Breaks for Short-Haul Drivers – FMCSA Clarification

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Donlen-hours-of-service-donlen-comThe Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has clarified that it will no longer enforce the 30-minute rest period for both categories of short-haul drivers. This clarification comes after a recent court decision vacating the 30-minute break only addressed one of the short-haul driver categories.

The two categories of short-haul drivers are defined as:

“Last week’s court decision created some confusion in the trucking industry by addressing only one category of short-haul driver,” said Steve Jansen, Donlen’s Manager Fleet Services and Regulatory Compliance. “This clarification will help fleet managers to understand if their drivers need to comply with the 30-minute break requirement.”

Donlen-poll-donlen-comTake our quick poll: Have the new hours of service that went into effect on July 1 affected your operations?

Below is the official announcement from FMCSA. If you have questions about HOS and how it affects your fleet, please contact Steve at 847-412-4961.

You may also be interested in CMV Regulations and Guidelines; Stay in DOT Compliance.

Enforcement Policy – Court Decision on the 30-Minute Rest Break Provision


HOS Final Rule

On December 27, 2011 (76 FR 81133), FMCSA published a final rule amending its hours-of-service (HOS) regulations for drivers of property-carrying commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). The final rule adopted several changes to the HOS regulations, including a new provision requiring drivers to take a rest break during the work day under certain circumstances. Drivers may drive a CMV only if 8 hours or less have passed since the end of the driver’s last off-duty or sleeper-berth period of at least 30 minutes. FMCSA did not specify when drivers must take the 30-minute break, but the rule requires that they wait no longer than 8 hours after the last off-duty or sleeper-berth period of that length or longer to take the break. Drivers who already take shorter breaks during the work day could comply with the rule by taking one of the shorter breaks and extending it to 30 minutes. The new requirement took effect on July 1, 2013.

Court Decision

On August 2, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued its ruling on the Hours of Service litigation brought by the American Trucking Associations and Public Citizen. The Court upheld the 2011 Hours of Service regulations in all aspects except for the 30-minute break provision as it applies to short haul drivers. While the decision does not officially take effect until the mandate is issued 52 days after the decision (unless a party files a petition for rehearing, either by the panel or en banc, or moves to stay the mandate pending the filing of a petition for certiorari in the Supreme Court), FMCSA announces the Agency will immediately cease enforcement of the 30-minute rest break provision of the HOS rule against short-haul operations.

The Agency requests that its State enforcement partners also cease enforcement of this provision. States that do so will not be found in violation of the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP).

Enforcement Policy

Effective August 2, 2013, FMCSA will no longer enforce 49 CFR 395.3(a)(3)(ii) against any driver that qualifies for either of the “short haul operations” exceptions outlined in 49 CFR 395.1(e)(1) or (2). The Agency requests that State and local enforcement agencies also refrain from enforcing the 30-minute rest break against these drivers. Specifically, the following drivers would not be subject to the 30-minute break requirement:

  • All drivers (CDL and non-CDL) that operate within 100 air-miles of their normal work reporting location and satisfy the time limitations and recordkeeping requirements of 395.1(e)(1).
  • Non-CDL drivers that operate within a 150 air-mile radius of the location where the driver reports for duty and satisfy the time limitations and recordkeeping requirements of 395.1(e)(2).

FMCSA will also be initiating a rulemaking to include text in the HOS regulations noting that the 30 minute break provisions do not apply to short haul drivers.

donlen-carla-garfinkle-web-2013Congratulations to Carla Garfinkle, Donlen’s Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary, who was awarded a First Chair Award this week. The First Chair Awards honor in-house counsel who have, through their hard work and innovation, made significant contributions to the legal community. Carla was honored in the category of Top General Counsel.

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Hertz Value Lease® Deal of the Week

donlen-hertz-value-lease-chevy-cruze-07132012 Chevy Cruze LT*

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*Vehicle was available at the time of posting to FridayFleet. The exact vehicle may not be available after this date. Photo of vehicle is for illustrative purposes only. Contact your Donlen Account Manager to learn more about Hertz Value Lease vehicles that may be right for your application.

Driver’s Corner

Do you wear your seat belt? According to FMCSA analysis, about one-third of truck occupants who died in accidents in 2011 were not wearing a seat belt. > Read more myths and facts here. Buckle up!

And finally…

And finally, if you love vintage car logos as much as we do, you’ll soon be swooning over our latest find. Chromeography is a photo blog “in praise of the chrome logos and lettering affixed to vintage automobiles and electric appliances — those unsung metal emblems and badges that are overlooked, forgotten, damaged, lost to time or the dump.” Check out this amazing (and we think historical) collection here >

Have a nice weekend. Safe travels.

Have questions or comments? We want to hear from you.

Originally appeared in FridayFleet on August 9, 2013

About Donlen
Donlen is the industry’s leading provider of integrated financing and management solutions for corporate fleets. Utilizing a highly consultative and strategic approach, Donlen helps fleets reduce cost, improve utilization, and increase driver productivity. Donlen’s innovation has been honored with the Computerworld “2012 Honors Laureate for Economic Development” and the “2012 InformationWeek 500 List of Top Technology Innovators Across America.” Their workplace excellence has been recognized on the IAOP “The Global Outsourcing 100®” list for seven of the last eight years, and as one of the “101 Best and Brightest Places to Work For in Chicago” each year from 2007-2012. Founded in 1965 and headquartered in Northbrook, IL, Donlen is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Hertz Corporation (NYSE: HTZ). For more information about Donlen, visit