The Hours of Service (HOS) regulations for commercial truck drivers are changing. After a “fast-tracked” regulatory process, CMV drivers in the U.S. will be subject to new rules starting on September 29th.
Most of the HOS rules that truckers abide by will be the same. The changes that were made are relatively small, but they may potentially have a huge impact on schedules of certain drivers.
The HOS rules will be changed as follows:
- A driver’s 30-minute break can be fulfilled by any non-driving time. It no longer needs to be non-driving, off-duty time.
- In addition to an 8/2 split, drivers are now permitted to take a 7/3 split in their mandatory 10-hours off duty. In addition, the off-duty time doesn’t count against their 14-hour clock. According to the FMCSA acting administrator, this essentially allows for a 3-hour ‘pause’ button.
- The exemption for adverse driving conditions has been extended by two hours.
- The short-haul exemption now allows drivers operating within 150 air miles of their base to drive without keeping records of their duty status. In addition, they are allowed a 14-hour on-duty limit.
A coalition made up mostly of safety advocacy groups has filed a legal challenge against the HOS changes. FMCSA says that the HOS changes will be going into effect regardless.