Weird question about the new (Sept 29) HOS rules.

Discussion in 'Trucking Industry Regulations' started by Driver#3141592, Jun 27, 2020.

  1. Driver#3141592

    Driver#3141592 Bobtail Member

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    There's a fringe case that doesn't seem to be made clear by the text of the new HOS rules. It relates to the new way split sleeper birth is handled. Under the new rules, if you take split your sleeper birth time into 8hr/2hr or 7hr/3hr then neither period will count against your 14 hour clock for the day. This is great news, but it makes the following scenario a bit unclear.

    Let's say you're starting a fresh week following a 34 hour reset to make things simple. You start your day at midnight. This means your 14 hour clock will run out at 2pm. You arrive at a shipper in the morning and they keep you at the door so long that you log 2 hours of sleeper birth time while you're getting loaded. Your 14 hour clock is pushed out by 2 hours and now ends at 4pm. So far so good. Now let's say you deliver that load around 8am and the receiver also keeps you at the door so long that you log another 2 hours of sleeper birth time. Does this ALSO push out your 14 hour clock so that it now ends at 6pm? Or does it override the previous 2 hour sleeper birth break and your clock still ends at 4pm? This doesn't seem to be made clear by the text of the new regulations.

    Does anyone know the answer?
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2020
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  3. Accidental Trucker

    Accidental Trucker Road Train Member

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  4. sevenmph

    sevenmph Road Train Member

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    I wouldn't worry about it too much yet. One of the infrastructure bills being considered would halt the implementation of the HOS changes.
     
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  5. drivingmissdaisy

    drivingmissdaisy Medium Load Member

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    I believe it does not extend it yet again. You can't keep doing it. You get one of those splits per 14 hr drive segment. If I were to guess.

    Because if that were the case you could stay on indefinitely. Keep doing the splits and your 14 hours could go all week.
     
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  6. Driver#3141592

    Driver#3141592 Bobtail Member

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    That is what I was guessing too, but in fairness that guess is based on how things clearly make the most sense. We definitely can't assume that whoever made these rules thought them out fully and made good decisions. Even if we do assume that only one period below 8 hours can extend your 14 hour day that still leaves questions unanswered. For example:
    • Say you take a 2.5 hour sleeper birth period during your day while getting loaded. Did you just extend your 14 hour clock by 2 hours or 2.5? Does only a full increment of 2 or 3 count? Or does the whole thing?
    • Say you take two shorter sleeper birth periods as in my original example. One is 2.5 hours and the other is 3.5 hours. If we assume only one counts, then which one is it? The longer one? The first one? The most recent one? At this point I don't know if you just extended your clock by 2, 2.5, 3, 3.5, or 6 hours.
     
  7. not4hire

    not4hire Road Train Member

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    Second 2 hour period does not stop nor extend 14. Only the first short period (2-3 hours) extends your 14. Only a qualifying second period (8-7 hours) will do the same.

    You can do them in any order; short then long, or long then short, just so they add up to 10. If you stay in split sleeper, then your third break and your second break must add up to 10, etc.

    Anything between 2 and 3 hours, or 8 and 7 hours will extend the 14. Those are the upper and lower limits.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2020
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  8. Driver#3141592

    Driver#3141592 Bobtail Member

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    Thank you. That's a detailed explanation. Can I ask where you found this info? I have not been able to find an official source on it anywhere. Judging by how specific you were I'm guessing you did find a reliable source, but if you're just making educated guesses that would be good to know too.
     
  9. not4hire

    not4hire Road Train Member

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    The wording of the rule:

    ...at least 7, rather than at least 8 hours of that period in the berth and a minimum off-duty period of at least 2 hours spent inside or outside of the berth, provided the two periods total at least 10 hours...

    - Hours of Service Drivers Final Rule | FMCSA

    Note it says "at least" and not only so many hours. It was specific before because even though it also said "at least" there is only one way for 8 and 2 to add up to 10. Now it can be anything between 7-8 and 3-2 so long as it adds up to 10.

    That is also how the Canadian rules work, although ours is a bit more flexible by allowing any combination as long as neither period is shorter than 2 hours.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2020
  10. not4hire

    not4hire Road Train Member

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    As for which short break period counts there is nothing specific about which one, either the first period or second, as in your examples. However, one of the periods would be non-qualifying according to the split-sleeper rules so it would just be off-duty, but would not stop the 14 clock. Which one would be qualifying and which one not would be dependent on the following rest periods and on-duty periods before and after said rest periods.
     
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