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Hours of Service (HOS) Regulations

December 6, 2023

When do the hours of service regulations apply? From September, it will become easier for the trucker with updated HOS Rules!

Short-haul exception, sleeper berth provision during hours of service, 30-minute break requirement after hours of service, adverse driving conditions exception, etc. – has changed since the end of September 2020.

In this article, we want to dwell in more detail on the main reform issues from the FMCSA, which are already changing the lives of truckers, dispatchers, fleet owners, and their clients for the better.

Short-Haul Exception (150 air-mile)

Some years ago, CDL drivers were limited to 100 air miles for the short-haul exception. The short-haul exception now applies to driving within a 150 air-mile radius. If truck drivers’ maximum HOS were only 12 hours, now it has been increased to a 14-hour rule. (8 2 split formula we will discuss later.) This time is easy to calculate: you buy ELD devices for your fleet and then look at all the indicators in the elog. The electronic logbook of the ELD service will explain the nuances.

You must know about the short-haul exemption for the hours of service of non-CDL truckers who return home at the end of their work and operate within 150 miles of the top garage.

Performers of truck’s HOS mustn’t operate after 16 hours of service on duty on two days of any period of the whole week. They also prohibited working with any CDL vehicle and driving after fourteen hours on duty on half-dozen (five) days of any period of 168 consecutive hours.

What about the adverse driving conditions exception? It allows drivers with split sleeper berth trucks to extend the maximum DOT hours of service by up to 120 minutes. So truckers with 14 hours of service can use this rule to finish their HOS in the 16 hours time range. Earlier, truckers could try such exceptions to operate beyond their maximum hours of service. Now they can drive safely to avoid any incidents.

Electronic logging device solutions are the leading way to prevent hours of service violations. These are intuitive, reliable ELD device compliance gadgets.

Sleeper Berth Provision during Hours of Service (HOS)

  • Truck drivers with split sleeper berths trucks can do a 7/3 split in addition to the usual 8/2 split. (14 hours rule we discussed above.) It means drivers with ELD devices during their hours of service can spend 7 hours in a split sleeper berth, finish some left-over driving time (hours of service), and then do 3 hours either Off Duty or to complete the split break.
  • Truckers may buy ELD and split their required off-duty time (non-DOT hours of service) using a sleeper berth. The electronic logbook of the electronic logging device will help them count time to new hours of service.
  • Truckers of property-carrying commercial motor cars must accumulate the equivalent of 600 consecutive minutes off duty by taking two separate rest periods out of DOT hours of service. Such elog of the hours of service can be fixed in ELD devices.
  • Operators of passenger-carrying cars, after their DOT hours of service, can split their required eight-hour period of rest into two. After HOS, the 2 rest periods must be on a split sleeper berth. Point this time immediately before and after rest does not exceed 600 minutes. ELD will write these hours out of service.
  • After and before each rest, hours of service must not include any operating on a truck after the 15th hour.

30-Minute Break Requirement after Hours of Service

This rule requires a 30-minute break after 8 hours of service in on-duty status. 30-minute intervals now only need to be done after 480 minutes (actual driving). In the past, truckers with ELD devices and split sleeper berths had to take a 30-minute break (remember about 8/2 split and 14 hours rules) within 8 hours on duty, whether they were driving that whole time or not.

After September 20, 2020, the thirty-minute time of break must be in an off-duty status of DOT Hours of Service (HOS). If fleet owners buy ELD and make elogs in electronic logging devices, hours of service will not be a problem.

The thirty-minute break exemption claims that truckers with sleeper berth split and ELD cannot log DOT hours of service if 8 hours have passed since the last off-duty period of 1800 consecutive seconds.

It is important to note that such hours of service break rules restrict truckers with ELD and split sleeper berth from violations. These drivers can work with non-driving tasks. And don’t forget about the adverse driving conditions exception.

The new American rules provide fleets’ staff with more flexibility. And such hours of service give a chance to be more productive. It is essential that dispatchers, truckers, and others who are affected by hours of service rules correctly – the news impact 4 areas of the HOS rule in 49 CFR Part 395.

The thirty-minute break rule is created to ensure truckers with ELD devices get a break from driving hours of service if they intend to continue their working time late into the day.

Adverse Driving Conditions Exception

This rule gives an additional 2 hours of service on the road if the driver with ELD is in unfavorable traffic conditions. Truckers announce “Adverse Driving Conditions” on their elogs on an electronic logging device. They can get an extra 2 hours of service for 11-hour driving and 14-hour duty. Just use truck maps, truck navigation, and truck GPS properly.

Buy ELD and watch the EZLOGZ explanation of the Final Rule to prepare for these significant changes in DOT Hours of Service (HOS). (We wrote about 8/2 split and 14 hours rules above.)

This exemption allows drivers with ELD devices to extend the maximum driving window by up to 120 minutes of DOT Hours of Service (HOS). And always remember that you can rest on your split berth slipper after work.

Before the Final Rule on hours of service was enacted in September 2020, staff could use this exception to operate up to two hours beyond their maximal DOT HOS. Still, it could not extend its most considerable driving time.

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ELD devices revolutionize truck operations by automatically recording driver data for FMCSA compliance, offering real-time GPS tracking, and optimizing fuel consumption, all integrated to enhance efficiency and safety.
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The EZLOGZ Dashcam, designed specifically for trucks, offers superior video quality, ensuring safety and legal protection on the road. With features like advanced design, dynamic light adaptation, accident detection, and unwavering reliability, it is an indispensable tool for truck drivers.
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