FMCSA Announces Final HOS Rules-They Listened!

Drivers asked, and they listened! The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has announced that the anticipated rule on the hours-of-service (HOS) regulations has been released. The new proposed HOS rules are on increasing the flexibility for all truck drivers.

The changes are related to what drivers have voiced their opinions and concerns regarding the 30-minute rest break and dividing the sleeper berth time.

The finalized rule will become effective 120 days after its publication in the Federal Register.

Final HOS Rule Changes

Five main changes are being made by the FMCSA’s new proposed HOS rule. These changes include:

  1. 30-Minute Break Flexibility –  allowing eight hours of drive time with at least 30 minutes of no interruptions. This will also allow drivers to have a break while using on-duty, not-driving status instead of off-duty.
  2. Changing the sleeper berth – this will allow a driver to divide the 10-hour required off-duty time into two different sections. One section is at least seven hours in the sleeper berth, and the second section is two hours either off-duty or in the sleeper berth. Both parts would not count as the driver’s 14-hour drive time.
  3. Introducing one off-duty break for 30 minutes – this break would not exceed more than three hours and would not interrupt the driver’s 14-hour drive window. If this break is provided, the driver would need to take ten uninterrupted hours off-duty at the end of their work shift.
  4. Changing hostile driving conditions – by doing so, would extend two hours of the maximum driving window that is allowed.
  5. They are changing to short-haul – for specific drivers, which would add to their maximum on-duty time from 12 hours to 14 hours. This would also extend the distance in which the driver can drive from 100 air miles to 150 air miles.

The OOIDA refers to this new proposal as a “common-sense approach.” The president of OOIDA, Todd Spencer, states, “Truckers have families and want to get home safely, just like everyone else. They are the most knowledgeable, highway safety advocates, and the agency’s proposal, overall, recognizes that fact.”

Here at Landstar, our middle name is Safety. We wish for all our drivers to operate safely and return home to their families. If allowing some flexibility to the HOS rules does that, we want nothing but the best for our drivers.