FMCSA issues revisions to the HOS rules

According to FleetOwner, the FMCSA has announced the publication of its long-awaited final rule on changes to the hours of service (HOS) regulations.

During a press conference on May 14th, Jim Mullen said that the revisions are the result of 8,000 public comments received. The revisions have been added to make “needed flexibility in the lives of America’s truckers.”

The final rule includes the following four revisions to the HOS rules:

  1. FMCSA will provide added flexibility for the 30-minute break after eight hours of driving time (instead of on-duty time) and allows an on-duty/not driving period to qualify as the required break.
  2. The agency will modify the sleeper berth exception to allow drivers to split their 10-hour minimum off-duty requirement into two separate periods-an eight and two hour split or a seven and three hour split-with neither periods counting against the driver’s 14-hour driving window.
  3. FMCSA will modify the adverse driving conditions exception by extending the maximum window during which driving is permitted by two hours. The current rule already permits two hours of additional driving time on the 11-hour clock, so this expands the 14-hour on-duty clock by two hours as well.
  4. Finally, the agency will change the short-haul exemption available to certain commercial drivers by lengthening the driver’s 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.

The final rule is expected to be published in the Federal Register in the next few weeks. It will be effective 120 days after publication.

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