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FMCSA Set to Revise Hours of Service Regulations For Drivers


Beginning on September 29, 2020, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will revise the hours of service regulations for CDL drivers. The pending revisions to the hours of service regulations follow a lengthy dialogue between industry and the regulatory community including a formal rulemaking and public comment period. FUELIowa’s national association the Petroleum Marketers Association of America was the lead advocate for reform on behalf of fuel marketers nationally.

There are four significant changes that CDL drivers and CDL employers will be governed by beginning on September 29:

  • The short-haul exception for CDL drivers will be expanded to 150 air-miles and allows a 14 hour work shift to take place as part of the exception. Previously, CDL drivers operating under the short-haul exception were limited to a 100 air-mile radius and 12 hour work shift. The maximum daily driving window will remain at 11 hours.

  • Extends the maximum daily 11 hour driving window by two hours during adverse weather conditions and allows drivers (in addition to dispatchers) to determine if the weather conditions exist to trigger the extension.

  • For drivers required to incorporate a required 30 minute break after 8 hours of driving time, the 30 minute break requirement may now be satisfied by an on-duty not driving period during their work day.

  • The sleeper berth exception is modified to allow a driver to meet the 10-hour minimum off-duty requirement by spending at least 7 hours, rather than at least 8 hours of that period in the sleeper berth and a minimum off-duty period of at least 2 hours spent inside or outside of the berth, provided the two periods total at least 10 hours, and that neither qualifying period counts against the 14-hour driving window.

Unfortunately FMCSA did not adopt a provision allowing for a 3-hour delay in a drivers work shift. However, FMCSA is proposing a new 3-year pilot program to allow CDL drivers to pause their 14-hour maximum daily on-duty time under certain circumstances. The pilot program is important to petroleum marketers because a pause in driver daily maximum on-duty time would increase driver productivity and provide more scheduling flexibility than is allowed under the current HOS rules.


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