Truck Industry: FMCSA Considering Hours-of-service Changes

When the FMCSA began enforcing the electronic logging device (ELD) rule earlier this year, many carriers and drivers found that it highlighted significant issues with hours-of-service regulations. In fact, the FMCSA has granted limited waivers to carriers with time-sensitive operations, such as livestock haulers and truck rental businesses.
The FMCSA recently issued an advanced notice of proposed rule-making in response to requests for updates to the current hours-of-service requirements. In the notice, the agency highlighted these four specific topics for potential changes:
  • Extending the current ELD exemption window for short-haul drivers from 12 to 14 hours in order to be consistent with the general 14-hour driving limit.
  • Adding two hours to the 14-hour driving limit window when in adverse conditions. The rule currently allows for 13 hours of driving in adverse conditions instead of the normal 11, but doesn’t expand the window when that driving can take place to account for the extra time.
  • Eliminating or revising the 30-minute break requirement. In the notice, the FMCSA also asked carriers how alternatives to a 30-minute break would affect driver safety and provide additional flexibility.
  • Allowing drivers with sleeper berths more flexibility when splitting off-duty time. The rules currently require these drivers to spend at least eight of the required 10 off-duty hours in their sleeping berths.