Voice Your Opinion: Keep the Current Hours-of-Service Rules

Voice Your Opinion: Keep the Current Hours-of-Service Rules

Keep the Current Hours-of-Service Rules (HOS) Requirements for Commercial Truck Drivers.

The FMCSA has proposed revisions to the regulations for hours of service for drivers of commercial motor vehicles.  We would like to encourage you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting your thoughts to the FMCSA.  This news release has information on the proposed changes as well as how to express your opinion.  All comments received by the FMCSA will be posted to http://www.regulations.gov/ under “Proposed Rule” FMCSA–2004–1960.

Since 2004, the U.S. trucking industry has been operating under a set of safety rules that govern rest periods, work shifts, and driving hours for commercial truck drivers. These rules were developed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) based on an exhaustive review of available research on the science on driver alertness and working hours, and strike the crucial balance between safety and economic vitality.

Source: Safe Driver Hours

These changes – if implemented – will result in a number of adverse consequences:

  • A reduction in pay due to less wage-earning time each day;
  • The need for additional, inexperienced, potentially unsafe drivers;
  • Increased freight costs causing a devastating impact on a fragile US economy.

To voice your option, visit SafeDriverHours.com.

FMCSA’s CURRENT HOS RULE FMCSA’s PROPOSED HOS RULE
All Property Carrying Drivers and Motor Carriers All Property Carrying Drivers and Motor Carriers
Minimum Off-Duty Hours Between Shifts 10 consecutive hours Same as current rule.
Total On-Duty Window in Each Shift 14 consecutive hours Significant Changes -14 consecutive hours with release from duty required at end of driving window; Only 13 hours of the 14 hour window are productive work due to new “rest break” requirements described below; 14 hours window is extendable to 16 hours twice a week to accommodate for issues such as loading and unloading at terminals or ports, however, drivers are still limited to 13 hours on-duty.
Total Hours
(On-Duty+Off-Duty+Rest)
24 hours 24-26 hours
Maximum Driving Hours 11 10 hours of maximum driving time and 11 hours of maximum driving time are proposed for comment; FMCSA’s “currently preferred option” is 10 hours.
Limit on Consecutive Hours Driving None May drive only if it has been 7 hours or less since last off-duty or sleeper berth period of at least 30 minutes
Mandatory Rest Break During Shift None At least 60 minutes of rest break time during each On-Duty Window; may be taken in one block or broken up into two 30 minute rest breaks
Maximum Cumulative On-Duty 60 hours in 7 days
70 hours in 8 days*
*for carriers that operate 7 days a week
Same as current rule.
FMCSA’s CURRENT HOS RULE FMCSA’s PROPOSED HOS RULE
All Property Carrying Drivers and Motor Carriers All Property Carrying Drivers and Motor Carriers
Cumulative On-Duty “Restart” Voluntary: 34 consecutive hours off-duty resets a drivers cumulative on-duty back to zero (or restarts a drivers 60 hour weekly clock) at any point in a driver’s 7 day cycle Voluntary: The length of the restart period is variable since it must include two consecutive off-duty periods from midnight to 6:00 a.m. Drivers would be allowed to use this restart only once during a seven-day period.
Sleeper Berth: Splitting Off-Duty Time Team and Solo Drivers:2 periods totaling > 10 hours; 1 period must be at least 8 hours in the sleeper berth; second period of time may be spent either in or out of the sleeper berth. Same as current rule
On-Board Recorders Voluntary Use Same as current rule
Federal Exceptions & Exemptions All existing exemptions and exceptions remain. Slightly modified Oilfield exemption, and removed 16 hour provision in 395.1(o).

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