New hours of service (HOS) rules kicked in for motor carriers on Sept. 29, 2020.
The HOS rules set the maximum time commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers are allowed to be on duty, including driving.
On June 1, 2020, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration revised four provisions of the HOS rules. The FMCSA says these changes will provide greater flexibility for drivers without compromising safety.
The four changes:
- Short-haul exception: expands the exception to 150 air-miles and allows a 14-hour work shift to take the place of the exception
- Adverse driving conditions exception: expands the driving window during adverse driving conditions by up to an additional two hours
- 30-minute break requirement: requires break of at least 30 consecutive minutes after eight cumulative hours of driving time (instead of on-duty time) and allows an on-duty/not driving period to qualify as the required break, and
- Sleeper berth provision: modifies the sleeper berth exception to allow a driver to meet the 10-hour minimum off-duty requirement by spending at least seven hours of that period in the berth combined with a minimum off-duty period of at least two hours spent inside or outside the berth, if the two periods total at least 10 hours. Neither period counts against the 14-hour driving window.
FMCSA has launched a new online tool (Educational Tool for Hours of Service or ETHOS) for entry of driver records of duty status to see if there are potential violations with the new HOS rules.