this, the FMCSA produced four key revisions to the current hours of service ruleset. These changes benefit drivers in many ways. Listed below are brief descriptions of the HOS ruleset changes and how they may help you while on the road!

  • 30 minute break rule: Before the ruleset change, the 30-minute break had to be in the off-duty or sleeper berth status. With the rule change, the 30-minute break can be satisfied either off-duty or on-duty not driving. This will alleviate a lot of frustration when drivers go to take their break and accidently leave themselves on duty.
  • Adverse driving conditions exception: This rule change only applies in cases of adverse conditions, such as extreme weather conditions or congestion. The previous rule allowed for an additional two (2) hours of drive time within the 14-hour limit. The new rule allows a driver to extend his/her workday to a maximum of 16 hours and his/her drive time to a maximum of 13 hours.
  • Short-haul exemption: This change pertains to a driver’s maximum on-duty time. The new rule lengthens the drivers’ maximum on-duty period from a 12-hour shift to 14 hours. Additionally, it extends the distance limit that a driver can operate from 100 air miles to 150 air miles.
  • Sleeper berth rules: This long-awaited revision is one we are excited about! Drivers can now split their required 10-hour break either by an 8/2 split or a 7/3 split. Neither of these split breaks count against the driver’s 14- hour clock.
    • Often drivers are stuck at a shipper or receiving either loading or unloading for more than 2 hours which can cause HOS issues. With the new split break prevision, there is more flexibility concerning breaks. If a driver is held up at the receiver for 3 hours, he or she can drive out the rest of their time and then complete a 7 hour break, giving them a sufficient split break. Split breaks are not required, but in some cases they are necessary or convenient. If you have any questions about how to complete a split break, please call into the log department for guidance.

These new rules are a welcomed change for drivers! We encourage you to educate yourself on the new ruleset in order to implement them into your day. As always, if you have any questions regarding Hours of Service rules and regulations please call into the Log Department at Continental Express or reference the FMCSA website. Safe travels!