FMCSA Hours-of-Service Rules: July 1, 2013 Selected Revisions

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FMCSA Hours-of-Service Rules

Donlen-FMSCA-HOS-Rules-FFThe compliance date for selected revisions to the FMCSA Hours-of-Service (HOS) Rules is July 1, 2013.

To help you understand the changes, Donlen’s Steve Jansen breaks it down for you below. Also, at the end of this article, we’ve provided links to a few resources that may be helpful.

Who must comply?

Most drivers must follow the HOS Regulations if they drive a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). In general, a CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business and is involved in interstate commerce and fits any of these descriptions, provided by FMCSA:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • A vehicle that is involved in Interstate or intrastate commerce and is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards is also considered a CMV

Breakdown of the HOS rules*:

The basic hours-of-service (HOS) limits, including 11 hours of driving time, the 14-hour duty window, and 60/70 hour limits for drivers of property-carrying commercial motor vehicles, remain intact under the latest version of the hours-of-service regulations.

  • 11-Hour Driving Limit: The FMCSA kept the 11-hour daily driving limit in the final rule. The FMCSA says that an 11-hour limit could well provide higher net benefits, the Agency has concluded that adequate and reasonable grounds under the Administrative Procedure Act for adopting a new regulation on this issue do not yet exist and that the current driving limit should therefore be allowed to stand.
  • 30-Minute Breaks: The final rule prohibits a driver from driving a commercial motor vehicle if more than 8 hours on duty have passed since the last break (either off duty or sleeper berth time) of at least 30 minutes. The proposed rule had required a 30-minute break after 7 hours on duty before a driver could resume driving.Under the final rule, for example, if the driver started driving immediately after coming on duty, he or she could drive for 8 consecutive hours, take a half-hour break, and then drive another 3 hours, for a total of 11 hours. If a driver worked in a warehouse or did other non-driving functions for 3 hours after coming on duty, and then began driving, the driver would require a 30-minute break after 5 hours driving before being able to drive again. The driver could then drive 6 more consecutive hours for a total of 11 hours.
  • 34-Hour Restart: The rule makes two changes to the 34-hour weekly restart provision. First, a driver may use the restart provision only once every week (defined as 168 consecutive hours). Second, the restart must include 34 consecutive hours off duty with two periods of 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. The FMCSA made the change because the 4-hour period includes the window when the circadian low occurs and gives drivers greater flexibility in ending and beginning the restart period.
  • Weekly On-Duty Limits: The rule does not change the 60-hour or 70-hour weekly on-duty limits.
  • 14-Hour Driving Window: The maximum driving window will continue to be 14 consecutive hours after coming on duty. Because of the break provision, drivers will be able to work 13.5 hours in the 14-hour period (if they are driving after the 8th hour on duty).
  • Requirements at the End of the Driving Window: Drivers may remain on-duty at the end of the 14th hour, but may not drive again until at least 10 consecutive hours off duty.
  • Sleeper Berth: The final rule made no changes to the sleeper berth requirements.
  • Definition of On-Duty Time: The FMCSA amended the definition of on-duty time to exclude any time resting in a parked CMV. In a moving CMV, on-duty time does not include up to 2 hours in the passenger seat immediately before or after 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth.
  • Penalties: Driving (or allowing a driver to drive) three or more hours beyond the driving-time limit may be considered an egregious violation and is subject to the maximum civil penalties.


Below are a few resources provided by FMSCA:

*Some content used with permission from The National Private Truck Council (NPTC).

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Driver’s Corner

The revised Hours-of-Service rules go into effect on Monday, July 1. Be sure you’re up to speed with the new regulations, are keeping your log books, and in compliance with all FMSCA rules and regulations. For a handy HOS visor card you can keep in your truck, download this PDF >

And finally…

And finally, what has 12 million spectators, lasts for almost a month, and has been one of the most spectacular events for a century. It’s the Tour de France, and it begins this weekend. Celebrating the 100th Tour this year, the Tour de France is a huge global event, inspiring fans worldwide. Just how tough is the 21-stage race? 198 riders representing 22 teams will ride a total of 3,404 kilometers (that’s about 2,100 miles). The stages are some of the most grueling of any sport, as the riders climb some of the highest mountain ranges in the world. And what goes up must come down; the riders reach speeds exceeding 60mph on the descents. The ceremony surrounding the event is just as important as they travel through small towns throughout France. Locals and tourists alike come out en masse to witness cycling’s most famous race. Cycling fans – including me – refer to July as the “lost month” as we spend hours in front of live and taped broadcasts of Tour stages. (But be warned: once you start watching, you’ll be hooked!) For the tenth year, Czech car brand Skoda will supply about 250 vehicles for race officials. Skoda is also “proud to boast that after nine years of supporting the Tour, covering around 25 million kilometers during that time, not one single vehicle has ever broken down due to technical problems.” Let’s hope that record keeps. Happy Tour!

Have a nice weekend. Safe travels.

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

Originally appeared in FridayFleet on June 28, 2013

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