On May 14, 2020 the FMCSA announced changes to their Hours of Service (HOS) rules for truck drivers. These HOS rules have been in place since they were adopted by the FMCSA in 2013.
These 2020 FMCSA HOS changes have been called an overhaul of the 2013 FMCSA HOS rules. But underneath all the legal jargon and politics, what has actually been changed, and what does it mean for you?
Below, we’ll cover everything you’ll need to know about the 2020 FMCSA HOS changes.
2020 FMCSA HOS changes
What HOS will change
There are four main updates coming to the FMCSA HOS changes.
The 30-minute break will be required after 8 hours of driving time instead of after 8 hours on duty. On-duty/not-driving periods can also count as the 30-minute break.
The 10-hour off-duty requirement can be split into eight and two hours or into seven and three hours. Neither period will count against the 14-hour driving limit.
In adverse driving conditions, two extra hours will be granted. This extends both the 11-hour driving time and the 14-hour on-duty time by two hours.
Hours of service for short-haul drivers will be extended from 12 max hours to 14 max hours. The distance limit will also be expanded from 100 to 150 air miles.
When HOS will change
The final FMCSA HOS changes will not take effect immediately. They will go into effect 120 days after the rules are published in the Federal Register. The rules are currently set to be published on June 1, 2020, meaning they will be active on September 29, 2020.
How the HOS changes will affect you
These new Hours of Service rules are meant to provide truckers with more flexibility. Not as much as many have hoped for, but more than was available previously.
However, some are worried that the changes to the off-duty split may force truckers to work longer hours since the total “active” time can now be essentially extended to 17 hours.
At the end of the day, however, the actual impact of these new rules has yet to be determined. We will probably have to wait until September to see if they used appropriately or abused.
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