Following a House subcommittee hearing from two days ago, the new Hours of Service Regulations and their impending compliance date of July 1 continue to be the hot topic for the trucking industry, with all stakeholders representing fleets, owner-operators and the enforcement sector asking questions and seeking clarification on what they see as shortcomings to the rules. The FMCSA continues to defend the rules and maintain that when understood and applied properly, they still offer some flexibility to drivers and carrier companies while ensuring that drivers obtain quality rest.

So, that being said, this week in the UWT office is “HOS Regulation Learning Burst” week. Here’s what we are learning:

HOS Compliance Doc photo

Summary of HOS Final Regulations for property-carrying CMV Drivers coming into effect July 1

11-Hour Driving Limit

May drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty.

14-Hour Limit

May not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time does not extend the 14-hour period.

Rest Breaks

May drive only if 8 hours or less have passed since end of driver’s last off-duty or sleeper berth period of at least 30 minutes.

60/70-Hour On-Duty Limit

May not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days. A driver may restart a 7/8 consecutive day period after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty. Must include two periods from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. home terminal time, and may only be used once per week, or 168 hours, measured  from the beginning of the previous restart.

Sleeper Berth Provision

Drivers using the sleeper berth provision must take at least 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth, plus a separate 2 consecutive hours either in the sleeper berth, off duty, or any combination of the two.

Common Definitions

Driving Time – all time spent at the driving controls of a commercial motor vehicle in operation.

On Duty Time – all the time from the time a driver begins to work or is required to be in readiness to work until the time a driver is relieved from work  and all responsibility for performing work. On duty time includes:

  • All time at a plant, terminal, facility or other property of a motor carrier or shipper, or any public property, waiting to be dispatched, unless the driver has been relieved from duty by the motor carrier.
  • All time inspecting, servicing, or conditioning any motor vehicle at any time.
  • All driver time as defined in the term driving time.
  • All time in or on a commercial vehicle, other than time spent resting in or on a parked vehicle, time spent resting in a sleeper berth or up to 2 hours riding in the passenger seat immediately before or after a period of at least 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth.
  • All time spent providing a breath sample or urine specimen including travel time to and from the collection site, to comply with the random, reasonable suspicion, post-crash, or follow-up testing required.
  • Performing any work in the capacity, employ, or service of a motor carrier.
  • Performing any compensated work for a person who is not a motor carrier.

Off Duty Time – any time not spent on-duty, driving, or in the sleeper berth.

Sleeper Berth – any amount of time spent inside the sleeper berth, resting or sleeping. The sleeper berth must conform to the following requirements: be at least 75 inches long, 24 inches wide, & 24 inches high. The simple definition is an area separate from (usually immediately behind) the driving controls that includes a bed. The rules do not explicitly require that a driver must sleep, only that a driver must take a period of “rest” within the sleeper berth or off-duty.

Visuals – Log Book Examples (refer to the FMCSA’s Logbook Examples PDF document)

14 hour driving window – (Example 1, Page 2 of the document) – here, we are looking an example with no violations.

Rest Breaks – (Example 5, Page 6 of the document) here, with a violation listed and explained; and (Example 6, page 7 of the document) here, with no violations.

34-hour Restart Provision – (Example 7, Page 8 of the document) here, with no violations; and (Example 8, Page 9 of the document) here, with a violation listed and explained.  The example with the violation outlines the impact this rule will have on some drivers. Depending on the time that they begin their restart, a driver will need to take more than 34 hours restart time to in fact be in compliance, due to the 2 periods of 1am to 5am off duty time that are required by the rule.

We are making sure we’re prepared!! Are you?

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