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HOS Comparison

Proposed HOS Changes Compared to Current HOS

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on August 14 issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Hours of Service that contained five key change.

Here are comparisons of the existing Hours of Service rule to the proposed changes.

Short Haul

Existing

Drivers using the short haul exception applicable to drivers requiring CDL may not be on duty more than 12 hours. Drivers using the short haul exception applicable to drivers requiring CDL may not drive beyond a 100-mile radius.

Proposal

Would extend the maximum duty period allowed under the short-haul exception available to certain CMV drivers from 12 hours to 14 hours. Would also extend from a 100 to a 150-mile radius, the maximum distance in which drivers qualifying for the short-haul exemption may operate.

Adverse Driving Conditions

Existing

A drive may drive and be permitted or required to drive a CMV for not more than two additional hours beyond the maximum time allowed. However, this does not currently extend the maximum driving window.

Proposal

Would allow a driver to use the adverse driving conditions exception to extend the maximum driving window by up to two hours. This proposed change would apply for both property carrying (14-hour driving window) and passenger carrying (15-hour driving window) operators.

30-Minute Break

Existing

If more than eight consecutive hours has passed since the last off-duty (or sleeper berth) period of at least half an hour, a driver must take an off-duty break of at least 30 minutes before driving.

Proposal

Would make the 30-minute break requirement for property-carrying CMV drivers applicable only in situations where a driver has driven for a period of eight hours without at least a 30-minute interruption. If required, a 30-minute break could be satisfied with a non-driving period, either off duty, in the sleeper berth or on-duty no driving.

Split Sleeper Berth

Existing

A driver can use the sleeper berth to get the “equivalent of at least 10 consecutive hours off duty.” To do this, the driver must spend at least eight consecutive hours (but less than 10 consecutive hours) in the sleeper berth. This rest period does not count as part of the 14-hour limit. A second, separate rest period must be at east two (but less than 10) consecutive hours long. This period may be spent in the sleeper berth, off duty, or sleeper berth and off duty combined. It does count as part of the maximum 14-hour driving window.

Proposal

Would modify the sleeper-berth requirements to allow drivers too take their required 10 hours off duty in two periods, provided on off-duty period (whether in or out of the sleeper berth) is at least two hours long and the other involves at least seven consecutives spent in the sleeper berth. Neither time would count against the 14-hour driving window/

Split-Duty Provision
Existing

Once the duty period starts, it runs for 14 consecutive hours after which the driver may not drive a CMV against until having another 10 or more consecutive hours off duty. Nothing stops the running of the 14-hour clock except a minimum eight-hour period in the sleeper berth.

Proposal

Would add a new option for one off duty break of at least 30 minutes, but no more than three hours, during the course of a driver’s 14-hour driving window to extend the 14-hour driving window to extend that period for the length of that break, provided that drivers take at least 10 consecutive hours off at the end of the work shift.