FMCSA Hours of Service changes: What you need to know

September 4, 2020 Casey Nighbor

Hours of service are regulations designed to eliminate drowsiness in truck drivers that led to crashes.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has approved changes to the hours of service (HOS) regulations. These changes are intended to improve driver flexibility while still promoting and ensuring safety.

These changes went into effect on September 29, 2020.

What’s changing

The changes to hours of service regulations are below, per the FMCSA.

Short-haul exception

Expands the short-haul exception to 150 air-miles and allows a 14-hour work shift to take place as part of the exception.

Adverse driving conditions exception

Expands the driving window during adverse driving conditions by up to an additional 2 hours.

30-Minute break requirement

Requires a 30-minute break after 8 hours of driving time (instead of on-duty time) and allows an on-duty or not driving period to qualify as the required break.

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 7, rather than at least 8 hours of that period in the berth and a minimum off-duty period of at least 2 hours spent inside or outside the berth, provided the two periods total at least 10 hours, and that neither qualify period counts against the 14-hour driving window.

Who does it impact?

Generally, most commercial motor vehicle drivers must comply with these new regulations.

Resources to learn more

FMSCA is hosting an education webinar that outlines the basics and changes to the hours of service regulations. You can learn more here.

Changes in compliance can be difficult for many businesses to keep up with. Partnering with a trusted company like Centerline can help ensure you stay up-to-date and all your drivers maintain compliance. Learn more here.

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