In May of 2020 the FMCSA made some long-awaited changes to the Hours of Service regulations. These new rules into effect September 29, 2020. Their goal is to give drivers more flexibility to manage their time on the road. Here is a quick summary of the most important changes:
- You can now take your 30-minute break in On Duty status. Previously 30-minute breaks had to be logged as Off Duty or Sleeper Berth. You can now do your 30-minute break in On Duty, Off Duty, Sleeper Berth or any combination of those.
- 30-minute breaks now only need to be taken after 8 hours of actual Driving. Previously you had to a take a 30-minute break within 8 hours of going On Duty, whether you were driving that whole time or not.
Sleeper Berth Splits
- You can now do a 7/3 split in addition to the normal 8/2 split. This means you can do 7 hours in Sleeper Berth, finish some left-over driving time, and then do 3 hours in either Off Duty or Sleeper Berth to complete the split break. You can read more about sleeper splits here.
- Both resting periods of the split now pause your 14-hour clock. Previously the 8-hour portion of the split paused your 14-hour clock, but the 2-hour portion did not. Now both portions of the split put your 14-hour clock on hold so that you don’t waste valuable time on your 14 while resting.
Adverse Driving Conditions
- When you declare “Adverse Driving Conditions” on your logs, you now get an extra 2 hours of time on your 11-hour Driving clock AND 14-hour On Duty clock. Previously it only extended your 11-hour clock.
Short Haul Exception
- The short haul exception now extends to driving within a radius of 150 air-miles. Previously CDL drivers were limited to 100 air-miles for the short-haul exception.
- The maximum work shift for short haul drivers is extended to 14 hours. Previously it was only 12 hours.
You can read more about hours of service rules here.