Earlier this week was the start of the new HOS (Hours-of-Service) rules for truck drivers across the United States. The four main changes that took place to the HOS rules, which are intended to provide more flexibility according to FleetOwner.com:
- The 30-minute break rule has been modified to require the break after eight hours of driving time but can be used as on-duty time instead of the previous requirement where drivers had to use this break during off-duty status.
- Modifications to the split-sleeper exception now allow drivers to divvy up their required 10 hours of off-duty time into two periods. This can be an 8/2 split or a 7/3 split — the qualifying period will not count against the driver’s 14‑hour driving window.
- The adverse driving conditions exception has been extended by two hours for drivers who encounter unexpected road delays or any other adverse driving conditions.
- The on-duty limits for short-haul operations will expand from 12 to 14 hours and from 100 air-miles to 150.
Updates to electronic logging devices (ELD) will also take place over the next few months in order to comply with the new HOS rules. Popular ELD providers, such as Teletrac Navman, Omnitracs, Samsara and Verizon, have already been in touch with their customers communicating on the new updates to their software that will match the new rules.
Even though the rules above are meant to provide more flexibility for over the road drivers, there have been adverse reactions from several safety advocacy groups. One of the groups claims the changes will further exacerbate the already well-known threat of fatigue amount commercial motor vehicle drivers, by significantly weakening current HOS rules.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has out ruled any opposing reactions and proceeded with having the rules go into effect September 29, 2020.