On July 1, the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA) will begin enforcing the new Hours of Service (HOS) regulations for all commercial motor vehicles transporting goods through the interstate. This rule does not apply for those only tucking within the state, though.
Long haul truckers will be affected the most. They will need to plan accordingly for trips over two days, because those who drive for 11 hours must take a 10 hour break. Two day trips may span into three days now. This increases the
“Drivers will be under pressure to minimize load and unload times, and carriers may be more inclined to charge their customers for excessive detention,” a DTA press release said. “These and other factors could add to pressure on rates, especially for long hauls and other overnight jobs, which will affect brokers and shippers as well as carriers.”
Here is a summary of the new HOS rules, excerpted from the FMCSA’s publication, “Interstate Truck Driver’s Guide to Hours of Service.”
11-Hour Driving Limit within a 14-Hour Time Window, with a 30-Minute Break After 8 Hours
• Drivers are allowed to drive 11 hours within a period of 14 consecutive hours.
• After 11 hours of driving, the driver must be off-duty for 10 consecutive hours before driving again.
• During the 11-hour on-duty period, the driver must take a 30-minute break within eight hours from the last off-duty period.
60/70-Hour “Weekly” On-Duty Limit, with 34-Hour Restart
• Total on-duty time is limited to 60 hours in each 7-day period or 70 hours in 8 days.
• The new 7-day or 8-day period can begin after the driver has 34 consecutive off-duty hours.
• NEW! The restart period must include at least two off-duty periods between 1:00 AM and 5:00 AM. This change mostly affects drivers who regularly drive more than five nights per week.
Defining “Egregious” Violations and Making Exceptions
• Driving for more than three hours beyond the mandated limit is considered an “egregious” violation, and the driver is liable for civil penalties.
• An extra two hours of driving time is permitted under “adverse conditions,” such as bad weather or road closures due to accidents. Predictable traffic delays don’t warrant extra time.